Toying with Regulation: ‘Strategizing Tools’ as Organizational Bricolage
This paper studies why and how managers develop 'strategizing tools'. We call strategizing tools those self-made tools crafted by managers as opposed to off-the-shelf established strategy tools, such as BCG matrix, five forces, etc. We conceptualize strategizing and the crafting of tools as bricolage (Levi-Strauss, 1966; Duymedjian and Rüling, 2010). Drawing on two longitudinal participatory observations in highly regulated industries, we show how practitioners try to materialize rules and standards from the macro-institutional environment into daily practice. We identify three phases: framing the issue, assembling the tool and outcome. The findings reveal that the managers draw on different elements of their mental and technical repertoire, and on dialogue to craft the tool. However, to become materialized in practice, the tool needs to acquire institutional legitimacy.
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