STRATEGIC BEHAVIOR AND STRATEGIC CHOICES

Strategic behavior leads to different levels of performance.47 However, what type of strategic behavior produces optimal performance? The typology developed by Miles and Snow48 provided a foundation for other scholars of organizational behavior interested in the relationships between strategy, structure, and process. Validity and reliability have

Table 12.4. Managerial Approach to Change

Managerial Approach to Change

also been affirmed as usable to explore organizations and their strate-gies.49 This typology is also consistent with theoretical and empirical studies over the last two decades.50

Porter's51 typology focuses on concentrated industries52 and represents an excellent tool for an existing industry (therefore addressing the primary premise of low cost, differentiation), but offers neither guidance for industries in highly entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative settings, which are still in a pre-infancy stage, nor strategic direction for political strategy. Table 12.4 summarizes the types of strategic sociopolitical responses employed by an array of researchers and practicing managers. The suggestion is that organizations employ a different organizational response (endogenously driven behavior) depending on the environmental (exogenously driven process) conditions (contingency), which facilitates the goal of this exploratory research to associate environmental turbulence and strategic behavior orientation to performance.

Several authors also have suggested that the aggressiveness of strategic managerial behavior for societal response must match the intensity of the changes in the societal environment.53

Strategic choices are an outcome of stakeholder power and environmental pressures.54 Strategic choices are manifested into goals; however, scholars have long argued the intricacies and interplay of the firm's goals.55 Although there is a cost associated with failure to manage the political agenda of the firm, the most important is the loss of choice-making discretion.56 Managers who are involved in developing strategic choices of social goal strategies must realize the opportunities and constraints presented by the political process and legal structures.57 Moreover, strategic choices are an outcome of a strategic posture, which is developed through assessment of the environment and stakeholder ag-gressiveness.58 Once the firm has engaged in environmental analysis, management must make strategic choices about how to best adapt or respond to the results of the environmental scanning. The result of environmental scanning and strategic diagnosis59 provides the business institution with an array of strategic choices.60

MANAGERIAL CAPABILITY FOR SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RESPONSE

Although researchers have affirmed the need for corporate sociopolitical strategy, there is minimal research on the development of the managerial capability for such work. Managers need to understand diverse ideologies, acquire skills in coalition building, bargaining in the sociopolitical domain, stakeholder power, etc.61 Moreover, firms must develop managerial skills for political response62 and define their social and political marketplace with the same intensity as they define their competitive market place. Managers are responsible for the formulation and implementation of strategies regarding corporate sociopolitical activities that produce public-policy outcomes that are favorable to the firm's economic success.63

Management should possess capabilities for rethinking traditional beliefs and understanding the political process and skills in political behavior. Moreover, management should develop a political infrastructure capable of recognizing the political market domain of the firm, which will facilitate the necessary sociopolitical networking and relations critical to the profit-making activities.64 The formulation and implementation of social goals65 will allow management to increase its capabilities and claim success in the sociopolitical arena before stakeholders66 exert social pressure and/or laws and regulations are implemented to address relevant issues.

 
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