Strategiatyökalujen organisaatiopoliittinen käyttö konsernin muutostilanteessa

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School of Business | Doctoral thesis (monograph) | Defence date: 2012-05-25
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Organisaatiot ja johtaminen
Organization and Management
Degree programme
Aalto University publication series. DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 48/2012
This dissertation examines the use of strategy tools in an organizational political context. The term organizational politics refers to the activities of individuals and organizational sub-groups which promote their own views and interests. Organizational politics involve actions with which individuals and sub-groups acquire, create and use power. This dissertation is a case study of a large insurance and financial services company undergoing a significant change. The empirical data was produced by participatory methods. Admission to the case organization was achieved by utilizing a consulting project ongoing in the organization. The researcher was involved in the project as a representative of the consulting company. A great majority of research exploring strategy tools has taken little notice of the organizational political aspect. However, very recently a few such studies have appeared. This dissertation participates in this emerging discussion of strategy tool usage by enlightening the phenomenon of the organizational politics of choosing and customizing strategy tools. The research results show that different activity-based managerial groups may for organizational political reasons strongly disagree about the most suitable strategy process model for their organization. The managerial groups of the case organization actively legitimized their own views of the perfect strategy process model. They promised success for the organization as a whole by using attractive managerial and economic criteria. Deeper analysis, however, reveals that each suggested model would have significantly strengthened the position of the supporting managerial group at the expense of other managerial groups. The example of the case organization shows that the executives at the highest corporate level may find means to turn this power struggle phenomenon to their benefit – even in the midst of a difficult and tense structural change. Competition for control of the strategy process can be steered from the present towards the future. This is done by launching new strategy tools designed for the calmer future already in the middle of the ongoing dramatic change, and by giving the power hungry managerial groups special privileges in developing these strategy tool solutions of tomorrow. All this has great potential to turn the organization's critical organizational political attention away from the acute strategy process. This dissertation also identifies and considers other related mechanisms of the organizational political use of strategy tools. Furthermore, it offers explanations to how the organizational political use of strategy tools is possible in the first place.
Supervising professor
Lilja, Kari, professor
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