Identity and Strategy
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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.
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Chapter 3: Identity and Strategy: A Dynamic Framework for Connecting the Past with the Future

Olaf G. Rughase


Having an impression about the concept of organizational identity and how it is defined in the current literature still leaves an open question about how organizational identity is related to strategy. In the course of this chapter two different temporal perspectives of organizational identity and their relation to strategy are reviewed: current organizational identities, representing past experiences in the present, are separated from desired organizational identities for the future. These relations are key to integrating organizational identity into conscious strategy making which in turn should result in desirable and attainable strategies for organizations. However, before illuminating these relationships between organizational identity and strategy, it is important to briefly clarify how ‘strategy’ is defined within this book. 3.1 STRATEGY: A CUSTOMER-ORIENTED DEFINITION AND ITS LINK TO ORGANIZATIONAL IDENTITY Strategy has become a catch-all term that is used as a single noun, a prefix or an adjective, to mean whatever one wants it to mean (see Hambrick and Fredrickson, 2001, p. 49; also Markides, 2004). This book will define strategy as the way in which an organization will achieve deliberately chosen competitive advantages. A similar definition can be found in Hanssmann (1995, p. 256), who says: ‘Strategie ist die Schaffung und Nutzung möglichst dauerhafter (verteidigungsfähiger) Konkurrenzvorteile’ [Strategy is the creation and usage of the most sustainable (defendable) competitive advantages]. Influenced by the works of Porter (1980 and 1985) in particular, the notions of competitive advantage and strategic positioning have become widespread...

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