The Effects of Spatial Configuration on opportunities for Emergent Strategy Making

Thomas, Matthew Aidan and Angwin, Duncan Neil and Dale, Karen (2017) The Effects of Spatial Configuration on opportunities for Emergent Strategy Making. In: 2017 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, 2017-08-042017-08-08.

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Spatial interfaces provide the conditions that facilitate or constrain unplanned social interaction. Emergent strategy work is constituted by unintentional social interaction. This paper draws on two disparate literatures, strategy process and architecture, to argue that a possible relationship between spatial configuration and emergent strategy should be taken seriously. Strategy process research has shown that emergent strategy making is important to an organisation’s ability to innovate and adapt in dynamic environments, these abilities are associated with the frequency, diversity, duration and distribution of non-deliberate strategic interactions. Architecture research has shown that spatial configuration has a powerful affect on unplanned social interaction. Strategy-as-Practice, with its focus on social interaction, is proposed as the ideal perspective with which to investigate this possible relationship further. The research uses quantitative methods to explore the extent of the relationship between spatial configuration and the unplanned interactions that constitute emergent strategy making. The results suggest a strong relationship which when compared across four organisations imply very different opportunities for emergent strategy work in each and concludes that emergent strategy needs to be thought of as a material, spatial phenomenon and not just a conceptual one.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title:
2017 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Additional Information:
Winner of the Strategy as Practice Prize at The Academy of Management Conference, Atlanta.
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Deposited On:
18 Jan 2018 13:10
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 14:25