Meetings as Strategizing Episodes in the Social Practice of Strategy

Advanced Institute of Management Research Paper No. 037

65 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2008

See all articles by Paula Jarzabkowski

Paula Jarzabkowski

Aston University - Aston Business School

David Seidl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Date Written: March 24, 2006

Abstract

Despite their pervasiveness and significance in everyday organisational life, meetings have received comparatively little serious academic attention as organisational phenomena. This paper argues that studying meetings as strategizing episodes can add to our understanding of the social dynamics of shaping strategy. Drawing on Hendry and Seidl's (2003) theoretical framework of strategizing episodes as micro-evolutionary mechanisms in the strategy process and based on empirical data of 51 strategic-level meeting observations, the paper elucidates the episodic nature of strategic meetings in shaping organizational strategy. In line with perspectives on strategy as a social practice, our study examines meetings as they occur within and contribute to the social dynamics of shaping an organization's strategic orientations. The findings make three main contributions. First, they contribute to the strategy-as-practice research agenda by explaining how the conduct of meetings is related to consequential strategic outcomes, such as stabilization or change within an organization's strategy. Second, they generate an empirically-informed taxonomy that shows how serial meetings link to each other, how topics are connected between these meetings, and how meetings have an impact upon wider organizational activities. Third, this taxonomy conceptually extends Hendry and Seidl's (2003) framework by explaining the way different types of meetings shape the micro-evolutionary path that variations take from proposal, through development to selection or un-selection in the wider organization.

Suggested Citation

Jarzabkowski, Paula and Seidl, David, Meetings as Strategizing Episodes in the Social Practice of Strategy (March 24, 2006). Advanced Institute of Management Research Paper No. 037, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1308569 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1308569

Paula Jarzabkowski (Contact Author)

Aston University - Aston Business School ( email )

Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B47ET
United Kingdom

David Seidl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Hottingerstrasse 10
Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.om.uzh.ch

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