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Materializing strategy in mundane tools: the key to coupling global strategy and local strategy practice?

Abstract : While much of the literature on strategy and strategy as practice (SaP) focuses on traditional strategic tools, technologies and discursive practices of managers, this paper extends the understanding of strategic change implementation by proposing that mundane material tools, understood as text, translate global strategic discourse in ways that make sense to workers and orchestrate successful global strategy implementation at the local level. Based on a rich case study within one branch of a national bank, we demonstrate how a middle manager’s materialising practices developed local strategy practice while simultaneously transforming work and producing strategic figures or indicators that satisfied senior management’s global strategic change objectives. The contributions of this paper are threefold: i) we advance the understanding of the multimodality of materiality by identifying the influence of three kinds of mundane tools produced locally by a middle manager as he performed his sense of the senior managers’ strategic discourse; ii) we reveal how these three types of physical texts materialised the manager’s sense of this discourse, facilitating frontline workers’ engagement and coupling materiality and orality in a coherent way that allowed workers to embody the company’s global strategy in their ‘sayings and doings’; and iii) we highlight the importance of managers’ ability to materialise a strategic discourse.
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Contributor : Nicolas Arnaud Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, September 7, 2015 - 3:21:23 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 11:18:01 AM

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Nicolas Arnaud, Colleen Mills, Céline Legrand, Eric Maton. Materializing strategy in mundane tools: the key to coupling global strategy and local strategy practice?. British Journal of Management, Wiley, 2016, 27, pp.38-57. ⟨10.1111/1467-8551.12144⟩. ⟨hal-01194784⟩



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