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Strategy as evolving interpretation: a closer look at the organisational impact of the Euro

By Arjen van den Berg

Abstract

Recent strategy formation process literature has claimed organisations increasingly have to adjust dynamically their characteristics to the requirements of the environment by constantly changing their strategies and strategic capabilities (e.g. Brown & Eisenhardt, 1997; Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1998; Mintzberg, 1994). Behind these claims lies the interest to develop an interdisciplinary view of strategy that captures the interplay between the company and its business environment. This thesis makes a marked contribution to this debate by arguing that a key component in a firm’s strategic response to a change in market conditions is the result of the interpretation people develop about the event itself. It is argued that this development is a context dependent process, with outcomes emerging not merely as a product of bounded rational debates, but also shaped by the interest, commitment, and perception of individual organisational members. This study therefore argues that an understanding of the development of this cognition/action relationship is critical. This research seeks to shed light on the question: “How do managers of multinational firms perceive and respond to the impact of the Euro over time?”\ud \ud A qualitative case study methodology was used to examine the context dependent cognition/action relationship in eight multinational organisations by tracing the intended strategy before the event took place, and compare it with the realised strategy after the Euro was introduced. In total 87 interviews and 16 focus group discussions were conducted to capture the plausible and coherent explanations. Our study suggests the probability of firms introducing new strategies quickly and proactively depends on the anticipation, interpretation and capability of managers to recognise and to exploit changes. Motivation to do so is based on the perceived match or mismatch of the developments with the strategy in use prior to change

Topics: HD28
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2841

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