Chapter summary

As we explained in the introductory chapter, strategy-as-practice investigates how managerial actors perform the work of strategy, both through their social interactions with other actors and through practices present within a context, as well as habits, tools, events, artifacts, and socially defined modes of acting through which the stream of strategic activity is constructed. One of the central arguments of the strategy-as-practice perspective is that strategy is not the analytical preserve of the CEO and the top team, or the visionary and charismatic domain of the entrepreneur. Instead of being solely a top-down process, strategizing is inherently more complex involving multiple tools and actors. This is particularly the case in large organizations which are characterized by an inner context of increased complexity compared to other organizations. Accordingly, in this chapter the key argument posed is that in complex organizational settings strategy is practiced across a community of strategists. Using the 3P framework, the chapter demonstrates that peripheral and central strategy actors are involved in practicing strategy. By combining the insights of the current chapter with the learning we gained in Chapter 2 (CEOs), Chapter 3 (Chief Strategy Officers) and chapter 4 (Strategy Teams), we can also gain an understanding about the activities of strategists at the periphery of organizations, particularly middle-level managers.

Keywords: engaged strategy participation; middle-level managers; practice in context; strategizing capabilities.