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Title: Navigating stremes : conceptualising, activating, and legitimising strategic change within BBC International News
Author: Parkinson, Neil
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 9619
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis considers strategic change from the novel perspective of a manager practically ‘activating’ it within a complex organisation. It involved 18 months of action research and participant observation within BBC Global News, where joint processes were developed across two converging businesses. A journal was maintained of meetings and events, access was granted to internal documentation, and 12 interviews were conducted. One contribution of this thesis is a new conceptualisation of the developing elements of organisational strategic posture and related environmental events as ‘stremes’: strategic memes representing relevant subsystems, ideas, and subcultures. The posture is depicted as a construction of multiple voices, often combining, sometimes clashing, as ideas compete for legitimacy. This allows the practitioner outlook to be presented through three linked perspectives. A ‘process’ approach maps the unfolding streme system; a ‘people’ approach considers the building of consensus to legitimise stremes; and a ‘practice’ approach considers the efficacy of action research in helping to craft change. It is found that not only do the actions of people shape the streme network; the complex, interdependent network also partially shapes their actions. This research builds on previous work on strategic change, but provides new narrative insight from a practitioner’s outlook. It also created ‘practical knowledge’, since many outputs of the process were implemented within the BBC, and may have relevance elsewhere.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Strategy, Strategic change, Stremes, Network, Legitimacy, Alignment Action Research, Practice, Complexity, Porosity, News network, British Broadcasting Company (BBC)