Strategy Transition Processes and Practices in Public Sector Organisations




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


Strategy processes and internal actors’ practices are crucial for organisations given their dynamic environment. Strategy processes including formulation, implementation, and evaluation have been treated as mutually exclusive, making how strategy is actually transitioned between them a matter of major concern (Whittington, 2007; Sorooshian and Dodangeh, 2013; Leonardi, 2015). Equally, particular groups of internal actors and their strategic practices have previously been researched in isolation from one another without expressing how they collectively interact to ultimately give strategy processes (Vaara and Whittington, 2012; Engen and Magnusson, 2015; Friesl and Kwon, 2016). These processes and practices have barely been researched in the public sector, and this in turn contextualises this research to study strategy transition processes and practices enacted in public sector organisations. Drawing on strategy-as-practice and Social Practice theory as meta-theoretical lenses, this research explores the dynamics of the strategy transition process stage by revealing the social practices of internal actors and other influential factors. A pragmatism approach was adopted for this research. The primary data collection was obtained through 27 semi-structured interviews with respondents from a single case study followed by survey of 381 respondents across five case organisations in Kuwait. The research identified four factors that interact and contribute to the complexity of the strategy transition process and practices of actors in the process. These are in order of significance; process design, actors’ social interactions, strategic awareness, and role of leadership. In relation to the social interaction and leadership factors, the research found that strategy practices can be influenced by the societal culture inherited by actors. Equally, it was revealed that the control mechanism adopted for the strategy transition process contributed to the enhancement of the strategy transition process design and strategic awareness between actors. Additionally, the dynamic interaction between these factors was found to affect strategy practice, which in turn either enables or impedes the smooth transition of organisational strategies from the formulation to implementation phases. The research also contributes to the understanding of Social Practice theory by introducing the interactivity as a cognitive construct to its boundary. Hence, the study and its findings extend our understanding of the contextual social practices that could help to enhance the strategy transition process among internal actors.





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