New concepts in strategy development

Bernhard Frei

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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i. Abstract
The objective of this research has been to examine the reconfigurations of strategy development that have helped organizations achieve sustained success in a changing business environment. The literature review has revealed additional dimensions which challenge strategy practice and the desired properties of a strategy framework.
The research question that was addressed is: “How can corporate strategy development be reconfigured to help organizations achieve sustained success in a changing business environment?”
These key challenges, affecting the relevance of orthodox strategy development frameworks have been defined. The aspects of current frameworks that need to be addressed as a consequence of these challenges have been articulated and how the current strategy practice is anticipated to be adjusted in order to address these challenges has been presented in the form of a series of propositions. The desirable properties of a strategy development framework in a dynamically changing business context were described.
From an epistemological perspective, the research aim was to find and collect reconfigurations of strategy development indirectly, by reference to their implications, strongly associated with a rigorous and critical examination of knowledge claims to apprehend reality as perfectly as possible. Special emphasis was placed on external objectivity with the help of the critical community. Thus an interpretative ontology, based on a critical realist epistemology, with an inductive methodology and qualitative interviews resulted in post-positivism as the dominant research paradigm.
The one hundred most profitable companies1 in Switzerland, meaning those with the most profit in relation to turnover, the very best of industry, trade, and service including regional and global business, SME and blue chip, state owned, listed on stock exchange, and private ownership, formed the research sample frame. An additional requirement was that the company must have scored well long term, on both growth measures and absolute measures of economic health. Twenty respondents were interviewed.
The research findings identified four areas for adjustments to orthodox corporate strategy development: (a) The improvement of strategic expertise to ensure that the staff at all levels understand strategy and the assumptions behind strategy, (b) a focus on strategizing resources to be able to perceive, understand, and process strategic relevant information, (c) an organizational design that fosters a strategically aligned organization that leverages the competitive resources of firms, and (d) ongoing change management to maintain sustained profitability.
This project posits that successful companies do not persist in one strategic approach. Instead, they are able to change their approach in accordance with achieving and maintaining profitability and growth. The resulting framework clusters four dominant approaches strategists have chosen in different business situations to overcome the challenges of an increasing dynamic business environment.
Executives can make use of these findings in practice for sustainably managing the identified recommendations for developing and considering alternative approaches to address dynamic environments, and making strategic adjustments to meet emerging challenges.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Business Administration
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Jarratt, Denise, Co-Supervisor
  • Jungmeister, Alexander, Co-Supervisor
Award date19 Jul 2010
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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    Frei, B. (2010). New concepts in strategy development. Charles Sturt University.