Use and utility of exogenous strategy frameworks in strategy-making
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School of Business | Master's thesis
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AbstractGiven the importance of strategy making for the long-term survivial of firms, the increasing difficulty of strategy making in the complex environment, and the potential of frameworks to aid managers in strategy making, this study seeks an answer to the following questions: 1. Do managers use research-based strategy frameworks in business strategy-making? 2. Are externally generated strategy frameworks perceived to add value to strategy-making by managers? The study is a case study with an inductive approach. The primary method used is semi-structured interviews. The interviewees were business, strategy and other managers, chosen with a combination of purposeful and random selection. The key finding of the study is a paradox between the use and utility of frameworks in the case company. While the prevelance of use, at least as part of strategy processes, is high, the perceived value of framework use is low. More specifically, it seems to not matter to managers which framework is used. However, there was an indication that the perceived value relates to the type of benefit sought with the framework use. Those who indicated benefit connected to communicating strategy perceived framework utility as low. However, those who indicated additional benefits, such as analytical benefits, perceived framework utility as high. This difference might derive from the difference in the value of the activity itself, e.g analysis for strategy might be valued higher than communicating strategy. Collectively, frameworks might provide a very different spectrum of utility in different uses.
strategy frameworks, strategy tools, strategy models