Using Strategy Tools in Practice - How Tools Mediate Strategizing and Organizing
Advanced Institute of Management Research Paper No. 047
57 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2008
Date Written: August 1, 2006
Recently there has been much debate about the usefulness of strategic management education and implicitly about strategy tools and frameworks. Yet, this debate is taking place in the absence of detailed knowledge about how, or indeed, whether, managers use the theoretical tools that they learn. This paper addresses this gap by taking a practice perspective to look at how strategy tools are engaged by different actors in mediating strategizing and organizing processes. Based on an ethnography of strategy making inside one firm, we explore how an actor's search for rationality and objectivity through the use of tools is actually a political, symbolic and socially interactive process. Drawing on the boundary object literature, we provide a conceptual framework for analyzing strategy tools as key mediators of these contextual and political interests.
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