Session 63

Political and Material Aspects of Strategy Making

Track J

Date: Monday, October 5, 2015

Track X

Time: 13:45 – 15:00


Room: Governor's Square 16

Session Chair:

  • Robert Demir, Lancaster University

Title: Capturing the Beast: The Place of Animal Pictorial Imagery in Discursive Strategy Practices


  • David Stiles, University of Canterbury

Abstract: This study uses pictorial animal metaphor imagery to explore organisational identity through two novel methods: a pictorial based survey instrument and a card-sort exercise. These are based on a ‘tall’ ontology linking micro-level praxis with structures and systems in the outside social world to explore discursive strategy practices and expand the boundaries of what is considered strategy. Animal images are important objects of emotional and mystic attachment and can help prioritise questions about which identities are appropriate, focusing strategists on the organization’s primary values, vision or mission(s) before debates about performance can occur. Pictures play a key role in this process, with narratives helping to recursively constitute an organization and its actors in an ongoing ‘metaconversation’ about the meaning and purposes of the organization.

Title: Managing unique Acquisitions: The Practice of Voluntary Communications Deployment to Reduce Evaluative Uncertainty


  • Duncan Angwin, Lancaster University
  • Basak Yakis-Douglas, University of Oxford
  • Kwangwon Ahn, University of Oxford
  • Maureen Meadows, Coventry University

Abstract: Our research focusses on the ‘uniqueness paradox’ in acquisitions and how organizational leaders can overcome this paradox through voluntary communications. The ‘paradox’ stems from the following: Acquisitions are critical to managers’ efforts to improve competitive advantage, however, markets downgrade these deals, often because they are uncertain about how to evaluate these deals, particularly if the deal is a unique combination of organisations for which there are no precedents. We focus on a particular type of reactive impression management, the skilful deployment of voluntary communications, in order to assess whether these communications are associated with lower levels of analysts’ evaluative uncertainty. Broad empirical support for our theoretical arguments is shown in a 10-year sample of 6,138 deals and18,264 interim news events.

Title: New CEOs and the Practices of Establishing a Strategic Apparatus


  • Shenghui Ma, University of Zurich
  • David Seidl, University of Zurich

Abstract: A major challenge of newly appointed CEOs is to establish a network of individuals with whom they work closely on important issues. These individuals are the immediate collaborators of the CEO and constitute the strategic apparatus of the organization, which might include some top managers, members of board of directors, or key supporting staff. Without establishing an effective strategic apparatus, it is unlikely that new CEOs can achieve their agenda and to direct their organization effectively. In this paper, we draw on a longitudinal qualitative study of eight firms and identify how new CEOs create their strategic apparatus of different configurations, depending on various personal and organizational contexts. Moreover, we show the mechanisms of how the strategic apparatus evolves and changes over time.

Title: Tell Me How You Gaze at Strategy Tools and I Tell You How You Decide


  • Stefan Groesser, Bern University of Applied Sciences
  • Adrian Stettler, Bern University of Applied Sciences

Abstract: Strategy tools are frequently used in organization and widely taught. However, the real impact of strategy tools in practice is still uncertain. In addition, strategy tools can actually also introduce misunderstandings and are by no means guarantees for establishing shared meaning. We analyse the viewing pattern of 98 users, i.e., their eye movements, and explore significant patterns and their predictive value for tools understanding. With these insights, we provide decision-makers who use strategy tools in practice with insights on how to improve shared meanings in organizations. Furthermore, the insights can influence how we teaching strategy tools.

All Sessions in Track J...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 74: Open Strategy Workshops: Lessons Learned from Practising Strategizing
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 76: The evolution of the strategy as a profession and the field of strategy
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 81: Mapping current insights on strategy implementation
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 61: The Institutional Level of Strategizing Activities
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 318: Strategy Practice Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 62: Multi-level perspectives on capability development
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 63: Political and Material Aspects of Strategy Making
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 64: Strategic Renewal through Practical Engagement
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 65: Strategy Practice, Identity and Sensemaking
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 66: Building Nonmarket Strategic Capability
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 60: Blurring the Boundaries of Strategy Work

All Sessions in Track X...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 74: Open Strategy Workshops: Lessons Learned from Practising Strategizing
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 29: The Elephant in the Room: How public policy and institutions help drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and firm performance
Session 76: The evolution of the strategy as a profession and the field of strategy
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 12: Environmental Entrepreneurship: How and When do Entrepreneurs address Environmental Degradation?
Session 38: Big Game Hunting: Accessing and Interacting with Senior Executives for Empirical Research
Sun: 13:45 – 14:30
Session 307: Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Sun: 14:45 – 15:45
Session 7: New Frontiers in Technologies, Fields, and Business Models: Implications for Academic and Practice Knowledge Creation
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 61: The Institutional Level of Strategizing Activities
Session 261: Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Virtual Communities
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 72: External Influences: Audiences and Media
Session 126: Entry Mode & Cross-Border Acquisitions
Session 140: New Perspectives on the Outside Director Selection Process
Mon: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 8: Elevating our Understanding of Organizational Performance: Bridging the Frontiers of Business and Corporate Strategies
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 149: Management and Coordination of Multinationals
Session 220: Perspectives on CEO Compensation
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 16: Human Capital and Innovation
Session 37: Political Ties: Knots or Bows?
Session 63: Political and Material Aspects of Strategy Making
Session 97: Accelerators, corporate VCs and new venture creation
Session 258: Explainng CSR: External Factors
Mon: 15:15 – 16:15
Session 227: Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures: Reconfiguring Resource Bases for Value Creation and Growth
Session 308: Strategy Beyond the Firm: Creating and Capturing Value from External Resources
Session 310: When the Smoke Clears: The Emergence of the Cannabis Industry
Session 311: Theory Fragmentation in Strategic Management?
Session 312: Climate Change: Why and How Should Strategic Management Care?
Mon: 16:45 – 18:00
Session 42: The Word is Out! Stakeholder Responses to Public Signals of Firms' Behaviors
Session 112: Acquisitions - Before the Deal
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 309: Looking Good and Sounding Better: Impression Management by CEOs
Tue: 09:45 – 10:45
Session 9: Whatever Happened to Theory in Strategic Management?
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 70: CEO Characteristics: Microfoundations of Behavioral Strategy
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 116: Acquisitions - After the Deal
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 52: Entrepreneurial business models
Session 219: A Tough Crowd: Critical Examinations by Owners and Stakeholders
Session 262: Pioneering Knowledge
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 144: Board Structure: What Works Best?
Session 208: Internationalization Strategies and Performance

Strategic Management Society