The Cultural School CH 9

The strategy formation of this school is through collective processes. Culture can be seen as an objective stand on why people behave the way they do and another way of understanding culture is to consider culture as a subjective process of interpretation, not based on logic. An industrial recipe really describes an industrial culture or even better “how we do things in this industry.” The premises of the cultural school are the following (267-68):

  1. Strategy formation is a process of social interaction, based on the beliefs and understandings of members of a group.
  2. An individual acquires these beliefs through a process of socialization.
  3. Members can only partially describe the beliefs that underpin their culture.
  4. Strategy is deliberate (even if not conscious).
  5. Culture and ideology do not encourage strategic change so much as perpetuation of existing strategy.

Some links between strategy and culture are the following: decision-making styles, resistance to strategic change, overcoming the resistance to strategic change, dominant values,  and cultural clash.

Culture can be considered a competitive advantage because it can not be mimicked and is unique in formation. The school can be critiqued for its vagueness but its unique differences by all industries and environments make it seem vague when really it is dynamic. The cultural school helps bring understanding to the different periods of life of an organization, such as reinforcement, resistance to change, reframing and cultural revolution.


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