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Planning to improvise? The role of reasoning in the strategy process: Evidence from Malaysia

Hughes, Paul and Hodgkinson, Ian R. and Arshad, Darwina and Hughes, Mathew and Leone, Vitor (2018) Planning to improvise? The role of reasoning in the strategy process: Evidence from Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 35 (2). pp. 449-470. ISSN 0217-4561

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Planning and improvisation are depicted as alternate decision-making orientations in the strategy process literature, executed by two parallel cognitive contexts: rational or intuitive, but can rationality and intuition be harmonized in the strategy process? Strategic managers may not have to choose to either plan or improvise, rather there is a need to shift the focus of research from such trade-offs to paradoxical thinking.Drawing on survey data from Malaysian research-intensive firms, we investigate how strategy develops through managers’ strategic reasoning under key external (market turbulence) and internal (centralization, manager level) contingencies.In contrast to common assumptions in the management literature, we find that both rational and intuitive reasoning can drive planning and improvisation for firms in emerging economies, with additional positive moderation effects under centralization and manager level. Firms that achieve high levels of both planning and improvisation concurrently are characterized by significantly greater rationality relative to the high planning group and the high improvisation group. The findings extend strategy process research, highlighting how firms in emerging economies differ from theory derived from developed economies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emerging economy Planning Improvisation Reasoning Malaysia Strategy process
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: School of Business Management
Depositing User: Mrs. Norazmilah Yaakub
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 02:18
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 02:18

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