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On the problem of participation in strategy: a critical discursive perspective

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On the problem of participation in strategy : a critical discursive perspective. / Mantere, Saku; Vaara, Eero.

In: Organization Science, Vol. 19, No. 2, 01.03.2008, p. 341-358.

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Mantere, Saku ; Vaara, Eero. / On the problem of participation in strategy : a critical discursive perspective. In: Organization Science. 2008 ; Vol. 19, No. 2. pp. 341-358.

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@article{b2c879fd129743e9b6bcb429451dabb8,
title = "On the problem of participation in strategy: a critical discursive perspective",
abstract = "We still know little of why strategy processes often involve participation problems. In this paper, we argue that this crucial issue is linked to fundamental assumptions about the nature of strategy work. Hence, we need to examine how strategy processes are typically made sense of and what roles are assigned to specific organizational members. For this purpose, we adopt a critical discursive perspective that allows us to discover how specific conceptions of strategy work are reproduced and legitimized in organizational strategizing. Our empirical analysis is based on an extensive research project on strategy work in 12 organizations. As a result of our analysis, we identify three central discourses that seem to be systematically associated with nonparticipatory approaches to strategy work: “mystification,” “disciplining,” and “technologization.” However, we also distinguish three strategy discourses that promote participation: “self-actualization,” “dialogization,” and “concretization.” Our analysis shows that strategy as practice involves alternative and even competing discourses that have fundamentally different kinds of implications for participation in strategy work. We argue from a critical perspective that it is important to be aware of the inherent problems associated with dominant discourses as well as to actively advance the use of alternative ones. ",
keywords = "strategy , discourse , participation, critical management studies , subjectivity",
author = "Saku Mantere and Eero Vaara",
year = "2008",
month = mar,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1287/orsc.1070.0296",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "341--358",
journal = "Organization Science",
issn = "1047-7039",
publisher = "INFORMS Inst.for Operations Res.and the Management Sciences",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - On the problem of participation in strategy

T2 - a critical discursive perspective

AU - Mantere, Saku

AU - Vaara, Eero

PY - 2008/3/1

Y1 - 2008/3/1

N2 - We still know little of why strategy processes often involve participation problems. In this paper, we argue that this crucial issue is linked to fundamental assumptions about the nature of strategy work. Hence, we need to examine how strategy processes are typically made sense of and what roles are assigned to specific organizational members. For this purpose, we adopt a critical discursive perspective that allows us to discover how specific conceptions of strategy work are reproduced and legitimized in organizational strategizing. Our empirical analysis is based on an extensive research project on strategy work in 12 organizations. As a result of our analysis, we identify three central discourses that seem to be systematically associated with nonparticipatory approaches to strategy work: “mystification,” “disciplining,” and “technologization.” However, we also distinguish three strategy discourses that promote participation: “self-actualization,” “dialogization,” and “concretization.” Our analysis shows that strategy as practice involves alternative and even competing discourses that have fundamentally different kinds of implications for participation in strategy work. We argue from a critical perspective that it is important to be aware of the inherent problems associated with dominant discourses as well as to actively advance the use of alternative ones.

AB - We still know little of why strategy processes often involve participation problems. In this paper, we argue that this crucial issue is linked to fundamental assumptions about the nature of strategy work. Hence, we need to examine how strategy processes are typically made sense of and what roles are assigned to specific organizational members. For this purpose, we adopt a critical discursive perspective that allows us to discover how specific conceptions of strategy work are reproduced and legitimized in organizational strategizing. Our empirical analysis is based on an extensive research project on strategy work in 12 organizations. As a result of our analysis, we identify three central discourses that seem to be systematically associated with nonparticipatory approaches to strategy work: “mystification,” “disciplining,” and “technologization.” However, we also distinguish three strategy discourses that promote participation: “self-actualization,” “dialogization,” and “concretization.” Our analysis shows that strategy as practice involves alternative and even competing discourses that have fundamentally different kinds of implications for participation in strategy work. We argue from a critical perspective that it is important to be aware of the inherent problems associated with dominant discourses as well as to actively advance the use of alternative ones.

KW - strategy

KW - discourse

KW - participation

KW - critical management studies

KW - subjectivity

U2 - 10.1287/orsc.1070.0296

DO - 10.1287/orsc.1070.0296

M3 - Journal article

VL - 19

SP - 341

EP - 358

JO - Organization Science

JF - Organization Science

SN - 1047-7039

IS - 2

ER -