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The Strategy and Change Interface: How are ‘Enabling’ Processes and Cognitions Related and Used?


Special issue call for papers from Management Decision

Guest editors:
Associate Professor Marie Dasborough, University of Miami, USA
Dr Kate Hughes, Stamford University, Thailand
Dr Zhou (Joe) Jiang, Deakin University, Australia
Adjunct Professor Shelley Kirkpatrick, VisionIntelligence/George Mason University, USA
Professor Maris Martinsons, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Dr Danielle Tucker, University of Essex, United Kingdom
Dr Angelina Zubac, Australian Institute of Management, Australia
Associate Professor Ofer Zwikael, Australian National University, Australia

Special issue aim:
Despite continuous efforts to better understand the strategy implementation process (Schendel, 1992a&b; Van de Ven 1992), it is regularly reported that few strategies are ever implemented fully or effectively (Hickson, Miller & Wilson, 2003; Hart & Banbury, 1994; Higgs & Rowland, 2005; Kaplan & Norton, 1996; Nutt, 1999; Schaap, 2012) and that little is known about the relationship between the micro and macro (sub)processes and cognitions employed by strategy specialists and change agents when implementing strategy (Habersang, Küberling-Jost, Reihlen, & Seckler, 2018; Hitt, Jackson, Carmona, Bierman, Shalley & Wright, 2017; Sirmon, Hitt & Ireland, 2007; Walter, Lechner & Kellermans, 2013; Zubac, 2016). This suggests that a program of study that focuses on how the (sub)processes associated with these two disciplines are rendered useful: singly or in combination, and/or synthesized, reshaped, valued or defined to be fit for purpose could be illuminating

The aim of this special issue is to find ways to better understand the interface between strategy implementation and organizational change by encouraging multidisciplinary research and theory development on the subject. As was concluded at a series of roundtable discussions at three Academy of Management Conferences on the nature of the interface, the two disciplines may be connected by just one key idea - that a strategy must be ‘enabled’ to have any chance of success. This is within the context that strategy implementation is normally associated with the application of rational decision-making processes and strategies “put into action through the development of programs, budgets and procedures” (Wheelen & Hunger, 2008: 16) while organizational change with the application of behavioral science and “planned development and reinforcement of organisational strategies, structures and processes for improving an organisation’s effectiveness” (Waddell, Cummings & Worley, 2011: 4). By breaking down the traditional boundaries between these two disciplines, new truths for successfully executing strategy could be revealed.

Indeed, the process of enabling a strategy could involve any manner of combinations of cognitive, visioning, leadership, decision-making, relationship, project, processual, organizational and institutional factors. By understanding them, it may be possible to develop a theory of enablement which explains how strategies are implemented by successfully utilizing and synthesizing different strategic and change management specific (sub)processes and cognitions. Such a theory could allow scholars and practitioners to better: (1) understand how different stakeholders need to be satisfied when implementing a strategy; (2) identify if certain paradigms or modes of thinking have hindered strategy implementation research, including the tendency to categorize a strategy implementation related phenomenon as causally ambiguous when it is not; and (3) reveal more critically objective ways to analyse strategy-related phenomenon for more utilitarian managerial decision-making or scholarly research. Likewise, it may be possible to develop new and potentially powerful organizational metaphors about how strategies are enabled, such as the idea that ‘enablers’ - specific activities, (sub)processes and cognitions - must be united and staged in some way to form the scaffolding required to support the chosen strategy implementation process. Since theorizing is social in nature, when new images of organization are developed and elaborated upon “novel and alternative metaphors and ideas” can emerge (Cornelissen & Kafouros, 2008: 973).

We are interested in submissions that examine the interface between strategy implementation and organizational change and which could lead to the development of a coherent research agenda on what occurs at the interface. We especially welcome submissions that examine what it means ‘to enable’ a strategy and which are multidisciplinary. The following are questions that could be addressed by authors wishing to make a submission. Authors are not restricted to this list of questions below. However, submissions should provide relevant and practical insights framed by these research questions:

  1. What are the relationships between strategy implementation and organizational change in practice?
  2. How are the processes of strategy implementation used to incorporate emergent strategy into the current strategic plan?
  3. How can we learn more about the microfoundations of strategy implementation as a dynamic capability?
  4. How are strategies and change initiatives achieved in different contexts, such as in the public sector versus the private sector, in different areas or industries, such as healthcare, banking and energy, in different areas of civil society, such as at advocacy or charitable NGOs, or in domestic versus international contexts?
  5. What are the relevant behavioural aspects of ‘enabling’ strategy?
  6. Which theoretical lenses (singly or in unison) have the most potential to shed light on the interface between strategy implementation and organizational change?
  7. How do micro factors (i.e., very specific cognitive, visioning, leadership, decision-making, project, business process, organizational and institutional subprocesses) make it possible for major strategy and organizational change stages to occur?
  8. When a strategy is implemented and organizational change processes are used to support the implementation effort, what are the human resource implications, including the career adaptability, calling and thriving implications? Likewise, where does employees’ willingness and ability to adapt strategically sit in the chain of causality when a strategy has been successfully implemented?
  9. Can organizations have very different, yet equally effective, approaches by which their strategy implementation and change initiatives get enabled? This implies that very distinct models of enablement could be adopted by different organizations depending on their history, current resource base/dynamic capabilities and strategic objectives?
  10. Which metaphors are used to describe activities and (sub)processes designed ‘to enable’ strategy?
  11. How do individual emotions and/or collective forms of emotion affect the strategic change decision-making process, including while implementing the organisation’s various strategic change initiatives and refining them at critical project points in time?
  12. What is involved when managers consult widely about a strategic change initiative, including while finalising its design and ensuring it is progressing as planned and/or in line with the organisation’s strategic objectives?

Submission procedures
Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically through the “Management Decision” ScholarOne System. The manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines for authors given in the website of the journal “Management Decision”: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/md

Authors need to clearly indicate in their submission information and letter that their manuscript is for the Special Issue on “The Strategy and Change Interface: How are ‘Enabling’ Processes and Cognitions Related and Used?” All submissions will be subject to a double-blind review process followed by “Management Decision” Journal. All manuscripts must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. Questions about this special issue may be directed to the guest editors.

For any questions interested authors can contact the corresponding guest editor:

Dr Angelina Zubac, Australian Institute of Management: angelina.zubac@aim.com.au

Submission timelines:

  • Submission deadline: 31st July 2019
  • Notifications to authors (1st round): (approx) October 2019
  • Notifications to authors (2nd round): (approx) December 2019
  • Expected publication date: June 2020

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Guest editors’ bios:
Associate Professor Marie Dasborough is an Associate Professor of Management at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Johnson Endosomwan Leadership Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from University of Queensland, in Australia. She is a member of the Academy of Management, the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology (Division 14 of the American Psychological Association), the Southern Management Association, Network of Leadership Scholars, Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, International Society for Research on Emotions, and is an invited member of the Emotional Intelligence Consortium. Dr. Dasborough has consulted for a number of organizations, including: McDonnells Law, Joondalup Health Campus, Main Roads Department, and Coconut Grove Bank. Dr. Dasborough’s fields of interest include leadership, emotions, and teamwork.  She has authored numerous articles and book chapters; published in the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Organizational Behavior, International Journal of HRM, The Leadership Quarterly, and numerous others. She is currently the co-editor for Journal of Organizational Behavior (Annual Review) and serves on three editorial review boards (The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Group and Organization Management).

Dr Kate Hughes is an Assistant Professor at Stamford International University in Bangkok, Thailand. Before joining the MBA Program there, she held Visiting Lecturer Positions at the National University of Ireland, Galway and Dublin Institute of Technology, both in Ireland. Her first full-time academic position was with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, with the Logistic Research Centre, in the Business School in 2012. She completed her PhD in strategy and supply chain management part-time through Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) in Sydney, Australia, in 2015. Her research interests focus on management in the context of scarce resources such as disaster response and non-profit organisations. Kate’s business experience is in research project management and management consulting with organisations in Australia, focusing on understanding the voice of the customer. She was Vice President for Communication for three years and co-track chair for two years with the Humanitarian Logistics and Crisis Management School, with the Production and Operations Management (POMS) Annual Conference in USA, and on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Operations Management since 2012.

Dr Zhou Jiang is a Senior Lecturer in Department of Management at Deakin University. Before joining Deakin Business School, he held ongoing lecturer positions in Griffith University and Central Queensland University. In October 2014, he received his PhD from Macquarie University where he spent 2 years and 9 months completing a thesis concerning fairness management and employee attitudes in a cross-cultural context. Prior to moving to Australia, he was also educated in South Korea for an MBA in human resource management and organizational studies, and in China for a bachelor of biomedical engineering. Zhou is one of the two joint recipients of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Early Career Researcher Award (2016). This award is to foster and recognize the research and scholarly achievements of emerging researchers who are at an early stage in an academic career. He was also a recipient of the Best Paper Award of the Gender, Diversity, and Indigeneity Stream at the 2015 ANZAM conference. Zhou has published articles in a number of international journals such as Journal of Vocational Behavior, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of Career Assessment, Journal of Employment Counseling, Personality and Individual Differences, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal (now Cross Cultural & Strategic Management), Social Indicators Research, and Asia Pacific Journal of Business Administration. Zhou serves as a Lead Editor for the special issue "Vocational Experiences and Quality of Life of Migrants" in Social Indicators Research, and an Article Editor for Sage Open. He is also the founding Director of the Career and Life Management Research Network (CALM). Dr Zhou Jiang has a broad interest in exploring different areas that relate to individuals’ careers, work, and life. He is currently interested in understanding how prospective and currently employed workers explore and respond to vocational environments and shape career psychological states such as career decision self-efficacy, career adaptability, perceived employability, and career optimism. His research endeavours have also been devoted to understanding how job characteristics, knowledge-related issues, and emotions can create a thriving workplace. He has also done extensive research into wellbeing both in and outside work (e.g., the contribution of workplace issues to non-work wellbeing).

Adjunct Professor Shelley Kirkpatrick is the founder of Visiontelligence, LLC where she helps companies build effective vision statements. Her book, Build a Better Vision Statement (Lexington, 2016), summarizes compelling research on vision statements, provides advice from CEOs and company founders, and contains exercises and lessons for leaders to develop and implement their own great vision statements. Dr. Kirkpatrick also is a Principal at The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers for the federal government. She also is an adjunct professor at George Mason University. A former professor at Carnegie Mellon University and The American University, Dr. Kirkpatrick has authored more than 50 articles on leadership, motivation, and related assessment topics in academic journals as well as practitioner-based publications. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resource management from the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park, and a B.S. in psychology from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Kirkpatrick is a past President of the International Society for Performance Improvement’s Potomac Chapter.

Professor Maris Martinsons is currently at the City University of Hong Kong, the Stockholm School of Economics, and the University of Toronto. He received his B.A.Sc.in engineering science and MBA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in industrial and business studies from the University of Warwick. He has served as editor for the following scholarly journals: IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, the Journal of Applied Management Studies, the Journal of Information Technology Management, the Journal of Management Systems, and the Communications of the ACM. Martinsons has worked as a business consultant for companies including Ernst & Young, DRI/McGraw-Hill, and McKinsey & Co., and has served as an external advisor to the governments of Hong Kong and Latvia. Martinsons has researched the strategic management of competitive enterprises in uncertain business environments as well as the diagnosis, planning and implementation of transformational organizational change. The level of analysis in his studies has ranged from individuals (top management decision making) and small groups (knowledge management systems) to organisations (business performance management, links between business strategy and information technology/systems) and entire industries and economies (strategic intelligence in pre-handover Hong Kong, post-Soviet reform in Latvia, e-commerce in 21st century China). Martinsons also pioneered the research of both green business issues (sustainable development and environmental technologies) and information ethics in the context of Hong Kong and China. According to Google Scholar, Maris Martinsons has authored 3 of the 10 most cited articles on Chinese management. Martinsons received the Distinguished Young Scholar Award from the International Association of Management in 1995. He has been a keynote speaker at meetings of scholarly societies, industry groups and professional associations, such as the Baltic Business Congress, the East Asian Executive Forum, the International Association of Management, the Pacific Rim Leadership Summit, the Peak Time international business case competition and the World Knowledge Forum. Martinsons has been a pioneer with action research and e-learning. Based on a philosophy that stresses the integration of theory and practice and the application of systematic frameworks/models and principles, the "Martinsons on Management" learning platform and a series of "Management by Martinsons" masterclasses have played significant roles in professionalizing management in transitional economies such as mainland China and the Baltic States. The programs incorporate various intellectual and physical challenges that take participants beyond their comfort zones to develop both greater confidence and competence. He has also used IT extensively to develop multimedia teaching materials and online education environments that take the learning process far beyond the classroom.

Dr Danielle Tucker is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the University of Essex. Before joining Essex Business School (EBS), she held Post-Doctoral positions at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE) and Imperial College, London, UK. She completed her PhD in Management at the University of Kent, UK, in 2011. Her research interests focus on evaluating complex change management initiatives both nationally and internationally for public sector organisations. Theoretically, Danielle is interested in the interconnected cycle of change contextualisation, interpretation and conceptualisation. Specifically, she has published research on the interpretation of communication during organisational change. In addition, Danielle is interested in the role of various actors in change management strategy and the rhythm and momentum of change efforts. Danielle’s work draws upon the literature of organizational behaviour and organizational psychology and she favours a multidisciplinary approach to research. She has experience of both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, and the use of field questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and experimental data collection methods as well as Social Network Analysis. Danielle is an Academic Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Angelina Zubac is a lecturer and researcher at the Australian Institute of Management and a Bond University Fellow. She is also the Managing Consultant at Strategy Link. She has over 30 years of management, board and strategy consulting experience and has worked at over 100 organisations. She has also authored many theory of the firm related papers. Dr Angelina Zubac has been teaching management students at universities across the country for over 20 years, including DBA, MBA, Master and undergraduate students. She has taught at the University of Queensland (St Lucia campus), CQ University (Melbourne campus), Monash University, Victoria University, Australian Catholic University (Melbourne and Sydney campuses), Melbourne Business School, Canberra University, Swinburne University, and Australian National University. She specialises in teaching strategic management, innovation and lean entrepreneurship subjects. She has also taught organisational change and marketing. Dr Angelina Zubac research is currently focussed on examining the resource investment process in different contexts and how theory of the firm research can be applied. She is also examining value creation as a result of the infrastructure project consultation process, and strategy implementation as an integrated process.

Ofer Zwikael is an Associate Professor at the College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University. His research focuses on project benefit management and business administration. Dr Zwikael is the author of three books and more than 200 scholarly peer-reviewed papers published in leading outlets, such as the Journal of Operations Management (FT50). He currently an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Project Management. Dr Zwikael’s research excellence has been recognised in several ways. He is the recipient of the International Project Management Association's 2016 Research Award. In addition, he has been awarded multiple research awards by the Academy of Management, British Academy of Management, Emerald and the Australian Institute of Project Management. Dr Zwikael’s teaching excellence has also gained recognition. In 2014 he was awarded by the ANU Vice Chancellor Commendation for outstanding contribution to student learning. In 2013 he was recognised by the ANU College of Business and Economics for Program that Enhances Learning Award. Previously he has received awards for top PhD supervisor and Best lecturer. Dr Zwikael is a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holder and has held leadership roles such as Associate Dean, Associate Editor and on Boards of multiple Academic journals. He has led, trained, mentored and consulted on projects and to program groups in dozens of organisations, including Motorola, Nestle, Teva (Israel), PINZ (New Zealand) and Nationwide Bank (UK).