School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc Degree Programme in Strategy | 2015
Thesis number: 14157
Discourse strategies of strategizing - a discourse analytical study on strategy implementation
Author: Leppä, Rosmarie
Title: Discourse strategies of strategizing - a discourse analytical study on strategy implementation
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Strategy
Index terms: johtaminen; management; strategia; strategy; tutkimus; research; diskurssianalyysi; discourse analysis
Pages: 96
Key terms: strategy implementation, strategizing, strategy-as-practice, discourse analysis
This study explores two developments in strategy research, namely the strategy-as-practice movement and discourse analysis in strategy research. By applying Van Dijk's (2014) socio-cognitive discourse analytical framework, this thesis seeks to identify the discourses people employ when talking about strategy implementation and the subject positions that are consequently constructed. Furthermore, this study is investigated how people consciously and unconsciously choose certain discourse strategies and the implications of these strategies on portrayal of strategy implementation.

Based on previous research on strategy implementation, I identify four discrete discourses that can be employed when talking about strategy implementation. These discourses discern between whether the strategy implementation is portrayed to consist of top-down or bottom-up activities as well as whether these activities are considered to be aligned or misaligned with the given strategy. By studying the interviews of employees at a software product development services unit at company X, I show how discourses affect which and how actors are enliven in the strategy implementation narratives of interviewees. I analyse the interviews to investigate what discourse strategies interviews employ and how the discourse strategies impact the narratives.

The findings indicate that a varied discourse strategy can foster a more flexible approach to strategy implementation. In particular, when people employ only employ aligned or misaligned discourses, the narrative can be constructed in robust manner through self-fulling and self-reinforcing discourse practices. Furthermore, it is discovered that certain organizational roles seem to be associated with narrower discourse strategies. Lastly, I discuss the directions for future research and managerial implications of the study.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.