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The promise of the strategy as practice perspective for family business strategy research

Listed author(s):
  • Nordqvist, Mattias
  • Melin, Leif
Registered author(s):

    Family firms represent the most common form of business organization in most countries. This is, however, not yet reflected in the amount of strategy research devoted to family firms. In this article we suggest that the strategy as practice perspective - applied by an increasing number of scholars within the strategic management field - can help scholars to achieve rich understandings and develop useful knowledge about strategy making in family businesses. The strategy as practice perspective emphasizes that strategic work is not the same for all organizations. The ways of doing strategy tend to fall into specific routines and work patterns that vary from firm to firm and between different types of firms at the same time as they may be influenced by more institutionalized practices. We focus on the use and meanings of strategic planning as a specific and important strategic practice in the context of family businesses. Our research is based on a literature review that combines recent insights from the strategy as practice perspective and from strategic planning research. Empirically we draw on longitudinal in-depth case research of strategic planning processes in three family firms. Three dimensions of the practice of strategic planning in the family firm context emerge from our study. We label these dimensions planning modes, planning motives, and planning arenas. Based on the dimensions we discuss how the process as well as the roles of strategic planning is linked to local and situational understandings and the rules of the game for strategic work in each family business, and to broader institutional forces regarding the meaning and value of the strategic planning practice. We provide contributions for research and practice in this important context of business organizations. We also offer directions for future research.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Family Business Strategy.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 15-25

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:1:y:2010:i:1:p:15-25
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    1. Xavier, CASTANER & Mikko, KETOKIVI, 2003. "Planning as an integrative device," Les Cahiers de Recherche 775, HEC Paris.
    2. Nordqvist, Mattias & Hall, Annika & Melin, Leif, 2009. "Qualitative research on family businesses: The relevance and usefulness of the interpretive approach," Journal of Management & Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 294-308, July.
    3. Harvey James, 1999. "Owner as Manager, Extended Horizons and the Family Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 41-55.
    4. Torben Juul Andersen, 2004. "Integrating Decentralized Strategy Making and Strategic Planning Processes in Dynamic Environments," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(8), pages 1271-1299, December.
    5. Paula Jarzabkowski & Julia Balogun, 2009. "The Practice and Process of Delivering Integration through Strategic Planning," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(8), pages 1255-1288, December.
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