Market strategy renewal as a dynamic incremental process
Volatile environments often force companies to renew their market strategy. In this study, the focus is on the process aspects of a renewal that is characterized by a high degree of ‘muddling through’. This study wants to (1) show the complexity and incremental nature of market strategy renewal processes, (2) seek additional explanations for the antecedents of incrementalism in strategic decision-making and (3) illustrate the process of muddling by using critical incidents in a market strategy renewal effort of an industrial company. Using a longitudinal case design, this article highlights how incrementalism almost automatically creeps into market strategy renewal. Differences in rationality across managerial levels result in remedial, serial and socially fragmented incremental processes in these renewal efforts. Incrementalism in strategy is viewed as a natural phenomenon to be managed, rather than a deliberate course of action that is skillfully executed.
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