Materializing Strategy in Mundane Tools: The Key to Coupling Global Strategy and Local Strategy Practice?

20 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2016

See all articles by Nicolas Arnaud

Nicolas Arnaud

Audencia Nantes School of Management

Colleen E. Mills

University of Canterbury

Céline Legrand

Audencia Nantes School of Management

Eric Maton

Audencia Nantes School of Management

Date Written: January 2016

Abstract

While much of the literature on strategy and strategy as practice (SaP) focuses on traditional strategic tools, technologies and discursive practices of managers, this paper extends the understanding of strategic change implementation by proposing that mundane material tools, understood as text, translate global strategic discourse in ways that make sense to workers and orchestrate successful global strategy implementation at the local level. Based on a rich case study within one branch of a national bank, this paper demonstrates how a middle manager's materializing practices developed local strategy practice while simultaneously transforming work and producing strategic figures or indicators that satisfied senior management's global strategic change objectives. The contributions of this paper are threefold: (i) it advances the understanding of the multimodality of materiality by identifying the influence of three types of mundane tools produced locally by a middle manager as he performed his sense of the senior managers' strategic discourse; (ii) it reveals how these three types of physical texts materialized the manager's sense of this discourse, facilitating frontline workers' engagement and coupling materiality and orality in a coherent way that allowed workers to embody the company's global strategy in their 'sayings and doings'; and (iii) it highlights the importance of managers' ability to materialize a strategic discourse.

Suggested Citation

Arnaud, Nicolas and Mills, Colleen E. and Legrand, Céline and Maton, Eric, Materializing Strategy in Mundane Tools: The Key to Coupling Global Strategy and Local Strategy Practice? (January 2016). British Journal of Management, Vol. 27, Issue 1, pp. 38-57, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2717773 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12144

Nicolas Arnaud (Contact Author)

Audencia Nantes School of Management ( email )

8 route de la Jonelière, BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, Cedex 3 44312
France

Colleen E. Mills

University of Canterbury

Ilam Road
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Céline Legrand

Audencia Nantes School of Management

8 route de la Jonelière, BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, Cedex 3 44312
France

Eric Maton

Audencia Nantes School of Management

8 route de la Jonelière, BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, Cedex 3 44312
France

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