SAP Reflections & Projections

Christina Cataldo, Jonathan Raelin and Uta Morgenstern (all University of Bath)

At the 2012 Academy of Management, we facilitated a PDW titled, “Reflections & Projections: An Interactive PDW Developing the Future of Strategy-as-Practice (SAP)”. This session featured keynote speakers and roundtable discussions to cultivate a future agenda for SAP.

Steve Floyd began by discussing SAP as an umbrella construct, cautioning the field about associated validity threats. Paula Jarzabkowski talked about refocusing SAP on a practice-based perspective, particularly one using video methodologies. Linda Rouleau urged the further adoption of an organizational ethnographic research approach. Richard Whittington raised implications arising from the limited scope of macro SAP research. Gerard Hodgkinson presented a cognitive approach to address the limited exposure of bounded rationality and emotions. Finally, Hugh Willmott presented a critical perspective, raising the possibility that SAP is losing sight of power and discourse’s impact.

Subsequent roundtables generated several questions to propel the field forward. Specifically:

  1. Given its breadth, does SAP lack clarity around its fundamental purpose?
  2. Can SAP be enhanced through a greater theoretical and political foundation?
  3. By using micro-methods, is the presence of macro power and materiality undermined?
  4. In the quest for legitimacy, is SAP losing its real-world relevance? How can SAP be more effectively brought to a practitioner audience?
  5. What happens when people and organizations have conflicting demands? How do they reconcile this conflict?
  6. What is the impact of emotion-driven behavior on SAP? How can we get access to and capture this component?
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