How are strategy tools used in practice in a university context?

Many business schools teach the importance of using strategy tools when engaging in strategizing activities. Despite this fact there is an ongoing debate concerning what is taught in business schools and what is actually used in practice. In spite of this debate there has been little research done regarding how these strategy tools are used in practice. This study seeks to address this through the adoption of a strategy as practice perspective which helped to identify what is actually practiced by managers while engaging in strategizing activities. Managers use strategy to respond to complex forces (social, political, economic) in their business environments. However to develop and implement strategy encompasses a full range of strategizing activities such as strategic thinking, strategic analysis, strategic decision making and implementation. Many business schools teach strategy tools are techniques which managers use to structure and influence strategizing activities. Previous research on strategy tools played emphasis on the benefits that can be derived if tools are used in different context. Others have highlighted the frequency of tool usage. Nevertheless, there is a need to make a review what is taught and how strategy tools are used in practice.A qualitative study was conducted in two universities through the use of semi structured interviews to gather data. The use of an inductive and interpretivism perspective through a case study helped the researcher identify the context in which events were taking place…

Contents

1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the research
1.2 Research Question
1.3 Research Objective
2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Strategy
2.3 University Strategies
2.3.1 Previous Research on University Strategies
2.4 Strategy Tools
2.4.1 Strategy Tools Definition
2.4.2 Previous Research
2.5 Strategy Tools and University Strategies
2.6 Identification of Knowledge Gap
3 METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Philosophy
3.2 Research Strategy and Design
3.3 Research Approach
3.4 Research Context
3.4.1 Universities being studied
3.4.1.1 Umeå University
3.4.1.2 The University of the West Indies
3.4.1.3 Justification of Sample Size and Research Setting
3.4.2 Semi Structured Telephone and Face to Face Interviews
3.5 Criteria for Evaluation: Validity and Reliability
4 EMPERICAL STUDY
4.1 Information acquired during Interviews
4.1.1 Umeå University
4.1.2 The University of the West Indies
5 DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
5.1 Extent of Strategy Tool Usage
5.2 How are Strategy Tools used in practice?
5.2.1 Sense-making and Evaluation Purposes
5.2.2 Communication and Persuasion
5.2.3 Development and Growth Strategies
5.2.4 Best Practices
5.3 Comparison between two universities
5.4 Discussion
6 CONCLUSION
7 APPENDICIES
8 BIBLIOGRAPHY

Author: Hutchinson, Collette

Source: Umea University

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