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Sequence of thinking and acting in strategy making


  • Vilà, Joaquim

    () (IESE Business School)

  • Canales, Juan I.

    (IESE Business School)


This paper gives an answer to the continuing emergent-deliberate debate. Thinking and acting are two outstanding features of this controversy. What is needed in the field is a framework that can explain under what circumstances each of these two features takes place along the strategy-making process. The focus of the paper is on the sequence of thinking and acting in the strategy-making process. A framework is developed to show how thinking co-evolves with action in a succession of strategic activities. Within boundaries, strategic activities are carried forward by social automatic behaviour, following a set pattern. Yet, when an action crosses a certain threshold, a different condition of awareness is achieved. Similarly, thought can cross an equivalent threshold, giving rise to consciousness. Either condition enhances the organization's ability to make changes in the direction of its strategic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Vilà, Joaquim & Canales, Juan I., 2001. "Sequence of thinking and acting in strategy making," IESE Research Papers D/436, IESE Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0436

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Asymmetric Information and the New Theory of the Firm: Financial Constraints and Risk Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 160-165, May.
    2. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
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    More about this item


    strategy-making process; strategic activities;

    JEL classification:

    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • M19 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Other

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