Open strategy initiatives: open, IT-enabled episodes of strategic practice

2016-07-22T11:02:40Z (GMT) by Josh Morton Alex Wilson Louise Cooke
The concept of openness has become widespread in organizations, driven by the advent of the internet and advances in information technology, with open approaches now a particular interest to information systems researchers. Open principles have more recently been adopted by organizations in a strategic context, through openness in strategy processes. Widely labelled ‘open strategy’, research into the phenomenon has primarily focused on increased transparency and participation in strategy-making, with less attention on the actual practice of open strategy. In particular, there has been limited focus on its episodic nature, with open strategy, in many cases, representing temporary instances of strategic ideation within the wider operational and strategic conduct of organizations. This paper intends to extend current open strategy definitions by conceptually expanding Hendry and Seidl's (2003) framework for studying ‘strategic episodes’, helping to explain the temporary complexion of the phenomenon. This analysis also explores how information systems are central to this form of open, ITenabled strategic practice. We introduce empirical data from two case studies to conceptualize the intermittent nature of what we define as ‘open strategy initiatives’, and conclude by outlining what this on-going research intends to contribute in the future.