Edited by Pietro Mazzola and Franz W. Kellermanns
Chapter 3: The Politics of Strategy Process
Duane Windsor Strategic management theory and practice concern managerial decision making within long-term objectives for the organization. The scope of topics falling within the discipline of strategic management is quite broad. Two distinct foci of research attention by organizational level exist. Macro strategy research emphasizes organization-level strategy content; micro strategy research emphasizes intra-organizational activity affecting strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation processes. The study of strategy content, concerning what managers decide to do, is dominated by economic conceptions. This macro-level research focuses on senior executives, boards of directors and unit heads. Strategy process, concerning how managers behave and units function at all levels of organizational structure, is dominated by psychological and sociological conceptions. Micro-level research extends attention to lower-level managers and small groups. Process research is studying practices and activities in detail as micro sources of or intra-organizational influences on strategy content. The process orientation, emphasizing micro-level practices and activities, has helped open the door for revitalization of systematic study of internal politics at both macro and micro levels of organizational decision making. (External politics concerns environment–organization interaction in the forms of business–government and external–stakeholder relations.) The role of internal politics is still a neglected, or at least under-explored, dimension of strategy process. There was a classic literature on organizational (i.e. internal) politics, but early attention tended to decline in relative importance as economic and psychological–sociological conceptions matured. Scholars and practitioners understand that organizational politics is ubiquitous in the two general forms of office politics (i.e. interpersonal...
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