A choice and inevitability framework in strategic management: empirical evidence of its real-life existence

Abstract

In the context of strategic management, strategic choice and determinism are presented as two distinct planning approaches. When treated as two distinct variables, they are responsible for the creation of a framework of analysis, in which it is possible to identify the four different human agency philosophical ontological perspectives, of determinism, hard incompatibilism, libertarianism and compatibilism, each perspective characterized by different amounts of strategic choice and determinism. By drawing on the theoretical context of the aforementioned perspectives, we provide empirical evidence of their real-life existence. The strategic framework not only reduces theoretical fragmentation, but also provides a link between the philosophical debate on free will/determinism and strategic management and can help to reduce uncertainty in planning.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Libertarianism also describes a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. Although free will and independence of judgement are shared with the economic and management libertarianism to which this paper refers, the former political libertarianism is not directly related to the arguments of this paper.

  2. 2.

    Marquis and Tilcsik (2013) advance a three-part definition of imprinting that emphasizes (1) brief sensitive periods of transition during which the focal entity exhibits high susceptibility to external influences; (2) a process whereby the focal entity comes to reflect elements of its environment during a sensitive period; and (3) the persistence of imprints despite subsequent environmental changes.

  3. 3.

    When we refer to competition in each of the examined perspectives we consider the B2B, (B2) B2C or prosumers2B2prosumers competition.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to three anonymous reviewers and the editor of the journal for their comments which improved this article. The usual disclaimer applies.

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Correspondence to Constantinos Alexiou.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 9 Dependent and independent variables’ descriptive statistics)

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Tumidei, D., Alexiou, C. & Bourne, M. A choice and inevitability framework in strategic management: empirical evidence of its real-life existence. Rev Manag Sci (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11846-020-00401-4

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Keywords

  • Determinism
  • Free will
  • Strategic choice
  • Strategic decision making
  • Human agency
  • Panel data

JEL Classification

  • L1
  • C23