Strategy as Practice

Research Directions and Resources

Strategy as Practice
  • By Gerry Johnson

    By Ann Langley

    By Leif Melin

    By Richard Whittington

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

    Online Publication Date:March 2010

    Online ISBN:9780511618925

    Hardback ISBN:9780521862936

    Paperback ISBN:9780521681568

  • Book DOI:

    Subjects: Strategic Management

Research in strategy has shifted significantly towards strategy as something organizations have, rather than strategy as something that managers do. The activities of the people who actually manage and develop organizational strategy have become marginalized. Strategy as Practice argues the reverse: that research on strategy needs to take seriously what strategists do and the effects of what they do.Written by a distinguished team of researchers and educators, the book sets out a research agenda, provides guidelines on theoretical perspectives and alternative methodologies for research on practice as well as commentaries on published illustrative papers that exemplify the practice perspective. Strategy as Practice will be essential reading for doctoral students, researchers and academics who wish to understand or undertake research in this important field of management research.


"Strategy as Practice explores the relationship between strategy and the day-to-day performance of organizational work and provides useful ways of connecting previous and future research to this significant agenda. This book is an important contribution to the scholarly efforts to theorize the relationship between what people do and the patterns that their actions create."
-Martha S. Feldman, Johnson Chair for Civic Governance and Public Management, University of California, Irvine

"As researchers studying business strategy have devoted more and more effort to statistical analyses of readily available databases, their findings have come to emphasize highly rationalized interpretations of past events. One result has been prescriptions that advocate results to achieve without offering guidance about how to achieve these results. The Strategy as Practice movement calls on researchers to pay more attention to how people develop and pursue strategic goals in real life. This thrust is a much-needed addition to the portfolio of strategy research, and this book shows that such research promises intellectual challenge as well as practical utility."
-William Starbuck, Professor in Residence, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon

"This is a marvellous book in many ways. The simultaneous attention to epistemology, theory and methodology are quite unique. If you want to understand the epistemological underpinnings of strategy-as-practice, the underlying theoretical schools of thought, and the methodological implications for conducting empirical research, this is it. The annotated exemplary papers concretize the distinctive features of strategy-as-practice and provide guiding examples for those wanting to engage in relevant empirical research. It will be a landmark contribution to what is probably the most exciting area of research in strategy today."
-Haridimos Tsoukas, Professor of Organisation Studies, University of Warwick and ALBA, Greece

"[Strategy as Practice ] provides insights into current issues in strategy that require a more micro level of understanding. The pragmatic approach also helps to integrate different aspects of strategy research, and provides insights that will help managers work more effectively."
-Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and Environment