Participation research and open strategy

Eero Vaara, Anniina Rantakari, Jeannie Holstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Recent studies have raised participation as one of the key issues of Open Strategy (Luedicke et al., 2017; Mack & Szulanski, 2017). However, participation has a longer tradition in strategy research (Laine & Vaara, 2015; Mantere & Vaara, 2008) from which Open Strategy could learn from and contribute to. In this chapter, we review research on participation in strategy and discuss its implications for Open Strategy and vice versa. Participation is a dynamic and multifaceted phenomenon, the nature and effects of which are not easy to pin down in strategy making. Participation can generate engagement and create commitment to strategy and similarly improve the quality of decision making (Floyd & Wooldridge, 2000). In contrast, limiting participation through secrecy and exclusion may result in ineffective implementation (Mintzberg, 1994), and from a critical perspective, exacerbate organizational inequality (Knights & Morgan, 1991; McCabe, 2010). However, participation can also slow down decision making and constrain the strategy process (Collier et al., 2004; Anderson, 2004). Moreover, widespread participation can create expectations that are then not satisfied, particularly where the decision might be contrary to the advice given by participants (Kornberger & Clegg, 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook of Open Strategy
EditorsDavid Seidl, Georg von Krogh, Richard Whittington
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781108347921
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


Dive into the research topics of 'Participation research and open strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this