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Roger McEwan

Doctor of Philosophy, (Management)
Study Completed: 2016
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
Opening The Black Box: How Strategy Practitioners develop their practices

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Strategic management is a key process in successful organisations. To date, research has primarily focused on strategy content and process. Little is known about strategists and the origins of their cognitive frameworks, in which their skills, knowledge and abilities are grounded. Mr McEwan interviewed successful strategists to gain an in-depth understanding of how they developed their strategic management abilities. He found that, in contrast to traditionally accepted approaches, strategists did not separate strategy into discrete formulation and implementation aspects, meaning their cognitive frameworks incorporated both facets. His research demonstrated that strategists required a broad range of general management competencies, rather than specialised strategic management skills. These skills were typically acquired through reflection and learning from experience, while business education and mainstream literature had little impact. Mr McEwan’s research adds to our understanding of strategists and raises questions about the relevance of current strategic management teaching, theory and practice.

Dr James Lockhart
Dr Bill Kirkley