References (120)



Taking a 'Deep Dive': What Only a Top Leader Can Do

Howard H. Yu

IMD International

Joseph L. Bower

Harvard University - General Management Unit

May 6, 2010

Harvard Business School General Management Unit Working Paper No. 09-109

Unlike most historical accounts of strategic change inside large firms, empirical research on strategic management rarely uses the day-to-day behaviors of top executives as the unit of analysis. By examining the resource allocation process closely, we introduce the concept of a deep dive, an intervention when top management seizes hold of the substantive content of a strategic initiative and its operational implementation at the project level, as a way to drive new behaviors that enable an organization to shift its performance trajectory into new dimensions unreachable with any of the previously described forms of intervention. We illustrate the power of this previously underexplored change mechanism with a case study, in which a well-established firm overcame barriers to change that were manifest in a wide range of organizational routines and behavioral norms that had been fostered by the pre-existing structural context of the firm.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 55

Keywords: Strategic Change, Resource Allocation Process, Top-down Intervention

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Date posted: May 10, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Yu, Howard H. and Bower, Joseph L., Taking a 'Deep Dive': What Only a Top Leader Can Do (May 6, 2010). Harvard Business School General Management Unit Working Paper No. 09-109. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1601293 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1601293

Contact Information

Howard H. Yu (Contact Author)
IMD International ( email )
Ch. de Bellerive 23
P.O. Box 915
CH-1001 Lausanne
HOME PAGE: http://www.imd.org/about/facultystaff/Yu.cfm
Joseph Bower
Harvard University - General Management Unit ( email )
Cambridge, MA
United States
617-495-6282 (Phone)
617-496-5271 (Fax)
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