Taking historical embeddedness seriously: Three historical approaches to advance strategy process and practice research

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Despite the proliferation of strategy process and practice research, we lack understanding of the historical embeddedness of strategic processes and practices. In this article we present three historical approaches with the potential to remedy this deficiency. First, realist history can contribute to a better understanding of the historical embeddedness of strategic processes, and comparative historical analysis in particular can explicate the historical conditions, mechanisms, and causality in strategic processes. Second, interpretive history can add to our knowledge of the historical embeddedness of strategic practices, and microhistory can specifically help us understand the construction and enactment of these practices in historical contexts. Third, poststructuralist history can elucidate the historical embeddedness of strategic discourses, and genealogy in particular can increase our understanding of the evolution and transformation of strategic discourses and their power effects. Thus, this article demonstrates how, in their specific ways, historical approaches and methods can add to our understanding of different forms and variations of strategic processes and practices, the historical construction of organizational strategies, and historically constituted strategic agency.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-657
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number4
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 1995882