Strategic implementation: Five approaches to an elusive phenomenon

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Abstract

The traditional textbook approach to strategy implementation was to treat ‘implementation’ as an activity following ‘formulation’. Usually, the topic was treated as a question of organization design, where systems and structures were manipulated in concert with strategic goals. More recent views treat implementation either as an issue of gaining prior group commitment through coalitional decision-making, or as a question of total organizational involvement through a strong corporate culture. This paper reviews the evolution of these approaches, developing four models to characterize them, and suggests a fifth one, with strategy emerging in an almost-implemented form from within the firm.

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