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Dragan Djurić looks at strategy tools from a process-ontological worldview as proposed by the Process Organization Studies discourse. Building on Wittgenstein’s later philosophy he understands science and management as language games thereby developing a view of strategy tools as objects with both an ontological and a symbolic function. This perspective is contrasted with the traditional understanding of strategy tools as ‘technologies of rationality’ as well as with the practice-based view of strategy tools as ‘boundary objects’.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction and Research Motivation

Abstract
Strategy tools are frequently used in organizational strategy activities. Tools like The Boston Consulting Group’s growth-share model, McKinsey’s Strategic Gameboard, Michael Porter’s Five Forces or SWOT analysis have been prominently featured over the years in helping managers with strategic decision-making. Indeed, as reported by the international strategy consulting firm Bain & Co., top executives have ever since used a wide variety of management tools in coping with their every day work. Their relevance for managerial practice is unquestionable. Developed partly by practitioners and in part by academics (sometimes in collaborative endeavors), strategy tools have diffused into practice through business media, management gurus, research articles, consultants or business school curricula.
Dragan Djurić

2. Twisting the Familiar: Philosophical Underpinnings in Management Research

Abstract
As indicated in the introduction, every research effort inevitably builds on a set of basic assumptions. These assumptions shall be discussed and rendered visible in this chapter in order for readers to understand the worldviews of the traditional and the practice-based discourse as well as the author’s course of writing. This is considered especially valuable in this particular piece of work which, maybe somewhat unusual when compared to mainstream OMT dissertations, does not aim for preaching solutions but rather tries to challenge (or at least open up for discussion in a deconstructivist sense) some contemporary preconceptions. In this sense, it is not about a search for definitive answers but rather aims at evoking further questions in the reader.
Dragan Djurić

3. Strategy Tools as Symbolic Objects in Managerial Language Games

Abstract
The summary of the key points of chapter 2 in section 2.5.1 was closed with a reference to Astley and Zammuto (1992) who were among the first authors to relate Wittgenstein’s idea of language games to OMT and who made the case for science and management as interrelated, yet semiautonomous language games. The following subchapter, i.e., subchapter 3.1, shall – after some introductory comments – review their main conceptual arguments. This discussion will then serve as a point of reference for the processual elaboration on the development and use of strategy tools in subchapter 3.2, which shall transliterate the phenomenon of interest into radical constructivist process language in accordance with goal #1 of this dissertation. Subchapter 3.3 will subsequently elaborate on the decision-making context of strategy tool use from the traditional, the practice-based, and the process point of view. Subchapter 3.4 eventually summarizes this chapter’s arguments.
Dragan Djurić

4. Dissertation Summary and Reflections

Abstract
The motivation for the writing of this dissertation initially arose from the willingness to accomplish three goals as formulated in subchapter 1.4: One of the goals (i.e., goal #2) was to discuss the epistemological position of process thought and make the case for radical instead of naïve constructivism thereby making a critical contribution to process thinking in organization studies in general with reference to the PROS (2011) call for papers. It was shown that many process writers – both in philosophy and in OMT – adhere to a sociological, mechanistic, and objectivist understanding of constructivism in their epistemological underpinnings which consequently remain bound to a realist worldview. However, it is precisely this latter assumption which constructivism, understood as a radical epistemological position, seeks to provide an alternative for. Consequently, the dissertation argued that process thought needs to move from its naïve/trivial to a rather radical understanding of constructivism in order to fully exploit the epistemological potential of the latter which lays in the possibility of dissolving the realist assumption.
Dragan Djurić

Backmatter

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