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Title: Planning to improvise? The role of reasoning in the strategy process: evidence from Malaysia
Authors: Hughes, Paul
Hodgkinson, Ian R.
Arshad, Darwina A.
Hughes, Mathew
Leone, Vitor
Keywords: Emerging economy
Planning
Improvisation
Reasoning
Malaysia
Strategy process
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Springer
Citation: HUGHES, P. ... et al, 2017. Planning to improvise? The role of reasoning in the strategy process: evidence from Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Forthcoming.
Abstract: Planning and improvisation are depicted as alternate decision-making orientations in the strategy process literature, executed by two parallel cognitive contexts: rational or intuitive, but can rationality and intuition be harmonised in the strategy process? Strategic managers may not have to choose to either plan or improvise, rather there is a need to shift the focus of research from such trade-offs to paradoxical thinking. Drawing on survey data from Malaysian research-intensive firms, we investigate how strategy develops through managers’ strategic reasoning under key external (market turbulence) and internal (centralisation, manager level) contingencies. In contrast to common assumptions in the management literature, we find that both rational and intuitive reasoning can drive planning and improvisation for firms in emerging economies, with additional positive moderation effects under centralisation and manager level. Firms that achieve high levels of both planning and improvisation concurrently are characterised by significantly greater rationality relative to the high planning group and the high improvisation group. The findings extend strategy process research, highlighting how firms in emerging economies differ from theory derived from developed economies.
Description: This paper is closed access until 10 July 2018.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1007/s10490-017-9524-1
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/25164
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-017-9524-1
ISSN: 0217-4561
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Business School)

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