Emergent Strategy

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What is Emergence?


Emergent Strategy and Deliberate StrategyIn general, an emergent phenomenon occurs when a (high) number of simple (or complex) entities operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviors as a collective. Emergent behaviors occur due to intricate causal relations across different scales and feedback, known as interconnectivity. The emergent property itself may be either very predictable or unpredictable and unprecedented, and represent a new level of the system's evolution. Emergent behavior is very hard to predict due to the immense number of interactions between components of a system, which increases exponentially with the number of components, thus potentially allowing for many different results to emerge.


What is an Emergent Strategy? Meaning.


Emergent Strategy is the vision or process towards strategy formation in strategic management in organizations that emphasizes the benefits of letting the strategy emerge as things gradually becoming apparent. Try before you commit. Strategy is viewed as an ongoing process of constant learning, experimentation and risk-taking. It is an adaptive, incremental and complex learning process in which the ends and means are intertwined and often specified simultaneously. It is the opposite of Deliberate Strategy.

The ends are rarely announced or recorded in a Formal Planning document, and when they are, they remain broad, general and non-quantifiable.

The means develop or evolve over time as the organization learns from environmental developments and interactions.

It does not mean that emergent strategists do nothing upfront and react completely ad-hoc to things as they evolve.

Benefits of emergent strategy formulation. Advantages

  • Opportunism. Organizations must retain the mental freedom to grab unpredictable opportunities as they emerge. See: Scenario Planning

  • Flexibility. Organizations must keep their options open, by not committing to early to actions and investments. See: Real Options, Strategic Agility, Dynamic Capabilities

  • Learning. Letting strategy emerge provides the environment to learn. See: Organizational Learning

  • Entrepreneurship. The best way to find out what will work is to let people try. This is conducive to an entrepreneurial spirit to emerge. See: Chaos Theory

  • Building Support. Major strategic change causes considerable resistance in organizations. So time to build support for it is important. See: Appreciative Inquiry

Emergent Strategy Special Interest Group

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The most recent topics about: Emergent Strategy.

🔥 NEW Emergent Strategy Allows Mistakes
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Emergent Strategy or Emerging Strategy?
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Emergent Strategy and Serendipity
Emergent strategy is a new concept to me and one I have difficulty accepting it as realistic. Can anybody give me a succ (...)
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Best Practices about Emergent Strategy

Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

🥇 Unrealized Emergent Strategy
Are UNREALIZED emergent strategies still valuable to an organization and its management? How? Thanks for your input... (...)
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🥈 The Paradox of Deliberate and Emergent Strategy
Mintzberg and Waters (1985) state that few strategies were purely deliberate or emergent, but normally a mix of the two (...)
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🥉 Definitions of Emergent Strategy
Emergent strategy, is a strategy that is not carefully pre-planned; it is discovered in the lack of purposes, or in an u (...)
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How do you Implement Emergent Strategy?
To implement an emergent strategy process, organizations need to: 1. Scan their environment constantly 2. Audit the de (...)
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Not-for-profit Emergent Strategy
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Expert Tips about Emergent Strategy

Here you will find professional advices by experts.

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Information Sources about Emergent Strategy

Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

Henry Mintzberg on Management and Emergent Strategy

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Compare with: Deliberate Strategy  |  Logical Incrementalism  |  Strategy Dynamics  |  Chaordic Organization  |  Strategic Management

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