SEMESTER FALL 2019
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT (MGT 703)
ASSIGNMENT NO. 1
DUEDATE: JANUARY24,2020 MARKS: 15
Topic: Organizational ambidexterity: Integrating deliberate and emergent strategy with scenario planning
Learning Objectives: Following are the desired learning objectives of this graded activity;
To understand how scenario planning and organizational ambidexterity can solve the puzzle of
using deliberate versus emergent strategy.
To have a learning experience about strategic management research possibilities along with some brainstorming for a basic elaboration of a research idea.
Learning Outcomes: Following are the desired learning outcomes of this graded activity;
Students would learn about the similarities and differences of important concepts like scenario planning, organizational ambidexterity, deliberate and emergent strategy etc. and that how these concepts can intermingle with each other for better strategic choices.
Students would utilize the knowledge gained from the referred research article for developing a basic research agenda for their own research possibility related to the domain of Strategic Management.
Short Summary of the Reference Article
This article explains the importance of scenario planning with reference to fostering the construct of organizational ambidexterity for deliberate and emergent strategy. In the modern age of uncertain business environment, deliberate interplay of emergent and deliberate strategies is the best option. Role of organizational ambidexterity and scenario planning for a simultaneous interplay of deliberate and emergent strategies has been discussed in detail for the first time in this article.
With the advent of research and practice in management sciences, new concepts and terms are emerging in the management literature including organizational ambidexterity. At its core, it tries to balance the use of deliberate and emergent strategy in an organization. Strategy is a plan of action to
achieve a desired goal. There are a multiple school of thought on strategic management but the time component has generally not been incorporated into the strategy. However, some scholars have argued that strategy needs not to have time component and some have argued that time component is essential (i.e. present versus future orientation). For Ghemawat, strategy was the name of conscious use of formal planning. For Mintzberg, strategy was a plan, a pattern, a position, a perspective, and / or a ploy. Hunger and Wheelen’s hierarchical model of strategy also avoided the time orientation. For scholars like Brown and Eisenhardt, time component with respect to present and future orientation is necessary for the strategy. Overall, there is difference of opinion in the scholarly circles regarding time component in the strategy. Ten schools of thought given by Mintzberg also are different with respect to time orientation. Few earlier schools supported the choice of deliberate strategy while those which were more recent supported the choice of emergent strategy.
Minzberg stated that strategy can be either deliberate or it can be emergent strategy. Deliberate strategy is a planned and more central strategy with the intended actions and often with a slow process while emergent strategy is not often deliberately planned and is prepared with more of a collective behavior (see figure 1 in the reference article). Deliberate strategy remained more popular from 1950s to 1980s and was emphasized more in the earlier schools of strategy like strategy as design, strategy as positioning, strategy as culture, and strategy as organizational learning. Of late, scholars have been of the view that deliberate strategy is an old approach and emergent strategy is more suited to the current turbulent environment. Emergent strategy helps in managing unplanned past patterns with changing course of action. For Eisenhardt, emergent strategy is a kind of improvisational strategy that can help the organization in quickly grabbing a competitive advantage that would not have been possible with a routine deliberate strategy. However, Mintzberg also noted that only few strategies happen to be purely deliberate or purely emergent. Real world strategies are often the mix of these two types; fist one gives no learning and second one no control. An interplay of these two types of strategy may be the best option for companies in the uncertain environment.
Ambidexterity is a metaphor meaning that some action may be right on either way you choose among your options. Organizational theorists refer to how an organization “wears the hat” of the job it does today while at the same time “wearing the hat” of the job it will do tomorrow. This requires high level of discipline in the organization. March (1991) stated about organizational ambidexterity “as the exploration of new possibilities and the exploitation of old certainties.” It is a challenge for the managers in the modern age to simultaneously address future strategic needs along with addressing the current organizational complexities. One way of addressing this complex phenomenon of organizational ambidexterity might be to do scenario planning. It requires intuition, forecasting, deep understanding of competitors’ future intent etc. Most of all, scenario planning allows organizations to balance deliberate and emergent approaches to strategy. Scenario planning was evolved in 1950s from Herman Kahn’s methods to “think the unthinkable”. Instead of a single outcome like in forecasting technique, multiple outcomes for uncertain future are formed under this technique of scenario planning. This helps managers and decision-makers re-perceive the organizational situation and resource allocation etc. Shell Oil Company’s ability to anticipate the oil shocks of the mid 1970s and 80s is a classic example of scenario planning.
Wilson and Ralston (2006) developed a comprehensive approach for scenario planning that explains its different steps (see table 1 in the reference article). There are three key capabilities described in the ambidexterity literature about scenario planning including sensing, seizing and reconfiguring. Sensing is the ability to sense opportunities and threats. It requires scanning, searching, and exploration opportunities and threats for better alignment of strategies for upcoming events. Second key capability is the ability to seize opportunities which come first from the recognition that they exist. Seizing is not possible without sensing. Third key capability is reconfiguring which is the ability to reconfigure resources, assets and structures. Finally, the contribution of this article is in its synthesis of two concepts that have not yet been tied together. Author of this research article was of the view that better utilization of scenario planning along with organizational ambidexterity scenario can help in a better and simultaneous use of current versus future oriented strategic needs.
Reference: Bodwell, W., & Chermack, T. J. (2010). Organizational ambidexterity: Integrating deliberate and emergent strategy with scenario planning.Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 77(2), 193-202. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2009.07.004
Requirement: You are required to thoroughly read the reference article titled “Organizational ambidexterity: Integrating deliberate and emergent strategy with scenario planning” available in the download section of course LMS with the file name of “Reference Article for Assignment 1_MGT 703_Fall 19” and answer the following questions.
The reference article for this assignment provides a rich insight on the concept of organizational ambidexterity and scenario planning. Logically explain that how these concepts have been linked with the simultaneous use of deliberate and emergent strategies in an organization.
In the reference article, researcher has highlighted a few literature gaps and has mentioned a few research questions to be addressed by future researchers (see practical considerations in the reference article). Pick any of the research question of your interest and develop a model of at least three variables on the basis of that research question for a deductive / quantitative research. Also provide a brief overview of the research design / methodology that you would follow to address that research question. You are required to logically justify your stance.
(2 + 3 + 5 = 10 marks)
Important Note: Please write your answers in a concise manner. For developing research model of variables in the question 2 based on the selection of your particular research question, you must indicate one independent variable, one dependent variable and third variable can be either mediating or moderating variable with proper justification. In research design, you need to identify type of research, its research philosophy, justification for sampling technique, detail of measurement scales and
proposed statistical test. You can briefly mention any other relevant detail regarding research design if you want.
Note: You may give citations of others researches in your answers. Please use APA style of referencing while doing so. Please be precise and directly answer the question’s requirement.
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