Growth theory


Corporate managers face two major challenges in their assignments: secure organizational survival and increase organizational prosperity (Snow and Hambrick, 1980). From a normative perspective, firm leaders approach these challenges by “imaginative acts of integrating numerous complex decisions” (Andrews et al., 1967; Andrews, 1971, p. 34), also referred to as “strategy”. Descriptively speaking, strategy formulation includes the definition of goals and an allocation plan of required resources to meet these objectives (Chandler, 1962), while strategy implementation is concerned with reaching formulated targets within predefined time frames (Snow and Hambrick, 1980). As strategy is sometimes formulated and implemented unintentionally, Mintzberg (1978, p. 582) and Miles and Snow (1978) suggested viewing the phenomenon as a “pattern in the organization’s important decisions and actions” with two directions: to manage intra-firm interdependencies and to align these with the environment. Important questions however remain: How does the environment influence internal decision taking and how shall these coefficients be reflected? Are the two core objectives of survival and growth combinable or in fact conflicting? How can appropriate strategies be formulated to reflect these objectives? What are the key control levers that shall be employed in definition and action? Which are the critical contingencies in the decision process, also referred to as “strategic requirements” (Hambrick, 1981, p. 255)?


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© Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

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