Strategy Making in a Crisis
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Strategy Making in a Crisis

From Analysis to Imagination

Michael Gibbert

Which strategy making approach works best in a crisis? In current literature, the recommendations oscillate between prediction, control, and practice, but this unique book focuses specifically on strategy making in a crisis.
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The three imaginations in practice

Michael Gibbert


Chapter 3 looked at a theoretical framework for crafting strategy imaginatively, called the strategy-making matrix. The matrix integrates the three major perspectives of strategy content research (descriptive imagination, creative imagination and challenging imagination) in three steps derived from strategy process research (envisaging, conceiving and realizing). The next stage is to validate the matrix empirically. In order to shed more light on the various elements of the strategy making matrix, I adopted the single-embedded case study as the research strategy of choice (Gibbert, Ruigrok and Wicki, 2008; Yin, 1994). My subject? ElectroCorp, is a major firm in the electronics and electrical engineering industry.1 As I shall outline further on, at the time of the research, ElectroCorp was operating under difficult economic conditions. The way in which ElectroCorp used imagination may therefore hold important lessons for other crises. My primary research objective was to empirically validate the logic and soundness of the theoretical propositions comprising the strategy-making matrix by answering the question: how does ElectroCorp craft strategy using the three imaginations (descriptive creative, and challenging) and the three steps (envisaging, conceiving and realizing)? Based on the theoretical framework developed in the previous chapter, then, the empirical study endeavors to shed light on the specifics of ElectroCorp’s approach to strategy making by attempting to answer two further questions: (1) what is the relative importance of the three imaginations in crafting strategy imaginatively? and (2) what is the role and importance of sequencing the steps in crafting strategy imaginatively? RESEARCH METHODOLOGY At the inception...

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