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On the Practise of Practice: Learning to Strategize Professor Elena Antonacopoulou AIM Fellow

Agenda ¾ The dynamic – self-organizing nature of strategizing practice. ¾ The relationship between strategizing and learning. ¾ Highlight current paradigms and alternative possibilities in capturing unfinished nature of strategizing practice. ¾ Practise-centred perspective to strategic practice.

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Dynamic Strategic Practices

Evolutionary Economics

Routine

Micro-Practices

Dynamic SelfOrganization

Inter-connectivity Emergence

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Dynamic Strategic Practices ¾ Interactions between macro and micro practices. Macro – process of strategizing Micro – practice of strategizing

¾ Self organizing mechanisms in the dynamics between endogenous and exogenous forces. ¾ Degrees of interconnectivity – in-tension ¾ Socio-political tensions

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Modes of Thinking and Research in Organization Studies ¾ The Dominant Modes of Ordering ‘Metaphysics of substance’ - Stability, permanence, taxonomies, divisions, isolation ‘Metaphysics of process’ - Movement, emergence, becoming (Chia and King, 1998)

¾ Modes of Thinking Downstream/strong/distal thinking - univocality Upstream/weak/proximal thinking – organizing processes – negotiation (Latour, 1987; Vattimo, 1988; Cooper & Law, 1992)

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Dynamic Capabilities ¾ Reconfiguring internal and external competencies ¾ A learned and stable pattern of collective activity (Zollo & Winter, 2002)

¾ DC rests on the substance ontology of organization. ¾ Still main emphasis on macro aspects of strategy and limited integration with the micro aspects of strategizing practice.

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Organizational Learning ¾ Environmental contingencies ¾ Institutionalizing learning process: OLMs (Popper and Lipshitz, 1998)

¾ Is change and learning synonymous? ¾ Learning and organizing as mutually constitutive ¾ Learning-in-organizing (Gherardi, 1999) – Problematizing organizational boundaries – Practice and communities of practice – Knowing and social relations © E.Antonacopoulou

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Rethinking Practice ¾ Practice as action (Bourdieu, 1980) ¾ Practice as structure – language, symbols, tools (Turner, 1994)

¾ Practice as activity system (Engeström, 1984) ¾ Practice as social context (Lave, 1988, Lave & Wenger, 1991) ¾ Practice as connecting (Burgoyne & Pedler, 2003) ¾ Practice as knowing (Nicolini et al, 2004) ¾ Practice as in-formation (Le Moigne, 1990 – Inforgetic Paradigm) © E.Antonacopoulou

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Practising: Forming Practices ¾ Practise-centred perspective (Antonacopoulou, 2004) ¾ Practising – rehearsing, refining, improving, changing elements of one’s practice ¾ Central to practice is practise “When

changing what he knows about the world, man changes the world that he knows, And changing the world in which he is living Man changes himself” (Th. Dobzhansky, 1962)

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Practising: Forming Practices ¾ The internal action of a practice – content, context and process at the same time. ¾ The ethos of a practice as is being practised – engaged practice. “The point is not to interpret nor change the world, but to live in it” (Marx on Feuerbach, 1846; cited in S. Chaiklin, 1996)

¾ Becoming a practitioner in a community of practice and practices.

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Practising Strategy: Learning to Strategize ¾ How do managers learn to understand strategizing practice? ¾ What are the values, assumptions, language, symbols that they relay on to articulate and represent their practice? ¾ How are the challenges of relationality addressed between macro and micro, endogenous and exogenous forces? ¾ What are the intentions of a practice and what are the in-tensions of the political forces that shape it?

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Practising Strategy: Learning to Strategize ¾ Knowledge and learning as political activities How hegemonical and dependency positions are created Modes of Knowing in practice – improvisation, impression management Selective memory – successes and failures

¾ The context of learning and practising Training interventions – strategy workshops Strategic episodes

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Practising Strategizing in Context ¾

Strategizing for competitiveness

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Strategizing as organizing.

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Strategizing as a process of ‘identity’ formation for the practising strategist.

Strategic Performing

Strategic Re-organization (renewal)

Strategic Leadership (‘Learning Leadership’ – Antonacopoulou & Bento, 2003)

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Strategizing as a way of living. – –

Strategic Learning Learning in strategizing and strategizing to learn © E.Antonacopoulou

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Practising Strategizing in Context 1. How does practice and practising evolve inside organisations? 2. What does a practise-based organisational capability look like, and how can it be studied? 3. What factors help or hinder practising strategizing and capability development within organisations? 4. How can the improvement of current practices lead to competitiveness?

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“One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try” Sophocles Trachiiae 415 BC

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