1998 this study aims to shed light on these

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Unformatted text preview: et al., (1998). This study aims to shed light on these difficulties by studying the interplay between the middle and top levels and their respective sources of influence. In addition, with this study we face a key challenge of strategy process research, as pointed out by Chakravarthy and Doz (1992): “The challenge now is to cut across the three tracks of [change] concept, administrative systems and managerial behavior so as to produce strategic action and firm performance (1992: 9).” This study provides insight into how strategy can affect managerial action through strategy-making, in order to produce renewal. Strategic renewal is defined as “an evolutionary process associated with promoting, accommodating, and utilizing new knowledge and innovative behavior in order to bring about change in an organization’s core competencies and/or change in its product market domains (Floyd and Lane, 2000: 155)”. Consistent with Burgelman (1991), Floyd and Lane (2000) and Huff et al. (1992), we view strategic renewal as an iterative organizational process of developing the organization’s core competencies with the purpose of aligning the organizational strategy with changing environmental circumstances. Theoretical Background In this section we will present the basic concepts of strategy-making that we have used in our case research. These concepts involve the roles of the participants in strategymaking embedded in the two main processes that describe strategy-making, namely induced and autonomous. Strategy-making can be viewed as the result of multilevel organizational interplay (Bower, 1970; Hart, 1992). Different modes of strategy-making result from the varying roles top management and organizational members play in strategy-making and, consequently, how those roles interrelate (Hart, 1992; Hart and Banbury, 1994). Building on Hart’s (1992) modes of strategy-making, we specify possible roles for top and middle management levels. The role played by top management can range from one in which they dispatch strategy to organizational members, to one in which top management sponsors lower level managers’ initiatives emerging from below. Likewise, organizational members’ role can range from one in which they merely receive strategy and then implement it, to one in which they undertake entrepreneurial initiatives. Each combination of these roles portrays an extreme mode of strategy-making. In between these two extremes, top management’s role will usually be to provide a sense of direction, while organizational members’ role will be to participate to some degree in strategy-making (Hart, 1992). These modes, developed from different forms of multilevel interplay, will determine strategy-making characteristics. Along this multilevel interplay, strategy-making processes have been described as comprising induced and autonomous behavior (Burgelman, 1983c; 1983a; 1983b; 1991; 1996). Induced behavior represents the guiding character of strategy. “The induced process concerns initiatives that are within the scope of the organization’s current strategy and build 3 on existing organizational learning (Burgelman, 1991: 241)”, generally but not always car...
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