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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc Degree Programme in Strategy | 2015
Thesis number: 14649
The nature of strategy: Discourses from the participator's perspective - A case study
Author: Silvennoinen, Jenni
Title: The nature of strategy: Discourses from the participator's perspective - A case study
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Strategy
Index terms: strategia; strategy; organisaatio; organization
Pages: 50
Key terms: strategy; strategy work; discourse; Strategy as Practice
Objective of the study

The objective of this study is to explore the multifaceted nature of strategy discourses in the context of a single case organization and to identify the prevailing themes in organizational discourses regarding the nature of strategy and the participatory roles of individuals in strategy work. During the interviews, the case company members are engaged into an active discussion about strategy by activating them with aids such as the task of constructing a strategy map. This allows the researcher to gain a deeper insight about the personal roles, thoughts and attitudes about strategy and strategic activities in the daily work life of the individuals. The primary data generated is analyzed inductively in light of the relevant existing research literature to produce a more thorough understanding about the multifaceted nature of strategy and strategy work within the case organization.


This research is an empirical inductive single case study about strategy discourses. The research approach chosen for this research is called Strategy as Practice, which focuses on the micro-level social practices, activities and themes that make up strategy work in organizations. In order to provide a rich and in-depth view about the strategy discourses taking place throughout the organization, a total of 25 interviews are carried out within the multiple organizational levels and functions both including key strategic planners and members outside the formal strategy work groups. The primary research results are analyzed in regard of the relevant secondary data in the existing management literature.

Findings and conclusions

The findings of this research suggest that strategy discourses are highly polyphonic in nature. This polyphony, combined with the abstract nature of strategy, can result in discursive struggle between the individual's own personal goals, values and characteristics compared with those of the organization. While the individual's own personal outlook on strategy, what activities are assigned to strategy work and even their personality play an active role in the degree and mode of participation in strategy, the research findings reveal that strategy, as an inherently social phenomena, is embedded in the daily discourses and activities through which it is constructed and therefore, difficult to isolate from the daily activities and value-creation and to express in words.
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