Examining the strategy development process through the lens of complex adaptive systems theory


The development of strategy remains a debate for academics and a concern for practitioners. Published research has focused on producing models for strategy development and on studying how strategy is developed in organisations. The Operational Research literature has highlighted the importance of considering complexity within strategic decision making; but little has been done to link strategy development with complexity theories, despite organisations and organisational environments becoming increasingly more complex. We review the dominant streams of strategy development and complexity theories. Our theoretical investigation results in the first conceptual framework which links an established Strategic Operational Research model, the Strategy Development Process model, with complexity via Complex Adaptive Systems theory. We present preliminary findings from the use of this conceptual framework applied to a longitudinal, in-depth case study, to demonstrate the advantages of using this integrated conceptual model. Our research shows that the conceptual model proposed provides rich data and allows for a more holistic examination of the strategy development process. © 2012 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/jors.2011.97
Divisions: Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
Aston Business School
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of the Operational Research Society. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Hammer, R J; Edwards, J S and Tapinos, E (2011). Examining the strategy development process through the lens of complex adaptive systems theory. Journal of the Operational Research Society is available online at: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jors201197a.html
Uncontrolled Keywords: strategy development process,strategic planning,complexity theory,complex adaptive systems,CASs,systems thinking,education,Management Science and Operations Research,Management Information Systems,Marketing,Strategy and Management
Full Text Link: http://www.palg ... ors201197a.html
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2012-07
Published Online Date: 2011-09-21
Authors: Hammer, Roger J.
Edwards, John S. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3979-017X)
Tapinos, Efstathios



Version: Accepted Version

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