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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Strategic Organization, ? (?), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Strategic Organization page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/SOQ on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/

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The art of stage-craft: A dramaturgical perspective on strategic change

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/04/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Strategic Organization
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date27/04/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper contributes to our understanding of how organizations change
the set of practices and practitioners involved in strategizing, what we
term the ‘strategy arrangement’. Drawing on insights from a qualitative
study of the introduction and subsequent removal of a new strategy
team, we develop a dramaturgical theory of the practices involved in
changing strategy arrangements. Firstly, we conceptualise the
relationship between the frontstage performances where impressions are
generated and the backstage work that takes place to craft and control
those impressions. Secondly, we distinguish between preventive
practices designed to ‘stage the show’, where foresight is used to
imagine the impressions of the audience and inform the design of the
show, and corrective practices designed to ‘save the show’, where the
desired impression has been discredited and repair is needed to restore
the desired impression. Third and finally, we distinguish between the
more innocuous backstage practice of rehearsing, the ‘behind the scenes’
work that involves taking up the roles of actor, playwright, director,
audience and critic to craft the show, and the less innocuous practice of
conspiring, where team members work ‘behind the backs’ of the
audience to construct false impressions. In so doing, we seek to advance
strategy-as-practice research by developing a dramaturgical theory of
practice that captures the theatrical dynamics of strategic change.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Strategic Organization, ? (?), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Strategic Organization page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/SOQ on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/