Session Details: Session 1111

Capabilities of Strategy Practitioners

Track J

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Time: 14:30 – 15:45


Room: Salon 5

Session Chair:
Sotirios Paroutis, University of Warwick

Title: Making it Happen: Leadership and the Practice of Strategy


  • Tobias Fredberg, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Michael Beer, Harvard University
  • Russell Eisenstat, TruePoint
  • Nathaniel Foote, TruePoint
  • Flemming Norrgren, Chalmers University of Technology

Abstract: This paper deals with how CEOs of top performing global firms act to create strategic change in their organizations. Research on top management leadership has been more concentrated on values, attitudes and traits than on what they do. Studies that describe leadership practices, often focus on everyday action. The focus in this paper is top leaders action to make strategy happen. In-depth interviews with 25 CEOs were made to understand the practices that these CEOs try to apply. The leaders seem to act through a paradoxical combination of trying to be “omnipresent” and at the same time stay away as much as possible to empower lower level leaders and employees. The paper informs the academic discussion on leadership and on strategizing in organizations.

Title: Scenarios of Successful Issue Sustaining: Activities for Senior Managers


  • Basak Yakis-Douglas, University of Oxford

Abstract: This paper’s primary aim is to uncover three scenarios of successful Strategic Issue Sustaining and related activities for senior managers to achieve these. Beyond using abstract categories such as ‘politicking’, I delve into nitty-gritty reality of their practice – for example, controlling meeting agendas and minutes or adapting flight schedules to get CEO time. Building on evidence from 26 issues from five longitudinal case studies, this paper has begun to elucidate the activities particularly associated with successful Strategic Issue Sustaining. Three categories of activity, namely, organizing, boostering, and agenda management are associated with protecting, augmenting and recovering resources. In each case, consistent with the practice perspective, this paper has explored the level of detailed, real activity in order to discover what managers actually do.

Title: The Roles of Strategy Directors and Strategy Teams in Large Firms


  • Sotirios Paroutis, University of Warwick
  • Duncan Angwin, Lancaster University

Abstract: In most large firms the way strategy is made and executed evolves around a particular set of strategists: the in-house strategy staff. Yet, our understanding about who these strategists are, what kinds of abilities they require, and how they and their teams support the upper echelons during the strategy process, remains fairly limited. This study addresses these gaps by focusing upon the specific activities of strategy directors and strategy teams during the strategy process. In researching these issues using a longitudinal approach, this paper aims to clarify the actual, and changing over time, roles of strategy directors and their teams, and in particular, identify specific capabilities central to the performance of their roles.

Title: Understanding Dynamic Capabilities Through Processes: Outlining a Practice-Based Perspective


  • Panagiotis Kokkalis, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Mike Zundel, University of Liverpool

Abstract: The dynamic capabilities literature increasingly recognizes the importance of managerial processes. However, the ways in which these processes can be conceptualized and linked with dynamic capabilities remains problematic. This paper draws on a practice perspective of organizational life and proposes a heuristic framework linking organizational activities, shared understandings, and reflection with dynamic capabilities. This perspective maintains that managers draw upon tacit knowledge and shared understandings, rendering their activities largely habitual and non-purposive. Reflection, on the other hand, is not a constant, omni-present feature of organizational processes, but occurs primarily when engaged practical activity is interrupted. It is suggested that the recognition and transformation of dynamic capabilities is closely tied to reflection. This paper develops this perspective and outlines implications for the study of dynamic capabilities.

All Sessions in Track J...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1506: Practitioner Cases: Linking Research with New Strategy Practices
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 1605: Theoretical Perspective of Practice: The Practice Approach
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 1706: Theoretical Perspective of Practice: Strategy-as-Practice
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1109: What Is Strategy-as-Practice?
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1116: The Different Roles of Strategy Tools
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1112: Workshops, Meetings, Models and Tools in Strategizing
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1114: Strategic Planning is Alive!
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1111: Capabilities of Strategy Practitioners
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1113: Innovating Change to Improve Business
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1115: Identifying Strategizing in Practice

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference