Strategy work in a large construction company: personified strategies as drivers för change
Paper in proceedings, 2011

Strategizing can be seen as a balancing act between aggregating knowledge and experiences from an organization’s past business cycles and forecasting future possibilities over a longer period of time. Yet knowledge about strategizing over business cycles and in rapidly changing market conditions in the construction sector is scarce. This paper takes a micro perspective on strategizing and examines individual narratives of change processes to identify driving factors. The empirical data is part of an ongoing longitudinal case study in a large construction company on strategizing over business cycles from 1990 until today. The study comprises in-depth interviews with 14 key actors and a wide range of documentation covering the period. The Strategy-as-Practice perspective serves well as a retrospective description of strategizing over time; understanding the dynamics that underlie the various strategic changes is a matter of understanding what the strategists have done. The paper shows that strategy processes mainly are related to a few individuals (mostly the CEO’s), rather than to the activities or rationale behind them. This paper contributes a novel perspective on the strategy literature in construction by emphasizing personified strategies as drivers for change. We argue that personified strategies are an intra-organizational phenomenon related to power distribution, governance, and the tensions between individual agency and the institutionalized context.

strategy as practice

personified strategies


Martin Löwstedt

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Christine Räisänen

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Ann-Charlotte Stenberg

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Peter Fredriksson

6th Nordic conference on Construction Economics and Organisation, 13-15 April, 2011, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Business Administration

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