Strategy formation effects on managerial action: Strategy in the back of your head
Canales, Juan I.
This paper examines the interplay between top and middle level managers as strategy-making settles and in subsequent managerial action. It reports on an exploratory case study at a car service company that has an aggressive expansion strategy. The study examines the context and characteristics of the strategy-making process and the specific evolution of fourteen strategic initiatives. Of particular interest was that the interplay between top managers and middle managers was resolved through a legitimizing mechanism. This interplay took place through deliberation and agreement, with extensive participation, and developed into shared views of strategy which provided legitimation. Once settled, strategic initiatives were subsequently developed in harmony with the strategic intent. This agreement provided guidance to carry out strategic initiatives and was a source of resilient strategic conversation. From analysis of the case, a model presenting how strategic intent interacts with the creation of strategic initiatives is presented. This model aims at overcoming the mutually exclusive bottom-up and top-down sources of influence, integrating both in a process model.
Strategy-making; middle management; top management; managerial action;
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