Let Chaos Reign, Then Rein in Chaos - Repeatedly: Managing Strategic Dynamics for Corporate Longevity

Let Chaos Reign, Then Rein in Chaos - Repeatedly: Managing Strategic Dynamics for Corporate Longevity

By
Robert A. Burgelman, Andrew Grove
Strategic Management Journal.
2007, Vol. 28, Pages 965-979

Combining longitudinal field research and executive experience, we propose that corporate longevity depends on matching cycles of autonomous and induced strategy processes to different forms of strategic dynamics, and that the role of alert strategic leadership is to appropriately balance the induced and autonomous processes throughout these cycles. We also propose that such strategic leadership is the means through which leadership style exerts its influence on corporate longevity. Our findings can be related to organizational research on structural inertia, learning and adaptation, as well as to formal theories of complex adaptive systems. They also contribute to resolving the seeming contradiction between a study of corporations that attributes exceptional long-term success to leadership style, and the more common proposition that strategy is the determinant of long-term performance.