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11- RACC - Centro Anselmo Rubiralta de Globalizacin y...

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Centro Anselmo Rubiralta de Globalización y Estrategia Working Paper * Doctoral Candidate, IESE ** Professor, General Management, IESE IESE Business School - Universidad de Navarra Avda. Pearson, 21 - 08034 Barcelona. Tel.: (+34) 93 253 42 00 Fax: (+34) 93 253 43 43 Camino del Cerro del Águila, 3 (Ctra. de Castilla, km. 5,180) - 28023 Madrid. Tel.: (+34) 91 357 08 09 Fax: (+34) 91 357 29 13 Copyright© 2004, IESE Business School WP No 573 October, 2004 STRATEGY FORMATION EFFECTS ON MANAGERIAL ACTION: STRATEGY IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD Juan I. Canales* Joaquin Vilá**
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The Anselmo Rubiralta Center for Globalization and Strategy aims to be an international benchmark for companies, universities, business schools and governments. It promotes the exchange of ideas in the area of globalization and international strategy. The Center’s main objectives are to: Develop a conceptual structure that will help companies to understand and manage the impact of globalization and develop strategies of internationalization; Generate and disseminate new knowledge in this field; Develop new, high-quality teaching materials. www .iese.edu/globalcenter
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STRATEGY FORMATION EFFECTS ON MANAGERIAL ACTION: STRATEGY IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD Abstract This paper examines the interplay between top and middle level managers as strategy-making settles and in subsequent managerial action. It reports on an exploratory case study at a car service company that has an aggressive expansion strategy. The study examines the context and character of the strategy-making process and the specific evolution of fourteen strategic initiatives. Of particular interest was that the interplay between top managers and middle managers was resolved through a legitimizing mechanism. This interplay took place through deliberation and agreement, with extensive participation, and developed into shared views of strategy which provided legitimation. Once settled, strategic initiatives were subsequently developed in harmony with the strategic intent. This agreement provided guidance to carry out strategic initiatives and was a source of resilient strategic conversation. From analysis of the case, a model presenting how strategic intent interacts with the creation of strategic initiatives is presented. This model aims at overcoming the mutually exclusive bottom-up and top-down sources of influence, integrating both in a process model. Keywords : Strategy-making, middle management, top management, managerial action
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STRATEGY FORMATION EFFECTS ON MANAGERIAL ACTION: STRATEGY IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD Introduction One strand of theory and research has investigated how top managers shape strategy-making (Dess and Origer, 1987; Eisenhardt and Bourgeois, 1988; Fredrickson, 1984; Hambrick, 1981; Hambrick and Mason, 1984; Schwenk, 1995). In contrast, another large body of research has studied how middle managers act as agents of strategy-making (Dutton et al. , 1997; Floyd and Wooldridge, 1992; Kanter, 1982; Wooldridge and Floyd, 1990).
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