A Literature Review of the Strategic Decision-Making Context: A Synthesis of Previous Mixed Findings and an Agenda for the Way Forward

  • Said Elbanna Department of Management and Marketing, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
  • Ioannis C. Thanos Department of Business Administration, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece
  • Rob J. G. Jansen Department of Organization Studies, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands
Keywords: Contextual Factors, Strategic Decision-Making Processes, Literature Review


The aim of this article is to conduct a comprehensive literature review concerning the influence of contextual factors on strategic decision processes. Our literature review organizes the existing literature on contextual factors along the lines of an integrative framework for studying strategic decisions. Interestingly, the stream of research on strategic decision processes is dominated by studies showing mixed, contradictory, and inconclusive findings. The effects of each contextual factor on the strategic decision process differ substantially across the reviewed studies. This creates several opportunities for further research on the topic. The review also reveals a paucity of cross-cultural studies, longitudinal studies, and tests of complex relationships such as three-way interactions, curvilinear relationships, and mediation effects. We conclude our review by suggesting seven directions for future research and identifying several implications for theory and practice.


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Author Biographies

Said Elbanna, Department of Management and Marketing, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Saïd Elbanna is Professor of Strategy and International Management at Qatar University. His work centers on the practice of strategic management and the role of scholarly management research in developing organizations and society as a whole, especially in the Middle East. He is the (co-) author of more than 50 journal articles and book chapters on these and related topics. His work appears in such publications as Journal of World Business, Long Range Planning, Strategic Management Journal and Journal of International Management. He has received several awards for research, teaching and service, including best paper awards from Public Management Review and Journal of Management Studies, the Qatar University Research Excellence Award and the Abdul Hameed Shoman Arab Researchers Award, along with teaching and service awards from UAE and Qatar Universities. He has, in addition, widely served as an advisor, consultant and trainer for the strategic management field in the Middle East.

Ioannis C. Thanos, Department of Business Administration, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece

Ioannis C. Thanos is Assistant Professor of Management at the Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece. His research interests are in the areas of Strategic Decision-Making and Mergers and Acquisitions. He has published papers in such journals as British Journal of Management, Journal of World Business, Strategic Organization, International Small Business Journal, International Business Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Strategic Change, Journal of General Management, Journal of Strategy Management, etc. He has received several awards including the Journal of Strategy and Management Best Paper Award of the year and teaching awards from Lancaster University and the University of Glasgow.

Rob J. G. Jansen, Department of Organization Studies, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands

Rob J. G. Jansen is Senior Lecturer/Researcher of Organization Studies at Tilburg University (the Netherlands) and currently one of the representatives-at-large for the Strategy Process Interest Group for the Strategic Management Society. His current research focuses on multilevel and micro-foundational approaches to both the strategy process and inter-organizational tie formation and dissolution. In addition, he works with simulation and gaming approaches to organizational and strategic change. His work has appeared in journals including Business Strategy and the Environment, International Small Business Journal, Management Decision, and PLoS One.


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How to Cite
Elbanna, S., Thanos, I. C., & Jansen, R. J. G. (2020). A Literature Review of the Strategic Decision-Making Context: A Synthesis of Previous Mixed Findings and an Agenda for the Way Forward. M@n@gement, 23(2), 42-60. https://doi.org/10.37725/mgmt.v23i2.4621
Original Research Articles