Literature Review

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Busi 600 Literature Review
Andrew Fagan
Liberty University
Professor Erickson

The literature research reviewed in this paper attempts to address the topic of strategy implementation. The paper tries to establish an academic case for previously researched material on this subject by reflecting on the diverse views published in the literature. The different views expressed combine to formulate research to establish relevance as well as importance in this step of the Strategic Management Process. In order to identify and discuss existing data and developments in strategy implementation, over twelve articles in scholarly academic journals containing “strategy implementation” or “strategy execution” as the key words were selected from various internet sources. The articles chosen are those that have identified themselves with major discussions on factors that influence strategy implementation. Introduction

Strategy implementation is the process by which a selected strategy moves into action. It includes all activities and decisions necessary to execute the organization’s strategy in ways that best utilize its resources and capabilities. Strategy implementation works best when everyone in the organization is actively involved. Many factors influence the successful implementation of strategy. The success starts with the people who implement the strategy down to the systems in place for coordination and control. There is a need for the corporate and business world to understand these issues and their importance for successful strategy implementation. Reputable individuals and institutions on this subject and this literature research analyses existing research on the factors that influence strategy implementation and provides guidelines for possible future research in this field have published many academic articles. Body

The analysis in this literature review is general – there is no attempt to differentiate the types of organizations. Thus, the analysis applies to private, state-owned, national, and multinational firms. Kaplan and Norton (2010), for example, explored strategy implementation in DuPont Engineering Polymers (EP) a multinational and multiproduct organization, and in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a public sector enterprise. Similarly, articles on functional and corporate strategies are well reviewed and documented. Functional strategies include competitive strategies which are concerned with establishing ‘how the firm competes within a particular industry or market’ while corporate strategies, Grant (2010) suggests, define the scope of the firm in which it competes.

In the review of many existing articles, two main topics surrounding strategy implementation stick out. Those highlighting the importance of individual factors for strategy implementation and those that emphasize how such factors interrelate. Individual factors that influence strategy implementation include, according to the body of literature analyzed in this research, the following: • The strategy formulation process

• Implementers of strategy
• Integration of different units and different levels of the organization • Organizational structure
• Communication
• Commitment
• Systems
• Organizational culture

These factors are also prevalent in the strategy implementation framework of the three different levels: structure, systems, and culture. All the above factors roll up under one of these three levels and therefore, in terms of broad classifications, the three levels are the factors that affect strategy implementation. This analysis has adopted the fragmented classification of factors (listed above) as identified from the articles. Allio (2010) suggests that good implementation always starts with good strategic input, and Crittenden and Crittenden (2008) suggest that the implementation process works hand- in - hand with the formulation process, and that...
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