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This portal is no longer updated.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: 14301
Developing a framework for the strategy content-process relationship in view of implementation problems - a multiple case study
Author: Cepa, Katharina
Title: Developing a framework for the strategy content-process relationship in view of implementation problems - a multiple case study
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Strategy
Index terms: johtaminen; management; strategia; strategy; suunnittelu; planning; prosessit; processes
Pages: 109
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14301.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1908545)
Key terms: strategy implementation process; strategy implementation problems; strategic management; annual planning; strategic initiatives
Ineffective implementation of strategy is one of organisations' gravest problems because it leaves large parts of their strategies' economic potential unrealised. Enquiring into strategy implementation problems in the context of their occurrence, i.e. in connection to the implementation processes within which they occur, and analysing the findings, the author aims to provide organisations with a tool to minimise strategy implementation problems by enabling organisational architects to build better strategy implementation processes. The assumption is that certain types of strategy content and implementation processes entail certain implementation problems. By anticipating these problems and pre-emptively building protective mechanisms into their strategy implementation process, companies can prepare for, or even prevent, said problems from occurring.

This thesis is carried out as multiple case study of four mature, internationally active Finnish industrial companies. Eleven semi-structured interviews have been conducted with two to three participants per case company. The framework method has been used to analyse the results and to build, under consideration of the results from the literature review, a framework that describes the relationship between strategy content- and implementation process-type, and their effect on strategy implementation problems.

In the findings, three relationships have been established; strategy content-type to implementation problems, strategy process-type to implementation problems, and strategy content-type to strategy implementation process-type. Intended strategies issued at a higher level of detail entail different implementation problems than those issued at a lower level of detail. More thoroughly defined and formalised implementation processes demonstrate different implementation problems than do less defined and formalised implementation processes. Hence, by applying the framework developed in this thesis' cross-case analysis to their strategy content and process choice, organisations can predict the implementation problems they are likely to meet. Furthermore, the more distinctly strategic action is described in intended strategy, the more distinctly it is implemented. Hence, Mintzberg's (1990) assertion that "structure follows strategy the way the left foot follows the right in walking" has once more been found to be true; the choice of strategy content already sets boundaries for the process choice, or, the choice of the strategy process already sets the boundaries for the strategy content choice.
Electronic publications are subject to copyright. The publications can be read freely and printed for personal use. Use for commercial purposes is forbidden.