Topics: Strategy, Strategy dynamics, Strategic management Pages: 27 (8393 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Of Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent Author(s): Henry Mintzberg and James A. Waters Source: Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1985), pp. 257-272 Published by: John Wiley & Sons Stable URL: Accessed: 12/08/2009 04:53 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with the scholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform that promotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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Strategic Managemtent

Journal, Vol. 6, 25 7-2 72 (1985)

Of Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent
Faculty of Management, Canada McGill University, Montreal, Quebec,

Faculty of Administrative Ontario, Canada Studies, York University, Toronto,

Deliberate and emnergent strategies mnay be conceived as twvo ends of a continuumn along which real- world str ategies lie. This paper seeks to develop this notion, and So?le bafsic issuies related to strcategic choice, by elaborating along this continuaitn various types of strategies uncovered in research. These includcle strategies labelled planned, umZ1brella, process, entrepreneutrial, ideological, uinconnected, consensuts anld im-posed,

How do strategies form in organizations? Research into the question is necessarily shaped by the underlying conception of the term. Since strategy has almost inevitably been conceived in terms of what the leaders of an organization 'plan' to do in the future, strategy formation has, not surprisingly, tended to be treated as an analytic process for establishing long-range goals and action plans for an organization; that is, as one of formulation followed by implementation. As important as this emphasis may be, we would argue that it is seriously limited, that the process needs to be viewed from a wider perspective so that the variety of ways in which strategies actually take shape can be considered. For over 10 years now, we have been researching the process of strategy formation based on the definition of strategy as 'a pattern in a stream of decisions' (Mintzberg, 1972, 1978; Mintzberg and Waters, 1982, 1984; Mintzberg et al., 1986, Mintzberg and McHugh, 1985; Brunet, Mintzberg and Waters, 1986). This definition was developed to 'operationalize' the concept of strategy, namely to provide a tangible basis on which to conduct research into how it forms in organizations. Streams of behaviour could be isolated and strategies identified as patterns or consistencies in such streams. The origins of these strategies could then be investigated, with particular attention paid to exploring the relationship between leadership plans and intentions and what the organizations actually did. Using the label called intended, the other realized-encouraged strategy for both of these phenomena-one that exploration. (Indeed, by this same logic, and because of practical necessity, we...
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