Elgar Research Agendas
Edited by Barbara Czarniawska
Chapter 4: Stepping on the toes of giants, or how to review the future of strategy research
Which questions will preoccupy strategy research during the next decade? One way to answer this question would be to climb on the shoulders of giants in the field. From such an elevated position one could comfortably survey the field, and perhaps be lucky enough to identify one or the other line of flight that would point towards unchartered territory and new horizons. One would probably see strategy as practice scholars busily ploughing away, extending the reach and scope of what a practice approach to strategizing might entail (Vaara and Whittington, 2012); one would see an increasing emphasis on all things material based on the idea that ‘matter matters’ (Orlikowski and Scott, 2014, referencing Barad, 2007); resource-based strategy researchers would still be in search of managerial capabilities and their impact on performance (Teece et al., 1997). At the other end of the spectrum one might see neo-institutionally inspired researchers working their way through the strategy field to show that basic concepts of strategy including rivalry and competition are framed by institutional processes (Durand and Paolella, 2012); and perhaps one would spot some renegades, scattered critical spirits that follow the emergent nature of strategizing searching for inspiration in anything but Mintzberg (Chia and Holt, 2011). And if one climbed further up, from the shoulders to the heads of those giants, one could see adjacent fields, such as accounting studies (Carter et al., 2010), media studies (Plesner and Gulbrandsen, 2015), ANT-inspired accounts of strategy (Whittle and Mueller, 2010), military strategy (Freedman, 2013) and others cultivating pastures in an interdisciplinary dialogue with strategists.
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