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Taking historical embeddedness seriously: three approaches to advance strategy process and practice research

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Academy of Management Review
Issue number4
Volume41
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)633-657
Publication statusPublished
Early online date4/08/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Despite the proliferation of strategy process and practice research, we lack understanding of the historical embeddedness of strategic processes and practices. In this paper, we present three historical approaches with the potential to remedy this deficiency. First, realist history can contribute to a better understanding of the historical embeddedness of strategic processes; in particular, comparative historical analysis can explicate the historical conditions, mechanisms, and causality in strategic processes. Second, interpretative history can add to our knowledge of the historical embeddedness of strategic practices, and microhistory can specifically help to understand the construction and enactment of these practices in historical contexts. Third, poststructuralist history can elucidate the historical embeddedness of strategic discourses, and genealogy can in particular increase our understanding of the evolution and transformation of strategic discourses and their power effects. Thus, this paper demonstrates how in their specific ways historical approaches and methods can add to our understanding of different forms and variations of strategic processes and practices, the historical construction of organizational strategies, and historically constituted strategic agency.