The Evolution of Strategic Initiatives – A Systemic Perspective

Projekt: Dissertationsprojekt


Strategic initiatives are at the heart of an intraorganizational, ecological and evolutionary perspective of strategy making. As the basic element of an organization’s ecology they are the primary unit of analysis. In general, they constitute corporate entrepreneurship involving ideas of doing new or existing things differently. Thus, they revitalize the abilities of large organizations to innovate and compete effectively.

A thorough understanding of strategic initiatives, how they evolve and why they survive in an organization’s ecology is key for researchers and practitioners alike to develop effective strategy making systems. In fact, it is acknowledged that for strategic initiatives to be selected and retained within the organization they first have to pass various administrative and political mechanisms whilst competing for scarce resources and top management’s attention.

However, the models provided so far only reveal vague clues to the systemic and multi-dimensional forces driving the intraorganizational evolution of strategic initiatives. In this regard, the purpose of this project is to examine in detail strategic initiatives within major diversified firms and to contribute to the understanding of the determinants and practices governing various stages of the evolutionary process, namely from the raw idea to the initiative’s manifestation in the very concept of strategy.