Antecedents, Process, and Consequences: Strategic Choice in Organization
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CitationChristensen, Michael. 2021. Antecedents, Process, and Consequences: Strategic Choice in Organization. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation seeks to understand the relationship between firms’ strategy practices and strategic decision-making processes and a breadth of organizational outcomes. While strategy and organizational decision-making have been subjects of deep interest over the past several decades, our understanding of firms’ process by which they develop their strategies and make strategic decisions has been stymied by the difficulty of obtaining detailed, systematic data about firms strategy practices and decision-making processes. Consequently, prior work in this area has been limited to either in-depth, small-sample studies of individual firms or specific types of strategic decisions, or larger sample studies that examine only a narrow facet of firms’ strategy practices and processes. This dissertation provides a new approach to studying firms’ strategy processes and practices by introducing a novel data collection technique that enables the collection of detailed, in-depth data about firms’ strategy practices for a large sample of firms. Using this data, this dissertation examines a wide range of research questions. The first chapter examines how the structure of firms’ strategy practices relates to various organizational performance metrics, including firm size, firm growth, decision volume, and decision speed. This chapter also examines the impact of managerial education on the structure of firms’ strategy practices. The second chapter studies how firms’ strategy choices, specifically the choice of which environmental dependence relationships they prioritized, impacts how well firms are able to align their internal organizational activities to that strategic choice. This chapter builds upon one of the most significant organizational theories, Resource Dependence Theory, and highlights several significant yet previously unexplored dimensions of that theory. The third and final chapter seeks to understand how firms’ choice of which strategic decision-making practices they implement is related to the speed of their strategic decision-making. It identifies six unique configurations of decision-making practices that are associated with slow strategic decision-making, and it theorizes that slow strategic decision-making may be the result of firms’ failure to implement full sets of complementary decision-making practices.
Overall, this dissertation provides and important empirical and theoretical foundation for future work in strategy and organizational decision-making. It emphasizes the importance of firms’ strategy practices and processes, in addition to the content of firms’ strategies and strategic decisions. Both the practices firms use to generate and implement their strategies, as well as the processes they use to make strategic decisions may have a significant impact on firms’ performance.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37370252
- FAS Theses and Dissertations 
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