Identity and Strategy

Identity and Strategy

How Individual Visions Enable the Design of a Market Strategy that Works

Olaf G. Rughase

This groundbreaking book explores the relationship between organizational identity and strategy and proposes a practical strategy making process that helps to avoid the typical pitfalls in strategic change processes. In doing so, the author bridges an important gap in management and strategy literature and explains how to practically link content and process when designing market strategies. A new conceptual framework is also presented which emphasizes the importance and dynamics of organizational identity and corresponding time discrepancies for strategy making.


Anne S. Huff

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, strategic management


Anne Sigismund Huff Scholars/practitioners shaped management disciplines and helped systemize practice until about 50 years ago. Unfortunately, from my point of view, the double agenda is not seen as often today. But this book shows why it is important, and how it can be achieved. Olaf Rughase draws on his experience and academic training to develop a new approach to designing strategies that are likely to be successfully implemented in the marketplace. This topic has been central to strategic management from its inception and is of increasing interest in many other fields. Still, most observers are likely to agree with Michael Tushman’s presentation of the current situation: ‘Inertia is so, so, so strong that few companies are able to succeed in their attempts to move away from current technologies and current customers.’1 It is generally agued that ‘stress’ motivates organizations that try to find new ground. Most of the literature, both academic and practice oriented, tends to emphasize the negative impact of competitors’ success, declining revenues, eroding customer bases, and other disappointments, though galvanizing opportunities from changing technologies, customer demographics and the like are also recognized. A few argue that positives within the organization, such as strong returns, are also potentially stressful and likely to lead to strategic change.2 Olaf Rughase makes a similar point, but his positive position is the ‘desired future identity’ of the organization, initially articulated by individuals and then melded into a mutually agreed ideal. Though it is not framed in these terms, I am interested...