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.

Chapter 4: The Impact of Desired Identities: What Does it Mean for Strategy Making in Practice?

Olaf G. Rughase

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, strategic management


Strategy is a human construction; it must in the long run be responsive to human needs. It must ultimately inspire commitment. It must stir an organization to successful striving against competition. People have to have their hearts in it. (Andrews, 1987, p. 63) The framework developed in Chapter 3, and the likelihood of time-based discrepancies that it reveals, demonstrate the importance of desired organizational identity for strategy making. A vision of the organization’s future (‘who should we be?’) and a source of strong motivation to alter current organizational identities affects the aim of strategy making in an organic way. The framework illustrates a close interdependency between desired organizational identity and a future market strategy. Consequently, the identification of desired organizational identity should be adequately considered and methodologically integrated into strategy making (see Brown and Starkey, 2000, p. 110; Bouchikhi and Kimberly, 2003; Haslam et al., 2003a). However, before this integration can be done it is important to review the impact of desired organizational identities on strategy making in practice. This chapter will identify and formulate four new requirements for designing a practical strategy making process that are derived from the insights and conclusions of the organizational identity framework introduced in Chapter 3: 1. 2. 3. 4. Developing a consensually shared desired identity as a new starting point. Accepting the consensually shared desired identity as a new measure in the process of strategy making. Achieving an attainable market strategy that is creative at the same time. Using skilled...

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