Final Reflections — Retrospect and Prospect


This treatise has come a long way. Although one searches for something novel in any treatise, it is impossible to state where and how to search until one finally hits on something that appears meaningful. If the outcome were predetermined, one would not need to search in the first place. The sense a book makes can only be fixed and discussed in a retrospective manner. Within this study we have come across a variety of issues, which we will now reconceptualize in order to display their contributions. Even though chapter six and seven discussed detailed implications of our deconstructive reading of strategic management, there is still the need to condense the core messages of this study. Section 8.1 takes a retrospective perspective and presents the central findings of our discussion, whereas section 8.2 is prospective in that it outlines what kind of scholarship can support the central findings. In this sense, section 8.2 tells us what scholars can do to take the core findings (section 8.1) of this study seriously.


Strategy Scholar Strategic Management Strategy Research Theory Construction Editorial Policy 


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  1. 125.
    Especially when considering the recent rise of the RBV, where only those firms with unique competences are assumed to have a competitive advantage, large-sample and cross-sectional techniques are unlikely to be able to disentangle the variety of effects associated with competences. Another problem is the question of unobservables. The resource-based tradition has introduced concepts like dynamic capabilities or organizational competences. These phenomena cannot be studied through sending out questionnaires (Godfrey and Hill 1995).Google Scholar
  2. 126.
    Ethnographic methods range from semistructured and unstructured interviews over unobtrusive’ shadowing’ techniques to participant observations (see Bernard 1994). This puts narrative studies (Czarniawska 1998, 1997) and conversation analysis (Schegloff 1987) on the agenda.Google Scholar
  3. 127.
    Weick (1999: 519) argues: “Most existing descriptions of the theorizing process assume that validation is the ultimate test of a theory and that theorizing itself is more credible the more closely it stimulates external validation at every step. Thus, a dual concern with accurate representation and close correspondence between concepts and operations is evident virtually from the start in any theorizing activity. These concerns can be counterproductive to theory generation.”Google Scholar
  4. 128.
    In their recommendations regarding doctoral education in strategic management, Summer et al. (1990: 368) give the following advice: “Both ‘Philosophy of Science’ and ‘Quantitative Analysis’ are crucial to understanding and evaluating research in Business Policy and Strategy, so those areas deserve immediate attention. A ‘Design and Methods’ course should typically follow the above two, and many students will require additional work in econometrics or other quantitative fields.” In consequence, students of strategy are trained very early in their careers about what it means to conduct ‘rigorous’ research. We do not suggest that no quantitative training has to be offered, but rather that a balanced education between quantitative and qualitative methods has to be achieved.Google Scholar
  5. 129.
    The very latest management fad — Blue-Ocean-Strategy — is about creating new business segments by deliberately neglecting the frontiers of the more traditional business (Kim and Mauborgne 2004). Faced with the question which corporations can especially profit from Blue-Ocean-Strategy thinking, W. Chan Kim, one of the promoting professors of this concept, replies: “The approach can be implemented by all corporations — regardless of the industry they are in.” (Kim and Mauborgne 2005: 52, translation A.R.)Google Scholar
  6. 130.
    Even Deconstruction has become a management fad. Promoted by the Boston Consulting Group, the Deconstruction of value chains is about the dissolution of traditional boundaries of industries, companies, and businesses. When gas stations become supermarkets, Deconstruction is at work (Khurana 2002: 251). Accordingly, there is need to differentiate deconstruction from Deconstruction, although, in a deconstructive world, there is no clear-cut distinction between both notions, as d/Deconstruction is always itself reiterated and thus subject to deconstruction.Google Scholar

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