Strategy implementation as fantasising – becoming the leading bank
Sajasalo, P., Auvinen, T., Takala, T., Järvenpää, M., & Sintonen, T. (2016). Strategy implementation as fantasising – becoming the leading bank. Accounting and Business Research, 46(3), 303-325. https://doi.org/10.1080/00014788.2015.1112764
Published inAccounting and Business Research
DisciplineBasic or discovery scholarshipJohtaminenLaskentatoimiBasic or discovery scholarshipManagement and LeadershipAccounting
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.
In this empirical case study we explore the fantasy nature of strategy work and propose fantasising as a framework contributing to the nascent literature dealing with the previously overlooked fantasy nature of strategy. More specifically, our interest is on examining how the meaning of official strategy gets constructed as it is being implemented, as well as and how and why the perceptions may evolve during implementation. Our data consists of official strategy documents and interviews from Finland's largest financial services group and its largest unit. The interviews cover all organisational levels, enabling us to reveal the variations of perceptions of strategy as it is being implemented. The data analysis is carried out by means of qualitative interpretation. According to our findings, the main goal of becoming the leading bank, as outlined in the official strategy, had been adopted throughout the organisation hierarchically. However, conceptions of what would constitute ‘a leading bank’ varied, especially horizontally. The plausibility of the official strategy is constructed through rational techniques (e.g. numerical ‘objective’ accounting information) intertwined with storytelling. As a result we propose that strategy implementation may best be understood as fantasising involving two forms: functional (explicit, short-term-oriented) and symbolic (metaphorical, long-term-oriented). We offer fantasising in these two forms as an addition to fantasy-oriented strategy literature for further exploration to better understand the nature of strategy work. ...
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