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Theory and Practice

First Edition

January 2011 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
A companion website is available for this text

Written by a team of leading academics, this groundbreaking new text will prove an invaluable guide to the core elements of your strategy courses, while encouraging you to challenge conventional thinking about the field.

Key features:

- Provides a coherent and engaging overview of the established `classics` of strategy, while taking an innovative approach to contemporary issues such as power and politics, ethics, branding, globalisation, collaboration, and the global financial crisis.
- A unique critical perspective that encourages you to reflect on the strategy process and strategic decision-making.
- Packed with learning features, including a wealth of international case studies and accompanying discussion questions.
- A website offering a full Instructors` Manual, video cases, podcasts and full-text journal articles.

Whether you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate student, Stratey: Theory and Practice provides you with all you need to know to succeed in your course and reflect on your future practice.

Praise for

Strategy: Theory and Practice

"Finally, something different in a strategy text! This new volume provides a broad view of strategy covering the conventional as well as less mainstream alternatives like the growing strategy-as-practice perspective. It also does a great job of providing balanced critiques of the existing orthodoxy and provides explicit connections to some of the more accessible academic articles providing more depth to the arguments presented. All in all, it is an excellent break from the unfortunate tendency to make strategy a narrow economic enterprise in a world that is far more complex and social than that. Strategy: Theory and Practice is a welcome addition to the available texts on strategy" -

Nelson Phillips, Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behaviour Co-Editor, Journal of Management Inquiry


 "A super and overdue book. It embraces the central importance of organization theory and, especially, the play of power and politics both inside and outside the organization. This erudite, almost polemical book promises to redraw how we approach the study of strategy - and not before time!" -

Royston Greenwood, Associate Dean, School of Business, University of Alberta


"It explains where strategy originates from and how contemporary ideas and practices facilitate or constrain decision-making and action. In particular, this book illuminates the role of power and politics in strategy - an issue that has been overlooked in most textbooks in this area. Enjoyable and inspiring reading for students, researchers and practitioners" -

Eero Vaara, Professor of Management and Organization Dean of Research Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki


"The authors have managed to produce a unique and admirable combination of critical external engagement with 'strategy', understood as a complex object of organizational and political construction, and a useable insiders text book rich in illustrative cases. As such it is essential reading for academics, students and practitioners - all of whom will discover how theory and practice are more intertwined than they ever imagined" - Michael Power, Professor of Accounting, London School of Economics and Political Science

The Context and Emergence of Strategic Thinking
Strategy and Competitive Performance
Strategy Discovers Uniqueness: The Role of Resources and Knowledge
Strategy as Process and Practice
Marketing and Branding as Strategic Forces
Strategy and Innovation
Strategists, Top Management Teams and Governance
Strategic Decision-Making
Organizational Politics and Strategy
International and Collaborative Strategies
Financialization, Risk and Accountability
Globalization and Strategy

Unravels the neatness of traditional economics-based views of strategy and replaces them with much needed social, political and organizational lenses. The authors have produced a refreshing book which rightly establishes organization theory at the centre of strategic analysis and practice"
David C. Wilson,
Professor of Strategy and Organization, University of Warwick Business School

"The authors have produced a text that offers a critical overview of strategy in a global context that illuminates the flows of value, not merely over-emphasizing the economic dimension but linking to sociological and bio-medical issues, throughout the world in the context of the enframing social processes that structure and maintain them. Its style is accessible and its detail is authoritative, current and precise so students, professors and general readers will enjoy it. For many university and business school courses it will quickly become the preferred introduction
Professor David Weir,
Professor of Intercultural Management, Liverpool Hope University

We have waited a long time for a book like this: it is eminently readable, genuinely ground-breaking and absolutely timely. Students will find it indispensable, scholars will find it thought-provoking and practitioners will find it energizing, even liberating. It revitalizes our understanding of strategy and disposes of some tired clichés and well-worn dogmas along the way"
Professor Susan J. Miller
Hull University Business School

"Teachers, students and practitioners of strategy will welcome this new book which provides a fresh and more critical view on strategy. There are unfortunately not many textbooks out like this, which make the obvious link between strategic management and strategizing processes on the one hand and organizational politics and power relations on the other. This readable textbook is an invaluable resource for those who believe that education and research on strategists and strategies requires a new, more political approach, given the problems triggered by the current economic and financial crisis
Mike Geppert
Professor of Comparative International Management and Organization Studies, School of Management, University of Surrey

An outstanding book in the field of OB Strategy, written by a team of outstanding academics. A must buy for MBA students and practitioners alike
Professor Cary L. Cooper, CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health
Lancaster University

Asks the right questions of strategy, and encourages students to do the same. Placing strategy in its social and political context, it adds new and critical dimensions, going beyond the usual economic and organisational considerations. In doing so, an agenda is set for the new strategic thinking required following the financial crisis, encompassing dimensions of risk, governance and financial instability. Offering new insights into standard theories, it encourages us to think deeply about, as well as practise, strategy
Professor Steven Toms
The York Management School, The University of York

Bravo! Finally, a strategy text that takes issues of power, politics and organizing seriously. Integrating concerns about ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, "Strategy: Theory and Practice" provides a provocative and critically engaged approach to understanding strategy and strategizing as a complex, distributed and unpredictable activity. As such, it is an important contribution to pedagogy at the intersection of strategic management and organization studies
Professor Michael Lousbury
University of Alberta

Strategic thinking has become central across all forms of organisations. This book will be welcomed for its contribution to the study and practice of strategy. It enhances our understanding of strategic processes through a refreshing and powerful theoretical lens , with finely nuanced interpretations of the implications of strategy in practice
Professor Irvine Lapsley
University of Edinburgh Business School

Offers all the basics that business students need to know about the economic and organizational sides of strategy in an appealing easy-to-read format complete with mini-cases and exercises, while stepping outside the run of the mill by provoking critical reflection on established ideas and placing the tools and concepts in perspective. We need more textbooks like this to ensure that future generations of managers become informed yet reflexive consumers of management knowledge and ideas
Ann Langley
HEC Montreal

This brilliant book moves away from the rational toolbox approach and highlights the organizational determinants and political outcomes of strategy. Clegg and his colleagues bring a much needed perspective to understand how strategy impacts society and what can be done
Bernard Forgues
Professor of Organization Theory, EMLYON Business School

We've known for some time now that the discipline of Strategy is fragmenting. What I like about this book is that it not only helps us make sense of why this is happening, but it offers a coherent new framework for understanding what strategy means in the 21st century. Clegg et al begin by revealing the dirty little secret of strategy - most of it is highly revisionist. From In Search of Excellence to the adulation of Enron before its collapse, by looking backward we now see that those who study strategy really do a terrible job of predicting 'winners' and 'losers' but do a great job of explaining success after the fact. Clegg et al demonstrate the reason for this - i.e. strategy is much less about firm performance than it is about politics and power both inside and outside the firm. As such this book provides a refreshing new perspective on strategic management. It demonstrates an awareness that firms compete not only in the material world for hard resources but also in the political world for power. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to make sense of modern (or should I say post-modern) strategic management
Roy Suddaby
Alberta School of Business

Strategy, Theory and Practice sweeps up many of the important research strategy research advancements and currents in recent years. That is to say, the authors begin the difficult task of joining up the various theoretical perspectives on strategy. If nothing else, the staging posts from Strategy, Theory and Practice remind us of the eclectic nature of strategy. It also reminds us of the various provinces from which it is emerging, the directions it is moving and the staging posts it has quite not yet reached. It is within this intellectual containment of the strategy textbook genre that the 430 page epitome (excluding references) ought to be singled out and enlisted as a core reading text.


It merits adoption not least because it taps into rich steams of research, opening up and engaging with extant strategy avenues of research. This is a marked departure from many of its contemporary cohort... This textbook will surely be a relief for students who are increasingly primed on the culture of strategy...While the book is aimed at students studying undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, its insightful commentary on a range of theory development and conceptual questions suggests that is likely to also benefit research students. This might even extend to the wily artefact ‘researcher’ more generally. Anyone interested in accessing the more subtle and pervasive social and political spaces of strategy, will gain significantly from picking up this well crafted textbook

Organization Journal

A timely book, impressive in its scope, authoritative in its analysis, and wonderfully written. An extremely enjoyable intellectual journey into many of the intricate aspects of strategy. A must read for all serious students of strategy

Mahmoud Ezzamel
Cardiff Professorial Fellow, Cardiff Business School

Unravels the neatness of traditional economics-based views of strategy and replaces them with much needed social, political and organizational lenses. The authors have produced a refreshing book which rightly establishes organization theory at the centre of strategic analysis and practice.

David C Wilson
Professor of Strategy and Organization, University of Warwick Business School

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