Strategic initiatives are a “principal means by which organizations learn to change existing or develop new capabilities” (Müller-Stewens, 2004: 3). This view is also the basis of earlier studies by Bower (1970), Burgelman (1983a, 1991), Lovas and Ghoshal (2000) and McGrath (2001). In line with this thesis's core ontological assumption of reality as a concrete process (Morgan & Smircich, 1980), we define strategic initiatives “as discrete proactive undertakings that are launched by ideas, composed of groups, and reinforce or alter the current strategy of the firm” (Marx & Lechner, 2005: 136). Since this view of strategy-making involves the social interaction of many organizational members, research on strategic initiatives is at the center of the academic debate on strategic change and renewal (e.g., Brown & Eisenhardt, 1997; Burgelman, 2002; Floyd & Lane, 2000), a subfield of strategy process research (Lechner, 2006).


Organizational Context Organizational Member Contingency Theory Main Research Question Initiative Performance 


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© Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Kaltenbrunn

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