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Bridging the gap between strategy formulation and strategy implementation

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ING Group Greece - Sidma SA - Telesis Securities

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  1. Abstract.
  2. Introduction.
  3. Strategy Formulation.
  4. Strategy Implementation.
  5. Identifying the gap.
  6. Strategic Gap Causes .
  7. Information overload.
  8. Strategic Gap Effects.
  9. Bridging the Gap - Strategy Evaluation and Control.
  10. Conclusions.

Organizational Behaviour Theories hold that successful strategy implementation is a lot more than plain market facts, figures and competitive advantages. Those quantitative aspects are the outcome of a successful strategy implementation, yet the qualitative, i.e. the cognitive aspects are those that actually make or break a strategy.

This paper emphasizes on the cognitive aspects and their effects on both strategy formulation and strategy implementation. In particular, it investigates the cognitive behaviours of top and middle managers in an effort to conclude that no matter how well structured an organization might be, still, no organizational structure per se guarantees success. On the contrary, successful strategy implementation requires organizational alignment. Moreover, it requires strong strategic consensus as a result of focus on common goals, quality of interaction and quality of information, strategic flexibility and clear communication channels. Integration is the key to effective strategy implementation as it eliminates middle management resistance, X-inefficiency, and shadow organization.

[...] Bridging the Gap - Strategy Evaluation and Control After having identified the strategic gap between the two stages of strategic planning and having explained it by a cause-and-effect analysis I evaluate possible solutions in order to bridge this gap and I provide controlling mechanisms for its possible elimination. In order to facilitate the flow of the paper each cause and effect is presented separately while assessing relevant solutions. Ineffective communication of strategy from top to middle management Strategy success lies in the efforts of both top and middle managers. [...]

[...] This paper identifies organizational culture as the cognitive element of strategy formulation in section 1 and assesses its importance by testing three hypotheses. In section after testing another three hypotheses related to the organizational culture as a cognitive element of strategy implementation, a strategic gap is identified. In section a cause-and- effect analysis is performed aiming to evaluate possible ways to bridge the gap, while controlling mechanisms for its possible elimination are provided in section 4. Conclusions are presented in section while references complete this paper. [...]

[...] The test of hypotheses performed in regards to strategy formulation and strategy implementation identify a strategic gap between the two stages of strategic planning. To that end, a cause-and-effect analysis is performed aiming to appreciate the causes of the gap and to recognize its effects on the corporate operations Strategic Gap Causes Ineffective communication of strategy from top to middle management Top managers decide on a strategy to be formulated but this strategy will only be realized if it is in line with the middle and/or lower management within the organization. [...]

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