Business Administration & Management Project Topics




Although strategy has been one of the main interests of both organization theorists and practitioners for decades.

Porter (1991:95-117) states that the most central question in strategy research has been why some firms  succeed and  some fail. According to Tsoukas (1996:11-25) in  studying  firms’ behaviour, management researchers have  traditionally addressed two questions in what direction should  a  firm  channel its activities and how should a firm be organized.

On the other hand, business management and practitioners in private and public organizations as well as strategy consultants, strategy gurus, and business schools have constantly sought models and guidelines to ensure organizational survival and success as the basic motivation for all strategists. Strategy is about understanding and anticipating the nature of an organization’s competitive environment and its position within it.

Barney (1991:99-120) states that  a strategy is about  understanding  the organization’s  valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitable  internal resources, and core competences.. Ansoff (1965) views strategy as about  creating ingenious plans for the future  to beat competitors to serve customers in novels ways, but it is also about  organizational action,  taking  different kinds of actions step-by-step in specific way.

Though, this  research project is about  the success of strategy  implementation. The processes by which  strategies are  created, that is, strategy formulation, or strategy making, have gained growing  attention since  the 1960s and  the early  authors have developed  different normative frameworks  and models  for building a successful  corporate or business  strategy. As a conceptual counterpart  to formulation, strategy implementation has been considered a process  of executing  the  decisions made in the formulation process.

Hrebiniak and Joyce (2001:602) stress that strategy implementation has not  reached as much  attention as formulation and has even been labeled  as “a neglected area in the literature of strategic  management. Therefore, formulation and implementation f strategy have generally been considered as separate, distinguishable  parts of the  strategic management process and the  conceptual separation of implementation and formulation can also be seen strategy write up or textbooks.

Snow and Harmbrick  (1980:527:538)”  even argue that, researchers have  ( …) reached  a general consensus on distinguishing  between strategy formulation and strategy implementation. The  advantage of  making this distinction is that the cognitive aspects of  strategy formulation, can be viewed  as an important phases apart from the action component (implementation)  But this work look at this  distinction as myopic considering thinking  and doing. The believe here demonstrate that, implementation is more than pure mechanical execution, requiring cognition, initiative and interaction on the part  of  various stakeholders throughout the organization.

Infact, the classical implementation literature is often laden with a rather mechanistic idea of man, which neglects the factor that organizational members are conscious agents with their own intents  and is manifested in terms such as “installing strategy” As Clegg et al (2004: 24) put it, the Cartesian split between the intelligible mind  and  the dumb  body that has  to be informed”.

Some groups  of authors like, “Bourgeois  and Brodwin (1984) Noble (1999) and  Hrebiniak  and  Joyce (2001 states that  the concept  of strategy implementation is  “elusive”  and strategy implementation research is “eclectic” being fragmented among  several fields  of organization and  management study.

Thus, normative strategy literature is packed with models of successful  strategy  implementation, suggesting a strategy  to be implemented through activities such as objectives, incentives, controls and structures.

Alexander  (1991: 73-96) and Beer Eisenstat (2000:29-40) focused on the problems in implementation and  have identified a number of difficulties, (weak management roles in  implementation, lack of  communication, lack  of commitment  to the strategy, unawareness or misunderstanding of the  strategy, unaligned organizational systems and resources, poor coordination and sharing  of responsibilities, inadequate capabilities, and competing activities).

The majority of strategy implementation literature is normative, suggesting that strategy is implemented in a certain way. Even though it is noted that the type of strategy may potentially influences the  implementation  action, the context is often ignored, proposing  that all kinds of organizations, in all kinds of situations and with any  kind  of  strategic goals, should know the same model of implementation .

In other words, strategy implementation literature remains rather superficial and does not describe how  particular strategies  are realized. Whittington (1996. 731-735) recently emerged a strategy research stream that aims to look into the black box of organization to study strategy on the  micro level. This strategy as  practice research agenda explores strategy as a social phenomenon, by investigating  how the practitioners of strategy really act and interact. It calls of ran  “activity-based view  on strategy and proposes that value lies increasingly in the micro  activities of managers and others in organizations and seeks to understand organization’s  strategies and processes, and seeks  to understand organization’s  strategies and processes, and what is actually done  there and by whom.

Obviously, there are both theoretical  and practical needs to understand strategy implementation better and there  is a growing  ambition to study strategy as an intra-organizational, micro level phenomenon. It is my believe  that in order to tackle the  numerous observed  problems  of implementation, we should create better more elucidatory, conceptualizations of strategy implementation, and to be able to concretize  what we want  to explore, what really happens in the name of strategy in organizations.



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