Strategic Flexibility has been widely cited as a critical success factor and capability for navigating today’s complex and dynamic business landscape. Despite this recognition, there remain considerable challenges in the conceptual understanding and implementation of this strategic principle. Strategic flexibility has also been linked to strategic decision making as the extent to which new and alternative options in strategic decision making are generated and considered. This relationship plays a key role in effective firm response and when combined with a strategically designed leadership pipeline it can result in a valuable source of competitive advantage. Yet we know very little about the interplay between particular environments and the factors that influence executives’ strategic frames as little empirical research has been conducted in this area.
Therefore, this study extends knowledge of these relationships by investigating the strategic frames of senior executives, the contexts and the factors that influence their capability for cognitive strategic flexibility. The study explores strategic thinking and decision-making at the individual and organizational levels. Thus, it falls under the Individual and Organizational Minds research stream with significant influence by the two cognitive branches of Information Processing Perspective and Ideological Perspectives. A qualitative and inductive case study method was employed with the use of the Kelley Repertory Grid Interview technique. Consistent with the interpretivist philosophy, this qualitative research focuses on the perceptions and experiences of the participants in the work context.
The study revealed multiple factors inhibiting the cognitive strategic flexibility of the individual executives. It also develops new conceptual connections between the Strategic Flexibility and Ambidexterity research streams that show promise for enabling strategic thinking in practice. The inductive creation of the new iSCOPE Framework from this research provides a useful tool that integrates academic theories and facilitates the development of intervention solutions that are concrete, mutually reinforcing and systematic