Organizing mindfully for relevant process research on strategic change
Purpose The purpose of this paper is organizing mindfully for relevant process research on strategic change. This essay arises from an increasing concern that our understanding of strategic change is not delivering meaningful, relevant and true process wisdom that allows researchers to enrich their academic discourse and practitioners to effectively realize strategic change imposed by hostile business markets. Our goal is to challenge fundamental assumptions of our fields dominant discourse in performing research and generating theories for strategic change under real contexts, and redirect attention to a mindful organizing perspective to understand process elements of strategic change that really matter. Design/methodology/approach This paper is an essay based on theoretical reasoning. We address the relevance gap in the strategic business marketing field by focusing on one specific gap: the study and understanding of strategic change. To illustrate the relevance of a mindful organizing perspective for closing this relevance gap, we focus on the processes of mindful organizing identified by Weick and Sutcliffe (2007) and argue how these organizational processes contribute to a better understanding of strategic change while implicitly assuming a complexity-based perspective on organizing. These five processes, moreover, address the identified limitations of present approaches, i.e. formative causality, pre-interpretation and independent linearity. Findings We suggest a provocative change research avenue elaborating on the role of mindful organizing to bridge the relevance gap in this area. This advances a richer and more relevant framing to elevate theorizing in the area of strategic marketing and management beyond existing avenues, which not necessarily reflects organizational lifes equivocality, interdependencies and intricacies. We, thus, call for the field of strategic marketing and management to adopt a discourse grounded in complexity-based assumptions. Research limitations/implications Overall, this essay highlights that closing relevance gaps in our field cannot be done with quick fix recipes. The endeavor implies a fundamental re-framing of the way we look at firms and managers. It also implies different theoretical underpinnings and more interpretive research approaches to tap the richness in real-life business settings. By focusing on one area, we have shown how such an effort might proceed. Practical implications Although the paper is mainly written for researchers of change processes and innovation in industrial companies, practitioners will get inspiration as several viewpoints for mindful organizing will help them in building a more realistic and viable change approach. Originality/value Our intended contribution is to advocate a deeper and richer process understanding of strategic change by advancing mindful organizing as an epistemological and praxeological perspective on strategic change, thereby bridging the relevance gap (Hodgkinson and Rousseau, 2009; Weick, 2001) and enriching our fields strategic change theories. Epistemologically, mindful organizing offers a useful perspective by stressing the change process complexity, interdependence and emergence. Praxeologically, mindful organizing represents an adaptive organizational capability that allows organizations to develop higher awareness of their strategic change processes. Keywords Change management, Business strategy, Industrial marketing, Organizational processes, Management Styles Paper type
Source (journal)
Journal of business and industrial marketing. - Bingley
Bingley : 2014
29:7-8(2014), p. 610-618
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Web of Science
Creation 02.10.2014
Last edited 03.05.2017
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