Strategy making as a communicative practice: the multimodal accomplishment of strategy roles

Authors: Asmuß, B. and Oshima, S.

Journal: M@n@gement

Volume: 21

Issue: 2

Pages: 884-912

Publisher: Association International de Management Stratégique (AIMS)

ISSN: 1286-4692

This paper deals with the communicative accomplishment of strategy practices and processes (Cooren et al., 2015; Pälli, 2017; Vásquez et al., 2017). We do so by investigating one significant activity within an organizational strategy making process, namely strategy meetings. Here, members of the upper management group create concrete drafts for the actual strategy document, and we focus on a specific action sequence where strategy actors propose changes to the strategy document. Specifically, we investigate how the participants subsequently deal with the proposal, how such interaction work facilitates the accomplishment of strategy roles, and how the interaction impacts the decision making process. Our study shows that strategy actors, when making these decisions, not only orient to an acceptance or rejection of the proposal but also to questions of entitlement (Asmuß & Oshima, 2012). This orientation involves multimodal resources, ranging from talk (Samra-Fredericks, 2003) to embodied and material resources. The study thus provides an empirical demonstration of the processual aspects of strategy work and their impact on strategic outcomes; further, it highlights the importance for practice studies to acknowledge communicative (verbal, embodied and material) aspects in capturing the complexity of strategy work.

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