BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Although strategy has been one of the main interests of both organization theorists and practitioners for decades.
Porter (1991:95-117) states that the most central question in strategy research has been why some firms succeed and some fail. According to Tsoukas (1996:11-25) in studying firms’ behaviour, management researchers have traditionally addressed two questions in what direction should a firm channel its activities and how should a firm be organized.
On the other hand, business management and practitioners in private and public organizations as well as strategy consultants, strategy gurus, and business schools have constantly sought models and guidelines to ensure organizational survival and success as the basic motivation for all strategists. Strategy is about understanding and anticipating the nature of an organization’s competitive environment and its position within it.
Barney (1991:99-120) states that a strategy is about understanding the organization’s valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitable internal resources, and core competences.. Ansoff (1965) views strategy as about creating ingenious plans for the future to beat competitors to serve customers in novels ways, but it is also about organizational action, taking different kinds of actions step-by-step in specific way.
Though, this research project is about the success of strategy implementation. The processes by which strategies are created, that is, strategy formulation, or strategy making, have gained growing attention since the 1960s and the early authors have developed different normative frameworks and models for building a successful corporate or business strategy. As a conceptual counterpart to formulation, strategy implementation has been considered a process of executing the decisions made in the formulation process.
Hrebiniak and Joyce (2001:602) stress that strategy implementation has not reached as much attention as formulation and has even been labeled as “a neglected area in the literature of strategic management. Therefore, formulation and implementation f strategy have generally been considered as separate, distinguishable parts of the strategic management process and the conceptual separation of implementation and formulation can also be seen strategy write up or textbooks.
Snow and Harmbrick (1980:527:538)” even argue that, researchers have ( …) reached a general consensus on distinguishing between strategy formulation and strategy implementation. The advantage of making this distinction is that the cognitive aspects of strategy formulation, can be viewed as an important phases apart from the action component (implementation) But this work look at this distinction as myopic considering thinking and doing. The believe here demonstrate that, implementation is more than pure mechanical execution, requiring cognition, initiative and interaction on the part of various stakeholders throughout the organization.
Infact, the classical implementation literature is often laden with a rather mechanistic idea of man, which neglects the factor that organizational members are conscious agents with their own intents and is manifested in terms such as “installing strategy” As Clegg et al (2004: 24) put it, the Cartesian split between the intelligible mind and the dumb body that has to be informed”.
Some groups of authors like, “Bourgeois and Brodwin (1984) Noble (1999) and Hrebiniak and Joyce (2001 states that the concept of strategy implementation is “elusive” and strategy implementation research is “eclectic” being fragmented among several fields of organization and management study.
Thus, normative strategy literature is packed with models of successful strategy implementation, suggesting a strategy to be implemented through activities such as objectives, incentives, controls and structures.
Alexander (1991: 73-96) and Beer Eisenstat (2000:29-40) focused on the problems in implementation and have identified a number of difficulties, (weak management roles in implementation, lack of communication, lack of commitment to the strategy, unawareness or misunderstanding of the strategy, unaligned organizational systems and resources, poor coordination and sharing of responsibilities, inadequate capabilities, and competing activities).
The majority of strategy implementation literature is normative, suggesting that strategy is implemented in a certain way. Even though it is noted that the type of strategy may potentially influences the implementation action, the context is often ignored, proposing that all kinds of organizations, in all kinds of situations and with any kind of strategic goals, should know the same model of implementation .
In other words, strategy implementation literature remains rather superficial and does not describe how particular strategies are realized. Whittington (1996. 731-735) recently emerged a strategy research stream that aims to look into the black box of organization to study strategy on the micro level. This strategy as practice research agenda explores strategy as a social phenomenon, by investigating how the practitioners of strategy really act and interact. It calls of ran “activity-based view on strategy and proposes that value lies increasingly in the micro activities of managers and others in organizations and seeks to understand organization’s strategies and processes, and seeks to understand organization’s strategies and processes, and what is actually done there and by whom.
Obviously, there are both theoretical and practical needs to understand strategy implementation better and there is a growing ambition to study strategy as an intra-organizational, micro level phenomenon. It is my believe that in order to tackle the numerous observed problems of implementation, we should create better more elucidatory, conceptualizations of strategy implementation, and to be able to concretize what we want to explore, what really happens in the name of strategy in organizations.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM