Criticisms have been levelled at the use of traditional strategic tools such as SWOT, PEST and BCG in contemporary business environments. In light of these criticisms, the objective of this research is to understand how senior executives engage with methodologies and tools as they develop competitive strategy. Within a broader Strategy-as-Practice (S-as-P) approach, we use an Activity Theory framework to capture strategising insights of senior executives in the UK responsible for competitive strategy. Our sample included executives leading manufacturing organisations embedded in networks and CEOs reported in the financial press as adopting innovative business models. Our data suggests there is no one preferred practice approach by these highly regarded executives. Rather, methods and tools are adapted as they are contextualised in alternative practices. Three dominant strategising practice models emerged from the data reflecting alternative applications of methodologies and tools. The first model captures routinised behaviour adopted by those who view their future as predictable, and an extension of the current environment. The second model posits reflective interaction between the strategist, organisational processes, culture, relationships and practice, and the final model shows an imposed engagement with strategising methodologies and tools that bypass the organisation's collective structures. These practice models suggest strategy leaders' activities depend upon their interpretation of the operating environment.
Jarratt, D., & Stiles, D. (2010). How are methodologies and tools framing managers' strategizing practice in competitive strategy development. British Journal of Management, 21(1), 28-43. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8551.2009.00665.x