Session 65

Strategy Practice, Identity and Sensemaking

Track J

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Time: 14:15 – 15:30


Room: Governor's Square 16

Session Chair:

  • Emmanuelle Reuter, University of St. Gallen

Title: Dark-Suit, White-Shirt and Black-Oxfords: Necessity or Choice? Juggling Boundaries Through Consumption in Organizational Identity Work


  • Hedon Blakaj, Aalto University
  • Iiro Vaniala, Aalto University
  • Alexei Gloukhovtsev, Aalto University
  • Henrikki Tikkanen, Aalto University
  • Ilona Mikkonen, Aalto University

Abstract: This study explores how employees of a consultancy firm practice identity work through consumption which, is reflected on firm’s strategy. Our findings suggest that (i) consumption fosters homology between consultants and clients, (ii) consultants use consumption to construct a sense of personal identity as well as to perform work-related tasks, (iii) consultants’ consumption practices are influenced by the organizational identity, and (iv) organizational identity is refined through consultants’ consumption practices. We discuss the importance of consumption to organizational identity and identity work, and the role of consumption in strategy execution, and argue that it is beneficial for firms to manage the interplay between consumption, identity work and organizational identity.

Title: In Search of Sensemaking Cues: Middle Managers’ Interactions on the Process of International Acquisitions


  • Gustavo Birollo, HEC-Montreal

Abstract: International acquisitions found middle managers from both organizations interacting at the acquired facility with the goal of implementing the intended strategy. We argue that this implementation is shaped by a sensemaking process. Based on a qualitative study and on middle managers interactions, we analyze the way middle managers search for cues to retrofit their sensemaking exercises. We know that discursive and symbolic elements are important components of these cues. Notwithstanding, in this context we found that “task-sharing” practices become an important source of cue extraction. The importance of these findings is that they enhance the value of middle managers day-to-day concrete actions during the actual performance of tasks, for over their discursive abilities, for their essential sensemaking excercises.

Title: Managing Cross-generation Transition: Process Model of Sensemaking to Examine Relative Preparedness to Survive beyond Founder


  • Kajari Mukherjee, Indian Institute of Management Indore

Abstract: The process model of sensemaking explains how first-generation owner-manager thinks, discusses and acts for growth, consolidation and continuance of the enterprise. Sensemaking is a process through which people give meaning to experience. Thus, if a set of internal “experiences” are captured as a process model, it becomes easier to assess the relative preparedness of transition by taking a deep look at status and sophistication of certain key processes within such an enterprise. A set of cognitive, linguistic and conative dimensions is proposed to identify relative readiness of an enterprise to survive and grow under subsequent generation. Recognizing patterns of interrelationships among these dimensions will lead to better understanding of the transition process. Based on open-ended exploratory study in three companies, one particular pattern is highlighted.

Title: Practising Strategizing: The Impact of Reflexivity in the Performativity of Strategy


  • Elena Antonacopoulou, University of Liverpool
  • Gelson Junquilho, Federal University of Espirito Santo

Abstract: This paper contributes to our understanding of the impact of the performativity of strategy by drawing attention to the role of choice, practical judgment and learning as aspects of reflexivity. It will be argued that reflexivity is integral to the dynamic character of strategy practice discussed here by introducing the notion of practising strategizing. Practising strategizing captures the way strategy practices emerge in every day action, revealing the ways practitioners make choices, form their judgments and take actions, whose consequences generate lessons which inform future strategic action. Drawing on rich narrative accounts of the lived experience of performing strategy in the implementation of the educational policy in Brazil, from the perspective of a Secretary of Education, this paper shows that central to the performativity of strategy is the way practitioners embody their practice through the choices and judgments that guide such actions.

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

Strategic Management Society