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Professionals as strategists? Channelling and organizing distributed strategizing


  • Maria Lusiani

    () (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)

  • Ann Langley

    (Dept. of Management, HEC MontrŽal)


Many contemporary organizations claim to be moving towards forms of increased inclusion and transparency in the strategy formulation and communication processes. This paper explores how organizations can enable wide participation in strategy making while keeping a coherent strategic direction. In particular, it investigates how strategizing takes place in professional, pluralistic contexts, supposedly characterized by open participation in strategymaking. Drawing on a strategy-as-practice perspective and on a case study of an Italian public hospital that introduced a new participatory planning system, it focuses on how professionals participated in strategy work and the tools they drew on to do so. The study shows how professionalsÕ empowerment is likely to be subject to managerial endorsement and how the simultaneous opening up and holding together of strategy may be accomplished through the boundary spanning activities of planning officers and the channelling and organizing roles of formal planning tools. These findings contribute to an understanding of how distributed strategizing occurs in professional settings and how Ôopen strategyÕ may play out in organizations more generally.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Lusiani & Ann Langley, 2013. "Professionals as strategists? Channelling and organizing distributed strategizing," Working Papers 32, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
  • Handle: RePEc:vnm:wpdman:68

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Saku Mantere, 2008. "Role Expectations and Middle Manager Strategic Agency," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 294-316, March.
    2. Paula Jarzabkowski, 2003. "Strategic Practices: An Activity Theory Perspective on Continuity and Change," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 23-55, January.
    3. Graeme Currie & Stephen J. Procter, 2005. "The Antecedents of Middle Managers' Strategic Contribution: The Case of a Professional Bureaucracy," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(7), pages 1325-1356, November.
    4. Paula Jarzabkowski & Julia Balogun, 2009. "The Practice and Process of Delivering Integration through Strategic Planning," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(8), pages 1255-1288, December.
    5. R. Whittington & Ludovic Cailluet & B. Yakis-Douglas, 2011. "Opening Strategy: Evolution of a Precarious Profession," Post-Print halshs-00738389, HAL.
    6. Patrick Regnér, 2003. "Strategy Creation in the Periphery: Inductive Versus Deductive Strategy Making," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 57-82, January.
    7. Linda Rouleau, 2005. "Micro-Practices of Strategic Sensemaking and Sensegiving: How Middle Managers Interpret and Sell Change Every Day," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(7), pages 1413-1441, November.
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    More about this item


    Strategizing; Professionals; Strategy as practice; Planning; Open strategy; Pluralistic settings.;

    JEL classification:

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

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