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Strategy’s negotiability, reasonability, and comprehensibility : A Case Study of how Central Strategists Legitimize and Realize Strategies without Formal Authority

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abstract This paper presents results of an embedded comparative case study about central strategists realizing strategies in a large nonprofit organization characterized by decentralized and inverse structures. Inverse structures lead to a paradoxical situation in which strategists of a nonprofit's central office have to make deliberate decisions about resource allocation while having no authority over the implementation of strategic decisions. Legitimation is a crucial element in the creation and realization of new strategies. We thus ask the question: How do strategists achieve the legitimation and realization of strategies without formal authority? The findings show that, in all of the observed four strategies – also in the process of formalization, strategists of the central office built on emergent strategies which they supported in their legitimation by three steps: First strategists supported the strategy’s negotiability (pragmatic legitimation), continued supporting its reasonability (moral legitimation), and finally its comprehensibility (cognitive legitimation).
   
type journal paper
   
keywords legitimation, strategic planning, emergent strategy, formal authority, comparative case study
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 12-2011
journal Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
publisher SAGE Publications (London UK)
ISSN 0899-7640
ISSN (online) 1552-7395
DOI 10.1177/0899764010378703
volume of journal 40
number of issue 6
page(s) 1020-1047
review double-blind review
   
citation Jaeger, U., & Kreutzer, K. (2011). Strategy’s negotiability, reasonability, and comprehensibility: A Case Study of how Central Strategists Legitimize and Realize Strategies without Formal Authority. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(6), 1020-1047, DOI:10.1177/0899764010378703.