Completing the Practice Turn in Strategy Research

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Strategy is something we do, not something we have. Praxis, practices, and practitioners are used to connect intra-organizational activity with extra-organizational (the society). The paper discusses in particular how strategy practices impact strategy praxis, the creation and transfer of practices, and the making of strategy practitioners.

Practice in social sciences look at first how the society at large forms, guide and enables human activity. Practices are a result of the larger society in which we are embedded; we are not atomistic but parts of a larger whole. What people actually do is also important, not just what is done. Activity in practice is later labeled praxis here. Individuals matter though, as Bourdieu states we have different abilities and these abilities form how we conduct activities and if we reproduce or develop current practices. Practitioners are in other words of great importance. The relationship between activity and society is very important in this framework.

There has been a failure in incorporating “context” in theorizing around strategy development and activity. Society shapes the roles and activities performed by managers and hence must be accounted for. We need to connect what is being done inside companies with the societal forces of the outside. Grant (2003) does this and is an exception in so doing.

oShared routines of behavior. Traditions, norms, and procedures for thinking and acting. -Praxis:
oWhat people actually do in practice (the actual activity)
oStrategy’s actors. Those who perform the activity and carry the practice. Practitioners are anyone performing strategy activities.
Praxis is what these people do; all the various activities in formulating and implementing strategy (intra-organizational). Praxis happens as episodes or sequences of episodes, and includes a very broad range of activities (board meetings, projects, talk, etc). Practices are what practitioners...
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