Edited by Pietro Mazzola and Franz W. Kellermanns
Chapter 12: From Theory to Action: The Story of One Strategy
Paul N. Friga INTRODUCTION The professor gazed out of his windowless office and thought carefully about the task at hand. Develop a three year strategy for the consulting function at a top 20 business school. Rather than study or teach strategy, the time had come to actually craft a strategy. OK, now where to start? The purpose of this chapter is to give you a firsthand account of a strategy professor charged with putting strategy theory to work. This is intended to be a contribution to the growing literature on the process or practice of strategy. In essence, a micro based perspective of what is actually done during the strategizing within an organization. As I began my research and outlining for this paper, it dawned on me that a reasonable approach could be to adopt my teaching philosophy of experiential learning. In my mind, experiential learning begins with the identification of relevant theory, moves to application to an actual phenomenon, and then concludes with a reflection upon the process. So that is just what I decided to do for this chapter; what follows is my ‘experiential’ story of strategy development for a function within the business school. It all started when I was asked if I would be interested in coming back to the University of North Carolina (UNC) as the academic lead of the consulting programs. I was excited about the opportunity to return to my alma mater and especially about the chance to positively impact the consulting function...
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