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Identity and Strategy
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Identity and Strategy

How Individual Visions Enable the Design of a Market Strategy that Works

9781847206565 Edward Elgar Publishing
Olaf G. Rughase, Schindl Rughase Partners and Zollverein School of Management and Design, Essen, Germany
Publication Date: 2007 ISBN: 978 1 84720 656 5 Extent: 256 pp
This groundbreaking book explores the relationship between organizational identity and strategy and proposes a practical strategy making process that helps to avoid the typical pitfalls in strategic change processes. In doing so, the author bridges an important gap in management and strategy literature and explains how to practically link content and process when designing market strategies. A new conceptual framework is also presented which emphasizes the importance and dynamics of organizational identity and corresponding time discrepancies for strategy making.

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This groundbreaking book explores the relationship between organizational identity and strategy and proposes a practical strategy making process that helps to avoid the typical pitfalls in strategic change processes. In doing so, the author bridges an important gap in management and strategy literature and explains how to practically link content and process when designing market strategies. A new conceptual framework is also presented which emphasizes the importance and dynamics of organizational identity and corresponding time discrepancies for strategy making.

Whilst most strategists use the economically and analytically ‘best’ strategy as a measure, Olaf Rughase introduces a new measure for strategy making that takes personal feelings, values and aspirations of organizational members into account. Claiming that individually desired organizational identities – which can be seen as individual visions – give direction, motivation and impetus for strategy action and development, he suggests reaching a shared desired organizational identity which should then be taken as a strategy measure. Using rational and analytical factors the shared desired identity is then challenged and evolved until an attainable market strategy that works in practice is reached. In this way he also shows how the organization’s customers can be closely connected to organizational identity in practical strategy making.

By weaving both practice and theory together, this fascinating book provides a fresh voice on compelling management issues and will be invaluable to academics, researchers, practitioners, consultants and students with an interest in strategic and organizational management.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book exemplifies one of the most complete and rigorous examples of scholarship relative to its subject matter that I have ever seen.’
– Russell L. Ackoff, University of Pennsylvania, US

‘This is a book written by someone who makes a living from helping organizations make strategy. It is also, though, written by a scholar – someone who has thought hard about the topic and knows what other scholars think. This mix makes a book that is both thorough, well argued, and yet of great significance for consultants and managers. It unashamedly takes an “inside-out” view of strategy making, and this is what makes it so practical. It focuses on what those who manage want to do with their organization, rather than on some notion of what they “should” do. The book takes the field of strategic management forward by bringing theory and practice together – more management writing needs to come from practitioner scholars.’
– Colin Eden, University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business, UK

‘Olaf Rughase successfully unlocks important insights for creative market strategy development by linking it to central ideas about organizational identity. He provides a compelling theoretical rationale and useful practical process insights for how to induce creative market strategy formation through articulating current desired organizational identities. The book is clearly written, the claims well documented and well illustrated, providing a fresh and useful perspective on how to enable market strategies that work.’
– Jane E. Dutton, University of Michigan, US

‘In his well-researched book, Olaf Rughase introduces a new element into the concept of strategy which has so far been neglected to a surprising degree: the human factor. Strategy development certainly consists of data research, analysis and synthesis – but after all, it is at least as much driven by fear and hope, will and might, the vision and the experience of the people involved. Only approaches that take this into account can claim any relevance for real-life strategy making. Viewed in this light, Olaf Rughase’s book fills a gaping hole in the existing world of strategic thinking.’
– Jörg Fengler, Management Consultancy, E.ON Ruhrgas AG, Germany

‘Theorists and practitioners often underestimate the subtlety of each others’ thinking. Rughase’s work engages seriously with both groups, and as a result is both deep and thoroughly practical. This is a genuinely original contribution.’
– David Sims, Cass Business School, London, UK

‘. . . this book is not just an academic treatise. Its insights grow out of facilitating strategy making, and one of these experiences is described in some detail. There are many practical observations to be found here. Political realities are acknowledged. Alternative paths anticipated. The ideas advanced here are, in combination, a genuine departure from past efforts. The theoretic development, which moves back and forth from experience to academic explanation, is convincing.’
– From the foreword by Anne S. Huff
Contents
Contents: Foreword by Anne S. Huff Resurrecting the Future of Strategy Consulting by Franz Liebl Introduction 1. Identity as a Blind Spot in Strategy Making 2. What is Organizational Identity? 3. Identity and Strategy: A Dynamic Framework for Connecting the Past with the Future 4. The Impact of Desired Identities: What Does it Mean for Strategy Making in Practice? 5. How to Evolve a Desired and Attainable Market Strategy: Designing a Strategy Making Process 6. Designed Strategy Making in Practice: A Case Study 7. The Impact of Identity: Lessons Learned 8. Conclusions Bibliography Index
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