Strategy as a dialogue: towards participatory communication practices in organizational strategy (Strategia dialogina)

  • Vaara, Eero (Project manager, academic)
  • Mantere, Saku (Project participant)

Project: Externally funded project

Project Details

Description

Strategy communication is an important, yet neglected area of organizational research and development. It seems easy to dismiss strategy communication as a technical issue, not worthy of serious attention. However, the way we speak and write about strategy has a great impact on how we practice strategy (Oakes et al., 1998; Vaara et al., 2004; Clegg et al., 2004, Hendry, 2000). Strategy talk is closely linked with fundamental assumptions concerning the nature of strategy work and the role of different actors in strategy processes (Knights & Morgan, 1991; Samra-Fredricks, 2003; Laine & Vaara, 2007). Furthermore, specific communication prac-tices can either promote or impede widespread participation in strategy processes or organizational decision-making more generally (Mantere & Vaara, 2008). In this project, we focus on communication in strategy work. Academically, we seek to develop a better understanding of the roles of specific communication and discursive practices in strategy and strategizing. The aim is to publish the results in new doctoral dissertations and articles in leading organization and management journals. The development work will be conducted in case organizations and method workshops. The results of the project will be disseminated and communi-cated widely in the Finnish work organizations by writing articles in popular magazines, publishing a practitioner-oriented workbook on participatory communication practices in organizational strategy, and sharing knowledge of strategic practices through focus seminars, project’s website and mailing list.. There are three objectives set for the project: 1) The practical objective of the project is to develop participatory communi-cation practices which improve the quality of decision-making and strategy communication in Finnish organizations. The objective will be reached through development work in case organizations and through method work-shops. 2) The research objective of the project is to highlight problems in decision-making and strategy communication in Finnish firms and not-for-profits, and to develop more democratic and empowering decision-making and strategy communication models. We will publish five academic disserta-tions, 10 articles in academic journals and a number of international conference papers during the project. 3) The dissemination objective of the project is to participate in public discus-sion concerning organizational strategy in Finland through writing articles in popular magazines, publishing a practitioner-oriented workbook on participatory communication practices in organizational strategy, and sharing knowledge of strategic communication practices through focus seminars, project’ s website and mailing list, amongst the others. The project is conducted in a consortium of the STRADA program at the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) and Swedish School of Economics (Hanken). The STRADA program has researched and developed strategic practices in Finnish work organizations since 2000. An important project within STRADA was funded by TSR during 2004-2006 (Strategia käytännössä, 103363). This new project enables the continuation of the previous work and a possibility to concentrate in research and development of strategic communication practices, which have not yet been adequately explored either in Finnish or international organization and work environment research.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01.09.200731.12.2009