Sub-theme 61: Strategy-as-Practice: Cognition, Emotions and Strategy Practice
Call for Papers
Strategy-as-practice (SAP) researchers view strategy as a social activity; in other words, as something that members
of an organization actually do. As such, the focus of research in this area has been on the micro-activities and
interactions of actors in and around the organization, both in terms of what actors do in practice and how
they accomplish it. Due to this explicit focus on activity, SAP scholars have dedicated significant effort to understanding
strategic behaviour. This has yielded extremely valuable insights. However, it has also partially overshadowed other important
types of practices, including cognition and emotion. While there has been some emphasis on cognition, largely through the
work on strategic decision-making, change and sensemaking, emotion has only very recently started receiving attention.
This sub-theme thus calls on scholars to advance our understanding of strategy practice by producing research that illuminates the link between cognition, emotion and behaviour in strategy. Studies of cognition have demonstrated that meaning-making processes are critical to how strategy is conceptualised and executed (Balogun & Johnson, 2004; 2005; Rouleau, 2005; Rouleau & Balogun, 2011). Cognitive frames are an important element of this (Balogun & Johnson, 2004; Kaplan, 2008). Studies of emotion have demonstrated that emotional dynamics influence interpretations of strategy and thereby how strategy is enacted. For instance, Liu and Maitlis (2014) show that displayed emotion affects strategizing by influencing how issues are discussed and which decisions made (see also Samra-Fredericks, 2004). Cognition and emotion are thus clearly important in strategy processes. However, they must be better understood; particularly their link with strategic behaviour.
It is this link we focus on in our call for papers. In particular, we seek papers that explore the reciprocal relationship between cognition, emotion and strategy behaviour. Possible topics for contributions include, but are not restricted to:
- The relationship between cognition and strategy practice
- The relationship between emotion and strategy practice
- The relationship between behaviour and strategy practice
- The link between cognition, emotion and behaviour in strategy
- How emotion influences cognition and behaviour in a strategic context
- How cognition influences strategy, emotion and behaviour in a strategic context
- How behaviour influences strategy, cognition and emotion in a strategic context
We also welcome papers on other strategy-as-practice topics, including conceptual and empirical papers utilizing a range of methodological approaches. For more information on the practice perspective on strategizing, please see www.s-as-p.org.
In order to encourage far-reaching participation, effective discussion and developmental feedback, we will utilize various session formats, including:
- Introductory panel with keynote speakers
- Standard paper sessions of three to four presentations for those papers that are either very well developed or that raise topical issues for discussion
- Interactive roundtable paper sessions with four to five papers per table, to provide small group feedback and developmental discussion
- Concluding panel with keynote presenters
As this will be the year the SAP Research Community Platform (RCP) is launched, the closing panel will be forward-looking, drawing on past community activity in order to draw out particular ways forward for this new EGOS format. All sub-theme subscribers will be informed about Colloquium and pre-Colloquium activities arising out of the RCP initiative.
- Balogun, J., & Johnson, G. (2004): "Organizational restructuring and middle manager sensemaking." Academy of Management Journal, 47 (4), 523–549.
- Balogun, J., & Johnson, G. (2005): "From intended strategy to unintended outcomes: The impact of change recipient sensemaking." Organization Studies, 26 (11), 1573–1602.
- Kaplan, S. (2008): "Framing contests: Strategy making under uncertainty." Organization Science, 19 (5), 729–752.
- Liu, F., & Maitlis, S. (2014): "Emotional dynamics and strategizing processes: A study of strategic conversations in top team meetings." Journal of Management Studies, 51 (2), 202–234.
- Rouleau, L. (2005): "Micro-practices of strategic sensemaking and sensegiving: How middle managers interpret and sell change every day." Journal of Management Studies, 42 (7), 1413–1441.
- Rouleau, L., & Balogun, J. (2011): "Middle managers, strategic sensemaking, and discursive competence." Journal of Management Studies, 48 (5), 953–983.
- Samra-Fredericks, D. (2004): "Managerial elites making rhetorical and linguistic ‘moves’ for a moving (emotional) display." Human Relations, 57 (9), 1103–1143.