Achieving Strategic Agility in Hypercompetitive Environments
The competitive landscape has been shifting in recent years more than ever. Globalization, rapid technological changes, codification of knowledge, the Internet, talent and employee mobility, increased rates of knowledge transfer, imitation, changes in customer tastes, the obsolescence of products and business models – have all caused a turbulent environment and accelerated changes and disruptions. These trends are expected to continue in the future, producing ever more rapid and unpredictable changes. Current concepts such as sustained competitive advantage, resource-based view, and strategic planning have been deemed vague, tautological, and inadequate for companies to cope with the rate and complexity of environmental and market changes (e.g., Kraaijenbrink, Spender and Groen, 2010; Lado, Boyd, Wright and Kroll, 2006).
In a chaotic environment in which markets emerge, collide, split, evolve, and die one of the primary determinants of a firm’s success is strategic agility, the ability to remain flexible in facing new developments, to continuously adjust the company’s strategic direction, and to develop innovative ways to create value. There is a tension between formal processes of strategic planning that require strategic commitments for a course of action and opportunistic strategic agility. Strategic planning has been criticized for preparing plans for tomorrow based on yesterday’s actions, concepts, and tools. Although strategic planning can help in specific situations, it usually creates an inertia that prevents fast adaptation when circumstances change or market discontinuities occur. Strategic agility requires inventing new business models and new categories rather than rearranging old products and categories. To cope with growing strategic discontinuities and disruptions, scholars have suggested the creation of strategically agile companies, including new ways for managing business transformation and renewal, developing dynamic capabilities, creating imitation abilities, maintain a high level of organizational flexibility, developing learning and knowledge transfer skills, using adaptive corporate culture, optimizing human resource scalability, and more (e.g., Doz and Kosonen, 2010; Dyer and Ericksen, 2005; Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000; Shenkar, 2010a; Weber, Tarba, and Reichel, 2011; Wilson and Doz, 2011).
The goal of this special issue is to stimulate authors to redefine the spectrum of means and processes available to create and use strategic agility. The issue challenges authors to provide the frameworks that managers can use to integrate, develop, and reconfigure competences and resources required to deal with hypercompetitive markets. Given markets discontinuities and the rapidly increasing pace of change, companies need new and agile paradigms.
We invite papers that focus on strategic agility in both the national and international arenas. We encourage contributions that address but are not limited to the following topics:
What are the origins, components, and outcomes of strategic agility?
What are the roles of early warning systems, communication, learning, scanning, knowledge transfer, training, managerial rotation, and rewarding in the development of strategically agile companies?
What is the relationship between strategic agility on one hand and organizational flexibility, modular organizational forms, conflicts and confrontations, dynamic capabilities (Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000), imitation (Shenkar, 2010b), cultural characteristics (Weber, Tarba, and Reichel, 2011), human resource management (Shafer, Dyer, Kilty, Amos, and Ericksen, 2001) and other existing and emerging concepts?
What insights can perspectives from strategy, economics, organizational behavior, international management, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines provide into the nature, antecedents, processes, and effects of strategic agility?
Do strategic sensitivity and resource fluidity (Doz and Kosonen, 2008; 2010) create only a temporary advantage or can they improve performance in both short and the long term?
What is the role of strategic agility in mergers and acquisitions, given their high failure rate? For example, what is the importance of strategic agility components at the pre-merger planning stage (e.g., due diligence, scanning, and screening), the negotiation stage (Weber, Belkin, and Tarba, 2011), and during post-merger integration? What is the effect of various practices (communication, training) within the context of different national cultures (Weber, Rachman-Moore, and Tarba, 2011), and of integration approaches such as symbiosis (Weber, Tarba, and Rozen Bachar, 2011) and hybrid integration (Schweizer, 2005) on strategic agility?
What are the profiles of strategically agile multinational corporations?
Do changes in partners' resources and capabilities cause loss of flexibility to joint ventures, resulting in a high rate of failure? When and how should new modular organization forms be applied in the creation of strategic alliances?
When should management embrace intuitive, improvisational, and action-oriented forms of decision making for the sake of effectiveness?
Please bear in mind that CMR publishes primarily original articles that are research based and address issues of current concern to managers.
To consider your manuscript for publication in this special issue, submit your paper by February 29, 2012 to the official CMR website, indicating the title of the special issue.
All papers should meet the submission requirements of CMR: http://cmr.berkeley.edu/submission_guidelines.html .
The papers will be sent for review following CMR’s standard review process, coordinated by the guest editors. The final decisions about publications will be made by the CMR editor.
Please indicate in your text why and how your paper will appeal not only to scholars but also, and especially, to managers.
For further information, please contact the CMR co-guest editor for this special issue, Prof. Yaakov Weber firstname.lastname@example.org .
Doz, Y.L and Kosonen, M. 2008. The dynamics of strategic agility: Nokia's rollercoaster experience. California Management Review, 50 (3), 95-118.
Doz, Y.L and Kosonen, M. 2010. Embedding strategic agility. Long Range Planning, 43, 370-382.
Dyer, L. and Ericksen, J. (2005). In pursuit of marketplace agility: Applying precepts of self-organizing systems to optimize human resource scalability. Human Resource Management, 44 (2), 183–188.
Eisenhardt, K. M. and Martin, J. A. 2000. Dynamic capabilities: What are they? Strategic Management Journal, 21, 1105-1121.
Goldman, S. L., Nagel, R. N., and Preiss, K. 1995. Agile Competitors and Virtual Organizations: Strategies for Enriching the Customer. van Nostrand Reinhold.
Kraaijenbrink, J., Spender, J.-C., and Groen, A. J. 2010. The resource-based view: A review and assessment of its critiques. Journal of Management, 36 (1), 349-372.
Lado, A. A., Boyd, N. G., Wright, P., and Kroll, M. 2006. Paradox and theorizing within the resource-based view. Academy of Management Review, 31 (1), 115-131.
Shafer, R. A., Dyer, L., Kilty, J., Amos, J., and Ericksen, J. (2001). Crafting a human resource strategy to foster organizational agility: A case study. Human Resource Management, 40 (3), 197–211.
Shenkar, O. 2010a. Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge. Harvard Business Press.
Shenkar, O. 2010b. Imitation is more valuable than innovation. Harvard Business Review (April), 1-3.
Schweizer, L. 2006. Organizational integration of acquired biotech companies into pharmaceutical companies: The need for a hybrid approach. Academy of Management Journal, 48 (6), 1051–1074.
Weber, Y., Belkin, T., and Tarba, S.Y. 2011. Negotiation, cultural differences, and planning in mergers and acquisitions. Proceedings of the EuroMed Academy of Management 2010 Annual Conference, 1249-1257. Nicosia, Cyprus, November 2010.
Weber, Y., Rachman-Moore, D., and Tarba, S.Y. 2011. Human resource practices during post-merger conflict and merger performance. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management. Forthcoming.
Weber, Y., Tarba, S.Y., and Reichel, A. 2011. International mergers and acquisitions performance: Acquirer nationality and integration approaches. International Studies of Management & Organization, 41 (3), 9 - 24.
Weber, Y., Tarba, S. Y., and Rozen Bachar, Z. 2011. Mergers and acquisitions performance paradox: The mediating role of integration approach. European Journal of International Management. 5 (4), 373 - 393.
Wilson, K. and Doz, Y. L. 2011. Agile innovation. California Management Review, 53 (2), 6 - 26.