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Let Chaos Reign, Then Rein In Chaos--Repeatedly: Managing Strategic Dynamics For Corporate Longevity

  • Burgelman, Robert A.

    (Stanford U)

  • Grove, Andrew S.
Registered author(s):

    Combining longitudinal field research and executive experience, we propose that corporate longevity depends on matching cycles of autonomous and induced strategy processes to different forms of strategic dynamics, and that the role of alert strategic leadership is to appropriately balance the induced and autonomous processes throughout these cycles. We also propose that such strategic leadership is the means through which leadership style exerts its influence on corporate longevity. Our findings can be related to organizational research on structural inertia, learning and adaptation, as well as to formal theories of complex adaptive systems. They also contribute to resolving the seeming contradiction between a study of corporations that attributes exceptional long-term success to leadership style, and the more common proposition that strategy is the determinant of long-term performance.

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    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1954.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1954
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    1. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
    2. Robert A. Burgelman, 1983. "Corporate Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management: Insights from a Process Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(12), pages 1349-1364, December.
    3. Michael T. Hannan & L·szlÛ PÛlos & Glenn R. Carroll, 2004. "The evolution of inertia," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 213-242, February.
    4. Jerker Denrell, 2004. "Random Walks and Sustained Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(7), pages 922-934, July.
    5. Joseph Farrell & Hunter K. Monroe & Garth Saloner, 1998. "The Vertical Organization of Industry: Systems Competition versus Component Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 143-182, 06.
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