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Tinkering With Regulation: Strategizing Tools as Organizational Bricolage


  • Isabelle Corbett-Etchevers

    (Univ. Grenoble Alpes

  • Aura Parmentier Cajaiba

    University of Nice Sophia Antipolis)

  • Giovany Cajaiba Santana

    (Kedge Business School)


In the broad context of increased regulation, this paper looks at how managers craft tools to strategize and cope with regulatory pressure. We consider the use of ‘handmade’ tool, crafted by managers, as opposed to off-the-shelf established strategy tools, such as BCG matrix, five forces, etc. Within the strategy as-practice perspective, we use the concept of bricolage (Levi-Strauss, 1966, Duymedjian and Rüling, 2010) for understanding the tool crafting process. 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, situated practice. We identify three phases: framing, assembling and becoming. The findings reveal that the managers draw on different elements of their mental and technical repertoire, and on dialogue to craft the tool. The contrasting results in the two cases bring us to discuss the conditions of legitimation of ‘handmade’ tools in organizations, and to refine the strategy tool concept with that of strategizing tool. The latter term captures the embedded nature of tools as well as the creativity of practitioners. Eventually, we highlight the contribution of a bricolage lens to practice studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabelle Corbett-Etchevers & Aura Parmentier Cajaiba & Giovany Cajaiba Santana, 2014. "Tinkering With Regulation: Strategizing Tools as Organizational Bricolage," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-48, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2014-48
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    More about this item


    Bricolage; tools; strategy-as-practice; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


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