Strategic Management Dissertation

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Jan Polowczyk
Poznań University of Economics
Strategic management at the beginning
of the XXI century: the impact of crisis
Abstract: The nature of corporate strategy problems cannot easily be framed within a fixed paradigm. Strategic management is necessarily a multi-paradigmatic discipline, requiring varied theoretical perspectives and methodologies. The purpose of this paper is to present and assess the evolution of corporate strategic management in the first decade of the current century, particularly under the influence of the recent economic crisis. For the last two decades strategic management has been dominated by a resource-based view. Recently we can distinguish two important perspectives of research: behavioral and institutional. The first regards decision-making processes of company executives based on considerable progress made by psychologists in identifying and validating fundamental cognitive constructs which are promising for advancing theory and research on top management teams. The institutional perspective is based on increased realization of the importance of national and global institutions for the competitiveness of companies, sectors and countries. Keywords: strategic management, evolutionary framework, behavioral perspective, institutional perspective, entrepreneurship, hypercompetition.

JEL codes: D01, D02, D03.
Strategic management as a field of inquiry is one of the more important and widely cited subjects and forms a critical part of the business and management curriculum at all levels. In the early 1960s, there was little mention of strategy in company reports, whilst today it is difficult to find a company report without encountering the word strategy several times. A number of scholars have examined the evolution of strategy as a field of inquiry: Mintzberg, Ahlstrand and Lampel [1998], Hoskisson et al. [1999], Phelan, Ferreira and Salvador [2002], Ramos-Rodriguez and Ruiz- Navarro [2004], Nerur, Rasheed and Natarajan [2008], Ghobadian and O’Regan [2008], Furrer, Thomas and Goussevskaia [2008].

Volume 12 Number 3 2012
Strategic management as a field of inquiry is firmly grounded in practice and exists because of the importance of its subject. The strategic direction of business organizations is at the heart of wealth creation in modern society. The field, like medicine or engineering, exists because it is worth codifying, teaching, and expanding what is known about the skilled performance of roles and tasks that are a necessary part of our civilization [Rumelt, Schendel & Teece 1991]. Strategy started life with a high degree of practitioner orientation and the theoretical perspective now holds sway. Strategy is academically more respected but arguably less relevant to needs of practicing managers [Ghobadian & O’Regan 2008].

1. Strategic management as an academic field of inquiry
Strategic management as an academic field has been reconceptualized and relabeled – from ‘business policy’ in 1979 by Schendel and Hofer [1979]. Strategic management is now a firmly established field in the study of business and organizations. During a relatively short period of time, this field witnessed a significant growth in the diversity of topics and variety of research methods employed. The field of strategic management is eclectic in nature. Its subject of interest overlaps with several other vigorous fields, including economics, sociology, psychology, marketing and finance. It is commonly asserted that the field of strategic management is fragmented and lacks a coherent identity. This skepticism, however, is paradoxically at odds with the great success that strategic management has enjoyed. According to Nag, Hambrick and Chen [2007] strategic management’s success as an academic field emerges from an underlying consensus that enables it to attract multiple perspectives, while still maintaining its coherent...
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