Title: Micro-politics and strategy formation in SMEs

Authors: Lawrence C. Bellamy; George Lodorfos; Léo-Paul Dana

Addresses: University of Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester CH1 4 BJ, UK ' Leeds Business School, The Rose Bowl, Leeds LS1 3HB, UK ' Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier Business School/Montpellier Research in Management, 2300 Avenue des Moulins, 34185 Montpellier Cedex 4, France

Abstract: This paper aims to examine the strategy formation process in SMEs with reference to the impact of the micro-politics of ownership and control. Based on 34 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with senior managers from nine small firms during the course of three years, this article examines issues of ownership and control and the resulting punctuation upon strategy formation processes that occurs when these issues are in disequilibrium. The paper begins to redress the imbalance in the literature that has neglected the impact of micro-politics in SMEs' strategy formation processes. The authors then argue that - during periods when power positions are evolving - a key factor is the duration for the power structure to settle. Whilst accepting that these shifts are inevitable in organisations, an extended period of redistribution of power - and the politics associated with that - can cause strategic drift.

Keywords: UK; United Kingdom; micro-politics; ownership; control; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; small firms; strategy formation; power structure; power redistribution; strategic drift.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2013.056893

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2013 Vol.20 No.3, pp.326 - 341

Published online: 30 Apr 2014 *

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