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Organisational Self-understanding and the Strategy Process: Strategy Dynamics in Scania and Handelsbanken
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the role of organisational self-understanding in strategy processes. The concept of organisational self-understanding denotes members’ understanding of their organisation’s identity. The study illustrates that strategy processes in companies are processes of self-understanding. During strategy making, strategic actors engage in the interpretation of their organisation’s identity. This self-understanding provides guidance for strategic action while it at the same time implies understanding strategic action from the past. Organisational self-understanding is concerned with the maintenance of institutional integrity. In order to achieve this, those aspects of self-understanding that have become particularly institutionalised need to develop in a continuous manner. Previous literature on strategy and organisational identity has put too much emphasis on the stability/change dichotomy. The present study shows that it is possible to maintain continuity even in times of change. Such continuity can be established by avoiding strategic action that is perceived as disruptive with regard to self-understanding and by providing interpretations of the past that make developments over time appear as free from ruptures. Self-undertsanding is hence an inherently historical phenomenon. Empirically, this study is based on in-depth case studies of strategy processes in two large Swedish companies, namely the truck manufacturer Scania and the bank Handelsbanken. In each of the companies, three strategic themes in which organisational self-understanding has become particularly salient are studied.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
JIBS Dissertation Series, ISSN 1403-0470 ; 27
Keyword [en]
strategy, organizational identity, history, change management, organizational self-understanding, continuity, scania
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-8116Local ID: 2320/10050ISBN: 91-89164-57-1OAI: diva2:888999


Marknadstekniskt Centrum (MTC)

Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22

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Brunninge, Olof
Business Administration

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