Edited by Pietro Mazzola and Franz W. Kellermanns
Chapter 7: Putting the Manager Back into the Picture: The Value of a Strategy Process Perspective
Torsten Schmid, Steven W. Floyd and Bill Wooldridge INTRODUCTION This essay argues that strategy process literature can and should inform recently emerging theoretical and empirical research on the microfoundations of strategic management. We start with the observation that the individual manager as focal point of inquiry currently experiences a renaissance. Scholars interested in established theories, such as institutional theory or the resource-based view, and well-known empirical topics, such as diversification or organizational structure, are in search of micro-foundations (Johnson et al., 2003). Interest in strategic decisionmaking and cognition has also re-entered the mainstream. In addition, distinctly micro approaches provide impetus to fields such as strategy-aspractice (Johnson et al., 2003) and entrepreneurial learning (Cope, 2005). The re-consideration of individuals as a fundamental level of analysis springs from several motivations. First, it provides an opportunity to operationalize more aggregated concepts such as strategy, corporate entrepreneurship and dynamic capability. In doing so, it has the potential to illuminate the individual-level origins and micro-foundations of these collective entities as well as their theoretical and empirical status. Second, a focus that begins with the individual advances the potential to link micro- and macro-level outcomes. Micro approaches re-consider heterogeneity in individual dispositions and behaviors as a ‘basic factor’ (Barnard, 1938) in explaining organizational effectiveness, for example. Third, micro approaches provide a better understanding of subjectivity, intent and managerial agency in today’s complex, dynamic settings. Finally, micro-level research informs management education and practice and speaks to the conditions necessary for competent behavior at work. A more comprehensive...
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