In this chapter we focus our attention on the strategic tools utilized by strategists. Instead of a descriptive account of strategy tools and their use, we choose to raise awareness of practice-based aspects of their use and how, through their use, they have potential to influence the practicing of strategy. Two principal ‘pathways’ of influence by strategists are discussed: an ‘artifact-oriented’ and an ‘action-oriented’ pathway. When applying such insight to the use of strategy tools, we realize that the way strategy tools are used goes beyond their direct application and is a more complicated, social, ongoing, and dynamic phenomenon. The key insight here is that in order to get a more complete picture of the practicing of strategy we need to appreciate the praxis behind the practices and vice versa. In terms of strategy tools, such a practice-oriented approach means that less attention needs to be paid to the kinds of tools used and more to the actual ways these tools are used and adapted by practitioners when dealing with strategic issues. When considering the ways practitioners can use to influence tools, we argue that the language and discourse around strategy are fundamental.
Keywords: artifacts; cognition; materiality; practices, strategy tools