Exploring adaptive small and medium enterprises through the lens of open strategy

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This chapter aims to develop a conceptual framework to probe evidence of open strategy phenomenon as being practiced by adaptive small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing industry. Specifically, this study focuses on the act and doing of strategy communications, based on a set of readying and entrepreneuring practices, involving a plurality of internal and external actors (i.e. owner manager/ entrepreneur, middle managers, shop floor employees, suppliers). The empirical study is based on a deep collaboration with a Scottish SME that supplies outsourced bottling and packaging services to the Scotch Whisky industry through a seven-year longitudinal qualitative inquiry. This study finds that open strategy phenomenon is classified into transparent, participatory and inclusive practices. These nested open strategy practices are enacted progressively as particular events are unfolding during organizational lifecycle and renewal processes. Sustaining temporal openness in strategy is underpinned by important boundary readying practices in SMEs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic Responsiveness and Adaptive Organizations
Subtitle of host publicationNew Research Frontiers in International Strategic Management
EditorsTorben Juul Andersen, Simon Torp, Stefan Linder
Place of PublicationWest Yorkshire
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISBN (Electronic)9781789730128
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019


  • open strategy
  • renewal processes
  • small and medium-sized enterprise
  • strategy practices
  • adaptability
  • inclusiveness


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