Handbook of Research on Strategy Process
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Handbook of Research on Strategy Process

Edited by Pietro Mazzola and Franz W. Kellermanns

The Handbook of Research on Strategy Process reveals the current state of the art of strategy process research as a whole as well as emerging research initiatives. It also discusses managerial and organizational factors affecting strategy implementation.
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Chapter 8: Making Strategy Work: A Literature Review on the Factors Influencing Strategy Implementation

Li Yang, Guo-hui Sun and Martin J. Eppler


* Li Yang, Guo-hui Sun and Martin J. Eppler INTRODUCTION Although formulating a consistent strategy is a difficult task for any management team, making that strategy work – implementing it throughout the organization – is even more challenging (Hrebiniak, 2006). Strategy implementation has received less systematic attention than one could expect, and it has been under-investigated in comparison with strategy formulation. As a dynamic, iterative and complex process, strategy implementation comprises a series of decisions and activities by managers and employees – affected by a number of interrelated internal and external factors – to turn strategic plans into reality in order to achieve strategic objectives. There are many factors that influence the success of strategy implementation, ranging from the people who communicate or implement the strategy to the systems or mechanisms in place for coordination and control. How can we better understand these issues and their importance for successful strategy implementation? In this article, we try to respond to this question by conducting an analysis in the most widely used literature databases to identify key factors influencing the process of strategy implementation, to surface current areas of agreement and disagreement, as well as missing evidence and resulting future research needs. Our study also examines the ways in which strategy implementation has been researched, in terms of the applied research methods and the examined strategy contexts. It will consequently also reveal under-exploited methods or contexts. The structure of this paper is as follows: First, we describe the methodology that we have used to conduct our literature...

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