Making Strategy Out of Everyday Tools: A Collective Bricolage Perspective
In this article, we explore how non-strategy tools – which we call ‘occupational’ because they emerge from actors’ daily work – allow managers to strategize. Specifically, we focus on the crafting process of such tools, or what we call the strategy tooling process. We take an organizational bricolage perspective to identify the resources that practitioners draw upon in the tool crafting process and the types of dialogues they engage in. Empirically, we draw upon our comparison of two longitudinal case studies to identify a process model of collective bricolage. Combining the literature on collective bricolage with strategy tools allows to cast light on the emergence of strategy from the bottom up. Our contributions are twofold. First, we identify different categories of repertoires and dialogues and highlight their dynamic interactions in the process of bricolage. Second, our study of dialogues broadens the practice perspective on tools beyond the discursive turn. This paper is also relevant for managerial practice at a time when a growing interest in a participatory approach to strategy requires an understanding of how occupational tools help carry out strategy at the operational level.
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