This ground-breaking book reframes the perspective taken in most strategy research in two key ways: by describing organizational renewal from a middle-level perspective and by reconceptualizing the theoretical basis for strategy process research. Part I reviews the existing literature in the strategy process, including recent literature on strategic renewal. Part II builds the theoretical basis for a middle level perspective, focusing on knowledge development, social network analysis and organizational trust. Part III moves from synthesizing existing research toward the development of a model for conducting research from a middle-level perspective.

Toward a Middle-Level View: Developing New Assumptions

Toward a middle-level view: Developing new assumptions

This important difference in occupation means that the top management perspective is useful in studying resource deployment processes but is limiting to researchers who want to study capability accumulation or the process of how an organization “learns to do new things” (Nelson, 1991). We believe the latter requires a middle-level perspective.

The preceding chapter described a growing recognition of the importance of middle-level strategic behavior in strategy process research and also highlighted three assumptions that continue to dominate the field: (a) Strategy making is a choice process involving the hierarchical ordering of alternatives; (b) top managers encounter and process the information necessary to make a choice; and (c) the choice made by top ...

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