If Learning is a Cost without a Benefit, then Sod the Learning: What Strategy Means in Practice to UK Business Leaders

David Stiles, Denise Jarratt

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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    Abstract

    Many cognitive frameworks guide strategy; but few surface those frameworks most salient to business practice. We argue mental frameworks are composed of both literal and imaginative knowledge: the former helps to build models of the world, the latter analogical constructs. Both influence the discourse and behaviour of strategic leaders and constitute what we describe as knowledge domains. After exploring the knowledge domains predicted by the literature, we determine those evident in the discourse of some of the UK's most influential corporate leaders. We present in-depth interview data from 2002-7 with 30 British CEOs and Chairs regarded by peers as demonstrating best practice in strategy. Although leaders disappointingly rely on conventional strategy models; they also frequently and intensively express non-literal knowledge. Our data challenge conventions that practitioners transfer knowledge directly from academic theory, belong to distinct schools of thought, or sequence knowledge in the way we expect.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBAM2008
    Subtitle of host publicationthe Academy goes relevant
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherBAM
    Pages1-21
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)095496084X
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventBritish Academy of Management Conference - Harrogate, UK, United Kingdom
    Duration: 09 Sep 200811 Sep 2008

    Conference

    ConferenceBritish Academy of Management Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Period09/09/0811/09/08

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  • Cite this

    Stiles, D., & Jarratt, D. (2008). If Learning is a Cost without a Benefit, then Sod the Learning: What Strategy Means in Practice to UK Business Leaders. In BAM2008: the Academy goes relevant (pp. 1-21). BAM.