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Strategy-as-Practice: Home

Provides relevant information and training help for Unisa Business Management postgraduate students

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This subject guide provides information on how to navigate the Library's key resources relevant to students in the field of Strategy-as-Practice with training manuals on how to use the various sources 

Explore the different resources and contact vzylmm@unisa.ac.za if you need any assistance.

 

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What is strategic planning?

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment. It is a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful.

Definition taken from http://balancedscorecard.org/Resources/Strategic-Planning-Basics

Strategy-as-practice: Research Agenda

Strategy-as-practice research is interested in the activities that constitute strategy making. The turn towards practices in the strategy literature echoes an increased interest in human practices in the social sciences (Schatzki, Cetina & Von Savigny, 2001) and, more recently, in organisational and management research. Strategy-as-practice responds to calls for research into the minutiae of organisational life and the practices that constitute the “internal life of process” (Brown & Duguid, 2000; Chia & MacKay, 2007; Feldman & Pentland, 2003; Tsoukas & Chia, 2002). It particularly resonates with Weick’s (1979) suggestion to make more extravagant use of verbs and gerunds, such as “to organise” and “organising”, and to become “stingy” in the use of nouns such as “organisation” to re-envisage organisations as processes rather than states. The departure from such static and reified concepts in practice research is intended to bring back the actor into the research landscape (Whittington, 2006). Schatzki (1997:284) argues that practice-theoretical approaches are united by the proposition that practical understanding and intelligibility are articulated in practices; that they are situated in manifolds of activity.

Strategy-as-practice research is interested in the detailed micro activities that constitute strategising and the link between these activities and wider social organisational and social contexts, also referred to as macro contexts. Strategy-as-practice research draws upon, inter alia, sociological approaches (e.g. Bourdieu, 1990; Giddens, 1984; Schatzki 2005) that attempt to overcome the micro–macro dualisms that characterise orthodox organisational research. In addition, theoretical pluralism is encouraged with the recognition of the potential contributions from a wide range of sociological and organisation theories, such as practice-based, institutional, discourse, sense-making, routines, and cognition. One integrative framework developed within the strategy-aspractice literature defines its broad research parameters as studying: practitioners (those people who do the work of strategy); practices (the social, symbolic and material tools through which strategy work is done); and praxis (the flow of activity in which strategy is accomplished) (Jarzabkowski, 2005; Jarzabkowski, Balogun & Seidl, 2007; Johnson, Langley, Melin & Whittington, 2007; Whittington, 2006). These three elements represent an entry into the study of strategising activity that differs from existing “top-down” approaches that work with reified notions of “the firm” and “strategy”.

Strategy-as-practice research is moreover open to a variety of research methodologies and methods to the study of strategic practices, inviting scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds to contribute to our understanding of the actions and routines that constitute strategising.

Source: http://www.sap-in.org/research-agenda

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