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Planned or Prioritized? Two Options in Managing the Implementation of Strategic Decisions


  • David J. Hickson
  • Susan J. Miller
  • David C. Wilson


ABSTRACT This paper presents findings from a study of 55 cases of decision implementation. The research identifies a number of features that characterize the way implementation is managed which appear to enhance the chance of success. Analysis reveals patterns in the data indicating that these features fall into two groupings, giving rise to two distinct approaches to implementation management. These are termed the Experience‐based approach and the Readiness‐based approach from the initial conditions which give rise to each. Although following either approach may enhance decision performance, the greatest success is associated with a dual approach. Implementations that follow neither are generally less successful. A theory of implementation management is postulated, comprising a Planned Option and a Prioritized Option.

Suggested Citation

  • David J. Hickson & Susan J. Miller & David C. Wilson, 2003. "Planned or Prioritized? Two Options in Managing the Implementation of Strategic Decisions," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(7), pages 1803-1836, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:7:p:1803-1836
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-6486.00401

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    Cited by:

    1. Merendino, Alessandro & Dibb, Sally & Meadows, Maureen & Quinn, Lee & Wilson, David & Simkin, Lyndon & Canhoto, Ana, 2018. "Big data, big decisions: The impact of big data on board level decision-making," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 67-78.
    2. Chimhanzi, Jacqueline & Morgan, Robert E., 2005. "Explanations from the marketing/human resources dyad for marketing strategy implementation effectiveness in service firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 787-796, June.
    3. Vargo, Stephen L. & Lusch, Robert F., 2017. "Service-dominant logic 2025," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 46-67.
    4. Rhys Andrews & Malcolm J. Beynon & Elif Genc, 2017. "Strategy Implementation Style and Public Service Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Equity," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, February.
    5. Michal Pohludka & Hana Stverkova & Beata Ślusarczyk, 2018. "Implementation and Unification of the ERP System in a Global Company as a Strategic Decision for Sustainable Entrepreneurship," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(8), pages 1-16, August.
    6. Michal Pohludka & Hana Štverková, 2019. "The Best Practice of CRM Implementation for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, March.
    7. Holopainen, Jani & Mattila, Osmo & Pöyry, Essi & Parvinen, Petri, 2020. "Applying design science research methodology in the development of virtual reality forest management services," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    8. Olaf N. Rank & Garry L. Robins & Philippa E. Pattison, 2010. "Structural Logic of Intraorganizational Networks," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(3), pages 745-764, June.
    9. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    10. David C. Wilson & Layla Branicki & Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor & Alexander D. Wilson, 2010. "Extreme events, organizations and the politics of strategic decision making," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(5), pages 699-721, June.
    11. Mariano L. M. Heyden & Sebastian P. L. Fourné & Bastiaan A. S. Koene & Renate Werkman & Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari, 2017. "Rethinking ‘Top‐Down’ and ‘Bottom‐Up’ Roles of Top and Middle Managers in Organizational Change: Implications for Employee Support," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(7), pages 961-985, November.

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