TITLE

Adapting Managerial Practices for Strategic Change

AUTHOR(S)
Collm, Alexandra
PUB. DATE
May 2011
SOURCE
University of St. Gallen, Business Dissertations;5/16/2011, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Dissertation
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Realizing IT strategy processes in the public sector is a demanding task for top managers. Public managers often initiate strategy processes in a directive manner due to presumed higher effectiveness, better oversight, and for coordination reasons. However, as the strategy process continues, they often realize that they have to adapt their management behavior and underlying practices by integrating participative manners. Until now, research has paid far too little attention to how the adaptation of managerial practices evolves, even though it is crucial for the success of strategic change. The research objective of this study is to explore how and why topdown- oriented management behaviors change during strategy processes in the public sector. Therefore, I conducted an embedded longitudinal case study of an IT strategy process in a Swiss canton. By referring to work published by the new strategy-as-practice community and applying a sensemaking lens for the case study analysis, I identified three bundles of practices, identity-building, interpretive, and coping practices, and environmental factors. The bundles of practices are central for constructing ambiguity existing within the process environment in a manageable way and encouraging top managers to allow for the participation of organizational members. The resulting process model illustrates the interplay of the three bundles of practices and their interaction with ambiguity. Identity is a driving force of organizational legitimacy and is needed for the construction of new managerial practices and the adaptation of management behavior toward participation. Substantial ambiguity might constrain interactions and especially individual initiatives. If ambiguity is manageable, it could facilitate fruitful improvisation and creativity. While this study concentrates on a single case study in the public sector, the results shed light on the important issue of the adaptation of managerial practices toward participative behavior and open up the black box of microscopic change within strategy processes.
ACCESSION #
82756667

 

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