Taking Stock of Research methods in Strategy as practice


  • Ramya T Venkateswaran
  • Ganesh N Prabhu


strategy-as-practice, research methods, strategy research, clinical research, review


Strategy‑as‑practice research provides understanding of a complex phenomenon in language rich and holistic process terms, rather than statistically significant but limited variance terms. It requires mapping individual and organisational activities in the process of strategizing. This article assesses four research issues in strategy‑as‑practice research and their impact in advancing this field: challenges in bounding the scope of the research question, issues with the unit of analysis, difficulties in defining the dependent variable of outcomes and finally the challenge in specifying a particular level of analysis, all of which present complexities in the design of data collection. We suggest two broad alternative approaches that have the potential to push the frontiers of methodology to greater rigour in strategy as practice research. First, quantification methods that can capture practice can be a valuable tool, a paradigm that has been ignored in much of strategy‑as‑practice research. Second, better process data may be revealed by organizations that voluntarily initiates a consultation process with a researcher as it benefits by doing so, so we suggest that clinical research methods, that include such intervention, provide better understanding of the phenomena of strategizing. We make a case for why these methods must for acceptability in strategy‑as‑practice research.



1 Dec 2010