Towards competitive theorizing of strategy implementation process – empirical evidence from applying the RBV lens on implementation process

Amjad, Muhammad (2013) Towards competitive theorizing of strategy implementation process – empirical evidence from applying the RBV lens on implementation process. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This study identified the core knowledge gap of a lack of competitive theorizing of strategy implementation (SIMP) in the processual and resource-based views of strategy. This gap exists due to tactical perception and relative inattention to variety in strategy implementation process and related competitive implications. It is argued that strategy process and the RBV perspectives can provide complementary insights necessary to move towards competitive theorizing of strategy implementation. A grounded research is conducted to compare how strategy implementation patterns explain implementation success and how those patterns explain heterogeneity in resources management in different firm types – foreign and indigenous. Content analysis of the interview data revealed significant heterogeneity in the strategy implementation process patterns and achieved implementation success. These SIMP process patterns are categorised based on the approach towards strategy implementation as a strategic phenomenon, firm’s type, and thrust of implementation process. Important sources of variations in implementation success emerged in the Competitive and Tactical implementing patterns.

Three resources management activities emerged from the data and revealed important distinctions for the heterogeneous implementing patterns. The Tactical implementing patterns showed preference of strategic actors for use of internally available resources and acquisition of ready-made resources. The Competitive implementing patterns showed a balanced approach towards resources management by pursuing optimization of resources. These resources management heterogeneities are shaped by the SIMP process pattern and revealed implementation process performance, action timing and resources optimization as the key sources of competitiveness from strategy implementation. The empirical findings refute the notion that the role of strategy implementation is only to complement as an operational process without much competitive gains. This empirically challenges the conventional conceptions of implementation to adopt and institutionalize strategy and extends to the contribution of SIMP for strategy refinements to gain competitive gains. These findings strongly support that competitive theorizing of strategy implementation is a worthwhile scholarly pursuit via using the complementary views of strategy. Future research should build on this agenda of competitive theorizing of strategy implementation using other firm types, research settings and more micro level analysis.

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