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organizational members was the outstanding feature of RACC’s strategy-making process.
The sequence observed, from objective function setting to participative strategy-making,
ending in agreed upon objectives from which strategic initiatives were generated, is shown
schematically in Figure 2. This refined framework presents a multi-level interplay between
middle managers (MM) and top managers (TM). Top management sets and conveys the
objective function, which is grounded in the organization and perceived as ambitious and 13 feasible. The interaction between participation and conveyance produces dialogue and
deliberation between top management and lower managerial levels. Thus, the objective
function and its subsequent strategic objectives build into a shared understanding or agreed
upon guidelines. Subsequently, strategic initiatives are generated in compliance with strategic
objectives. The dotted box for strategic initiatives denotes that this segment’s finding will be
discussed in the next section.
Evidence at RACC suggests that this participative practice strikes the very purpose
of strategy-making. Through strategy-making, strategy is not only formed, but also endorsed
by lower level managers. In addition, thanks to this same pattern of interaction between
managerial levels, the system is open to revise strategic objectives when needed. In contrast
to our ex ante framework, this framework does not show three sub-processes. Though the
objective function setting (process 1) turns out, as expected, to be driven by top management
(TM), it converges into participative objective setting and results in agreed strategic
objectives. At this stage, TM interacts with middle managers (MM). Process 2 (issue selling
and idea generation) happens partly within participation and partly within strategic
initiatives; while process 3 (managerial work and project development) does not appear as a
key process. On the contrary, during participation in strategy-making the emphasis was
placed on analysis of the potential future and not on current projects. In addition, managerial
interplay was found to occur periodically, through tracking and revision, rather than just
once, as had been expected.
Figure 2. Diagram for Strategy-Making
in StrategyMaking MMM Strategic
TM MM 14 Patterns in Strategic Initiatives
Using the Bower-Burgelman scheme, we inductively interpreted field data for the
evolution of fourteen strategic initiatives at RACC. Our aim was to build theory on how
strategic intent was translated into action through the development of strategic initiatives. An
example of a critical path, as was developed for all initiatives, is shown in the examples in
Figure 3, and a brief description of each initiative is given in Table 2. The data for each
initiative, obtained through interviews and company documents, was placed into the matrix,
according to whe...
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- Spring '14