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This evidence suggests that 19 strategic initiatives

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Unformatted text preview: and jury, objective discussion and rigorous analysis, are necessary to reach legitimation, the conditions of strategic fit and organizational grounding are decisive. This evidence suggests that 19 strategic initiatives will not succeed if there is no interplay between top and lower levels of management. Consequently, the legitimizing mechanism seems to appear as the result of interaction between these two levels. In all groups, legitimation was a condition for the further development of a strategic initiative and was the joint responsibility of top management and middle level managers. Evidence from the development of strategic initiatives found at RACC guided us through the theory development process. The diagram in Figure 4 zooms in from Figure 2, describing the shaping of strategic initiative. From the research findings and concept development, we have improved the quality of our ex ante framework. The framework presented in Figure 4 goes in detail into the development of strategic initiatives and aims at integrating the concepts of how top and middle level management interplay is solved. Figure 4. Strategic initiatives within Strategy-making (zooms in on strategic initiative block in Figure 2) Strategic Initiatives Fit with Objective Function TM TM MM & Bottom Levels Idea generation and issue selling Middle and Top Management Interplay MM Legitimation Smooth development of strategic initiatives Scratching The key issue in Figure 4 is that the interplay between top and middle management brings into being strategic initiatives. This interplay is the co-optation in which top managers and middle level managers yield legitimation. Internalized objectives and priorities as well as performance indicators produce strategic conversation, through which initiatives are developed. Idea generation and issue selling were observed as originating from all levels of the organization (i.e. top management (TM), middle management (MM) and organizational members (Bottom level), yet stemming from previously agreed strategic objectives. Once presented, initiatives are brought into middle and top management interplay. While middle managers contribute to this interplay with what we have called ‘scratching’, top management contributes with an assessment of strategic fit with the objective function. If this interplay produces legitimation, strategic initiatives will tend to develop rather smoothly. If legitimation is not granted to the initiative, it will tend to get stuck. The process conditions for legitimation to happen are the four conditions: distinctive roles, not playing judge and jury, objective discussion and rigorous analysis. The content conditions of each initiative are: to fit the objective function, and to pass the scratching scrutiny. 20 Discussion and Conclusions Discussion The refined model presented in Figures 2 and 4 shows one way to combine the strategy-making modes described by Hart (1991; 1992) and Hart and Banbury (1994). This is relevant since Hart and Banbury (1994) suggest that the capability to combine different modes enhan...
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