Session 194

The Uses and Abuses of Strategic Tools and Strategy Workshops

Track J

Date: Monday, November 7, 2011


Time: 08:00 – 09:15


Room: Crown Conch

Session Co-Chairs:

  • Paul Knott, University of Canterbury
  • Giulia Solinas, University of Liverpool

Title: Boundary Objects in Dialogues: Exploring How Strategy Tools Shape Workshop Outcomes


  • Luis Alberto Franco, University of Hull
  • Sotirios Paroutis, University of Warwick

Abstract: Despite the plethora of studies about strategy tools discussed in the strategy literature, we are still missing theoretical developments stemming from studies of how they are used in practice and with what outcomes. The tools of interest are strategy models depicting qualitative or quantitative relationships between strategic issues and their implied consequences. Adopting a boundary object perspective, and drawing on data gathered from five strategy workshops, we posit that variations in the use of strategy tool can enable or constraint their ability to become effective boundary objects for those involved, thereby influencing the extent to which the purpose of the workshop is achieved. This study extends research on strategy practices by shedding light on the dynamics of strategy tool use in workshops.

Title: Exploring The Impact of Individual Differences in Scenario Planning Workshops


  • Luis Alberto Franco, University of Hull
  • Maureen Meadows, Coventry University

Abstract: Scenario planning enjoys wide acceptance as a decision support aid in the strategy formulation process. It is usually deployed in a group workshop format and led by a facilitator. This setting has led managerial cognition scholars to argue that the cognitive diversity of the workshop participants is likely to be a critical determinant of the effectiveness of scenario planning interventions. This paper explores this proposition, by articulating a theoretical framework to inform the investigation of the role of cognitive style in scenario planning interventions. The impact of individual differences in ways of perceiving and judging on participants’ observed behaviours within the scenario planning workshops are highlighted. We discuss the implications of our framework for the research and practice of scenario planning workshops.

Title: Making Sense Through Strategy Tools: A Theoretical Discussion


  • Giulia Solinas, University of Liverpool
  • Silvia Vernizzi, University of Verona

Abstract: The paper adopts a strategy-as-practice approach to the study of strategy tools and the sense making process in strategic management research. Based on a logical reasoning, the paper argues that strategy tools used within strategic analysis can be depicted across multiple dimensions, which derive from their methodological frameworks and timing. We originate a possible mapping form that flexibly embraces a broad range of instruments frequently adopted in practice and in particular in strategic analysis. Overall, the paper concludes that strategy-as practice needs to extend the discussion on strategy tools to complete the understanding on how managers support strategizing.

Title: Strategy Tools for Practice: A Systematic Review of Strategy Tools Developed Within the Past 20 Years


  • Marko Kohtamäki, University of Vaasa
  • Henri Hakala, University of Vaasa
  • Kari Uusitalo, TEKES

Abstract: Research into the use of strategy tools has suggested that it actually very few tools for strategizing are used by practitioners and the dissemination of tools from academia into practice takes a long time. The paper presents the results of a systematic review of 404 abstracts and 88 full text articles that have introduced tools for strategizing during the past 20 years. The paper contributes by providing transparency on what kind of tools have been developed and introduced in leading management journals. In addition, the paper evokes a discussion on methodologies we should use whilst developing tools for practitioners. A proposition is made on how the strategy tools should be developed in order to make them more useful and acceptable for practitioners.

All Sessions in Track J...

Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 325: Strategy Process and Practice Research in Perspective and Future Directions
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 329: Open Innovation: How CERN Bridges Global Institutions
Sun: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 332: Strategizing Across Cultural Boundaries
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 194: The Uses and Abuses of Strategic Tools and Strategy Workshops
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 195: Counter-Intuitive Practices and Ambidextrous Effects in Strategizing
Mon: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 196: Improving Management Practice Through Strategizing Practice
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 198: Strategizing from Multiple Stakeholders
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 197: Unique Perspectives to Strategy Practice Research
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 199: Strategic Planning and Organizational Performance
Tue: 16:00 – 17:15
Session 200: Managerial and Strategizing Cognitions of Strategic Work
Wed: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 312: Balancing Multiple and Competing Interests in Strategizing

Strategic Management Society