In this initiative legitimation was achieved before

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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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