Fishing or hunting? Strategic information circulation practices to reach sustainable competitive advantage
The current competition game implies processes like alliances with competitors, inclusion of customers and suppliers at early stages of innovation, relations with States, or anticipation of public acceptance. At the heart of all these processes and many others, information processing has become a key for surviving and competitive advantage reaching. The relevance and use of information has not always been considered as a relevant question for strategy making. Indeed, in classical economy equilibrium model, information is considered as complete and perfect, which implies that companies cannot get an advantage on information processing. Simon (1947) radically modified this perspective through developing the concept of bounded rationality, which implies that information cannot be complete and perfect at any time of decision-making processes. As information processing is inherent to organizational processes, companies can outperform if they can better process sensitive information. This paper proposes a study of strategic information circulation practices. By drawing from Simon and March's work (Feldman & March, 1981; March & Simon, 1958; Simon, 1947) on information, it positions practices of strategic information circulation as social practices, an approach which mirrors that of Strategy-as-Practice. This focus on social practices gives way to a greater understanding of how people access, collect and use of information. In this paper, we examine how companies organize the processes of strategic information circulation through various practices. By doing so, we propose an integrative metaphorical framework of information circulation practices consisting of a taxonomy of four modes of practices used in dealing with the circulation of strategic information. This framework provides a new understanding of the possibilities for companies to develop or enable the circulation of strategic information. This framework subsequently allows us to extend the current literature on strategic practices related to the use of strategic information.
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