Strategy development in practice

Strategy workshops

Strategy workshops and away days are common occurrences in most public and private sector organisations. They are seen as an important component of the strategy development process. However we know very little about their effectiveness. For the last three years, this research project has sought to understand the relationship between the practices adopted in such workshops, how they contribute to managers’ thinking about the strategy of an organisation and the implications for the adoption of proposals arising from those workshops.  

For more information contact Gerry Johnson.


Strategic planning

Strategic planning has a variable reputation, with some attacking it as an annual ritual delivering little value and others arguing for the benefits it provides in terms of enabling strategic integration across business units, and the development of commitment of common strategic goals. Despite these disputes as to its value, and the difficulties in practice of achieving commitment to shared goals through communication and participation, organisations continue to invest considerable time and resources in strategic planning. Indeed it could be argued that as increasing numbers of organisations seek to gain advantage from integration across countries and regions, yet also simultaneously allow local market differentiation as appropriate, the potential benefits offered by strategic planning mechanisms may become more important. This research project explores how strategic planning can be implemented to overcome the obstacles to using it as a mechanism to deliver strategic integration. 

For more information contact Duncan Angwin.


Strategic decision making in meetings

One of the most critical events within the overall organisational activity of strategizing is the process of strategic decision-making. This process is often unfolds within the context of meetings, and is often highly political rather than entirely rational. Actions taken at meetings can have significant consequences for an organisation’s overall strategic direction and positioning. From experience we know that decision outcomes can be influenced by both the skill with which both sides of a decision are positioned and argued, as well as the relative power possessed by those making the decision. Yet we still know very little about how this dynamic plays out. This research project seeks to understand how the real-time dynamic interplay of various individuals’ discursive strategies can influence the outcome of the strategic decision-making process. The project draws on a study within a large multinational corporation and the boards of directors of two separate business units during their monthly strategy meetings over a six-month period.

For more information contact Duncan Angwin.