Viewing ?open strategy? as a viable approach to the management of strategy

Geoff A. Goldman    
Jonathan Kruger    


AbstractOrientation: Sound strategic management is vital for the longevity and sustainability of organisations. Yet, strategy execution remains problematic, in part due to prolific changes in the business environment.Research purpose: To explore the views of South African managers toward Open Strategy, to gauge whether managers will consider Open Strategy as viable strategic management approach.Motivation for the study: As organisations grapple with the challenges of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), it is apparent that conventional thinking on strategy is losing relevance. Alternative approaches to strategy are being explored that are better suited to the changing business environment.Research design, approach and method: The study was conducted from an Interpretive perspective, employing a qualitative survey design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 middle and senior managers of South African companies. Data were analysed through thematic content analysis, employing Creswell?s four-stage process of qualitative data analysis.Main findings: Five themes emerged, highlighting that conventional thinking on strategic management pervades. Research participants acknowledged that they were unaware of Open Strategy, although evidence suggested that elements of Open Strategy were present in their approaches to strategy formulation and execution. These were categorized into evidence relating to transparency, inclusivity and IT-enabledness.Practical/managerial implications: From the findings of the study suggestions were provided on how South African organisations could pursue a greater degree of openness in their management of strategy.Contribution/value-add: The study provides valuable insights in terms of opening up strategic practices to be more prepared for the challenges laid down by 4IR.