Unformatted text preview: d efforts from the whole organization, as
the subsistence of the business unit was at stake. In this initiative, legitimation was achieved
before second level management had scratched on the project. At the definition phase, the fit
with existing strategy was deemed agreed between managerial levels. The specific
assessment was done after legitimation, inverting the sequence observed in other initiatives.
The reason for this was that change was perceived as necessary, and any specific scratching
would not alter that fact. Hence, top management gave way for second level managers to
translate the idea of change into a specific initiative.
The legitimation mechanism gave official sanction to a new way to follow the
strategic intent, since the former plan was not a stiff and rigid program. The development of
initiative twelve suggests that, although change was prompted by an external event, second
level and top management interplay unraveled the predicament. Top management was
judicious enough to let second level management figure out the specific characteristics of the
project, trusting that it would make the best possible choice. This trust stemmed from top
management’s awareness that the frame of reference, carried in the back of second level
managers’ minds, would suffice. Revitalization originated in induced behavior, and it
succeeded because managers drew from internalized strategy.
In the ‘cascade’ group, top management, namely the Board of Directors, delivered
initiatives. Then, a unit manager would be given the assignment. He/she, together with the
unit’s team, would then evaluate its feasibility and potential value. Subsequently, initiatives
had to be presented to the executive committee. In the ‘cascade’ group, it was hard for an
initiative to achieve legitimation unless it was widely considered as crucial. Support in the
organization depended on how grounded the initiative was in the organizational members. In 18 one of the unsuccessful initiatives, namely initiative number 8, the definition was devised
ambiguously by top management, was not seized by unit level managers (middle level), and
so was kept asleep. Although top management believed that it fitted with the existing
strategy, the initiative was not grounded in the organization. Specifically, it was a service that
fitted into the logic of the strategic intent, as it involved providing the whole package of
services along with vehicle rental. Despite its fit, it did not take root at unit level. That
prevented any interplay between top and lower level managers. Without interplay, no
legitimation took place. While the initiative was kept as a project, it was never developed any
further. We were informed that this initiative would probably be abandoned in the future.
However, not all ‘cascade’ group initiatives failed. Initiative number one, for
instance, was also developed in cascade, but was deeply grounded in the organization, as the
logical path for the company’s growth. Furthermore, it had a strong emotional component for
RACC’s employees. Organizational alignment with the purpose of t...
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- Spring '14
- Management, strategic initiatives