Strategy Implementation: Five Approaches to an Elusive Phenomenon

By L. J. Bourgeois IIIDavid R. Brodwin
1982| Working Paper No. 646

The traditional textbook approach to strategy implementation was to treat “implementation” an activity following “formulation.” Usually, the topic was treated as a question of organization design, where systems and structures were manipulated in concert with strategic goals. More recent views treat implementation either as a issue of gaining prior group commitment through coalitional decision-making, or a question of total organizational involvement through a strong corporate culture. This paper reviews the evolution of these approaches, developing four models to characterize them and suggests a fifth one, with strategy emerging in a an almost-implemented form from within the firm.