Towards an Integrated Theory of Strategy

Bocconi University Management Research Paper No. 8

Forthcoming in Strategic Management Journal

50 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2018

See all articles by Maurizio Zollo

Maurizio Zollo

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Vittorio Coda

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Mario Minoja

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE); Bocconi University

Date Written: February 1, 2018

Abstract

We develop an integrative approach to the study of strategic management in a four-step logical sequence. First, we discuss one of the rare conceptual frameworks of integrated firm strategy, introduced by Coda (1984). Second, we focus on competitive, growth, and stakeholder strategies and identify four integrative mechanisms underlying the creation of joint outcomes from the combination of different strategic choices. Third, we study how these mechanisms might allow specific binary combinations of strategic choices to create higher levels of value for stakeholders. Lastly, we study the likelihood of alternative three-way bundles of strategies to generate the highest expected value. This analysis identifies two bundles of strategic decisions that can potentially maximize performance outcomes.

Our integrative approach to strategic management can potentially contribute to the improvement of managerial decision making in three main ways. First, by raising managers’ awareness that decisions in different strategic domains – e.g. competitive, growth, and stakeholder strategies – produce joint effects on value created for stakeholders and, thus, should be selected as an internally coherent bundle. Second, by identifying the factors that influence different strategic decisions and the consequent production of joint results. Some of these factors can be directly learnt and leveraged by managers to shape a more internally coherent and effective portfolio of strategic decisions. Third, by proposing specific bundles of internally coherent choices that might provide useful reference points within the context of the three strategies considered.

Keywords: Integrative mechanisms, competitive strategy, growth strategy, stakeholder strategy, bundles of strategic choices

Suggested Citation

Zollo, Maurizio and Coda, Vittorio and Minoja, Mario, Towards an Integrated Theory of Strategy (February 1, 2018). Forthcoming in Strategic Management Journal. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3295637

Maurizio Zollo (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Vittorio Coda

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Mario Minoja

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) ( email )

Viale A. Allegri 9
Modena, Modena 42121
Italy

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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