The utility of strategic management knowledge for strategic management practice: The actors perspective

by Hansen, Frederick R., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 340 pages; 3316103


This dissertation examines the impact and utility that strategic management knowledge has in regard to the mental models that senior managers use to think about business strategy. This dissertation addresses needs at both an applied level, relative to the strategy making process in business firms and a reflexive level, relative to O&M research. At the applied level, the objective is to intervene on the mental models of senior managers using established strategy knowledge, and to do so in a way that enhances senior managers' ability to participate in the strategy making process of their firms. At the reflexive level, the objective of this dissertation is to enhance the awareness and understanding of O&M researchers about how the knowledge they create may impact O&M practice. The study uses the Actors approach and takes place in three phases. This first phase consists of archival research for the purpose of identifying established and substantive units of strategy knowledge. The second and third phases consist of a series of dialectic interactions with senior managers. In Phase II, the dialectic interactions are used to determine how the identified units of knowledge may impact senior manager's mental models of strategy and ascertain which units of knowledge have the most utility for doing so. In Phase III, the units of knowledge with the most utility are integrated into a single model that is then used to systematically enhance the mental models of senior managers. The results indicate that strategic management knowledge introduced through a dialectic interaction can have a significant emancipatory impact on senior managers' mental models of strategy. In addition, this dissertation demonstrates that the Actors approach is a viable methodological approach for organization and management research.

AdviserJay Avella
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3316103

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