Heading for decline? The significance of disturbances in strategic management
by Hannamari Heino; Juha Tuunainen
International Journal of Strategic Change Management (IJSCM), Vol. 7, No. 2, 2018

Abstract: This paper will address problems in strategic management process from the perspective of organisational decline. It will review the literature on early warning signals of decline and contribute to an understanding of their role in organisational development. To facilitate more advanced theorising about early warning signals, the paper will draw from cultural-historical activity theory suggesting that early warnings should be conceptualised in terms of organisational disturbances that act as visible evidence of developmental contradictions. By combining activity theory with strategy process research, the paper will open up an avenue for organisational analysis to better understand the nature of weak signs of decline and provide a better basis for their resolution. The conceptualisation will be illustrated by referring to a case example of a firm operating in service production.

Online publication date: Sat, 21-Apr-2018

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