Sub-theme 05: (SWG) Strategizing Practices and Resources: Unpacking the Micro-Foundations and Dynamics of Resource Allocation, Deployment, Development and Perception

Martin Friesl
Lancaster University Management School, UK
Patrick Regnér
Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Carlo Salvato
Bocconi University, Italy

Call for Papers


Strategy-as-practice (SAP) sees strategy as an on-going activity and accomplishment – something people do rather than organizations have. The emphasis is on people, the strategy work they do and the way this is embedded within the broader organizational and societal levels. Although the approach emphasizes the interrelationships between strategy work and organizational and institutionalized practices, the organizational resources at hand have been largely overlooked. To explore and fill this void in SAP, this year's sub-theme emphasizes how strategists allocate, deploy, develop and perceive resources when strategizing. Addressing these questions promises to further develop the SAP area as well as bridge extant research debates in strategy process research and the resource and (dynamic) capability based views. We interpret the notion of resources broadly as including organizational resources, capabilities and routines.

Resource allocation. The resource allocation process model introduced by Bower (1970) and further extended by Burgelman (1983) has been one of the most lasting contributions in strategic management and SAP promises to extend this research in several ways. For example, one strand of research has addressed the relationship between strategizing activities and firms' portfolios of resources and capabilities. Others have looked at the mediating role of taken-for-granted resource allocation practices.

Resource deployment and development. The resource and (dynamic) capability based views (Barney, 1991; Teece, 2007) have dominated strategy content research over the last couple of decades. Nevertheless, the micro-foundations of resources, routines and capabilities are still something of an enigma. The SAP approach has a lot to offer regarding the micro-dynamics of the people involved and the routines and practices they draw on. It also promises insights into the use of institutionalized resources in strategy work (artefacts, tools, language, etc.). More generally, drawing on practice theorists such as Giddens and Bourdieu could provide the opportunity for a more complex understanding of resources and their implications for strategizing practices.

Resource perception. Managers differ in their understanding of resources and the significance of sensemaking has earlier been investigated through the SAP lens. This line of inquiry examines the relationships between how people perceive resources and capabilities and the institutionalized strategy practices at the group, organizational or societal levels (e.g. Eggers & Kaplan, 2013).

In keeping with the sub-theme, we invite papers from a range of theoretical and methodological approaches that address the role of resources in the study of strategizing activities and practice. Related questions might include but are not restricted to the following:

  • How does the access and allocation of resources constrain or enable processes and outcomes of strategizing?
  • How do actors engage with resources in order to make them accessible, available and relevant for strategizing?
  • What are the resources on individual, group or on diverse organization levels that are salient in strategizing processes?
  • What are the people, activities and practices involved in developing novel resources and capabilities?
  • How do organizationally situated and embedded strategy activities relate to resource-, capability- and routine inertia and inimitability?
  • How do actors on different levels of the organization draw on (perceptions, conceptions or representations) firm level resources, routines and capabilities when strategizing?
  • How can theories of practice inform a more nuanced understanding of "resources" used in strategizing processes (such as Bourdieu's notion of cultural and symbolic capital or Giddens' distinction of allocative and authoritative resources)?
  • How are resources and routines (and their representations) transformed in the process of strategizing?
  • What are the methodological implications of studying the role of resources in strategizing?

The topics outlined give room for a variety of possible contributions. Please note that because EGOS has acted as an important forum for the development of SAP scholarship, SAP papers offering contributions beyond the scope of the current theme are also welcomed. For further information on SAP please also visit:



Barney, Jay B. (1991): 'Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage.' Journal of Management, 17 (1), pp. 99–120.
Burgelman, Robert A. (1983): 'A process model of internal corporate venturing in the diversified major firm.' Administrative Science Quarterly, 28 (2), pp. 223–244.
Eggers, J.P. & Sarah Kaplan (2013): 'Cognition and capabilities.' The Academy of Management Annals, 7 (1), pp. 293–338.
Bower, Joseph L. (1970): Managing the Resource Allocation Process: A Study of Corporate Planning and Investment. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Teece, David J. (2007): 'Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of sustainable enterprise performance.' Strategic Management Journal, 28 (13), pp. 1319–1350.


Martin Friesl is Associate Professor (UK Senior Lecturer) in Strategic Management at Lancaster University Management School, UK. In his research Martin is particularly interested in the micro-practices of capability development, replication and change.
Patrick Regnér is Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. His research focuses on strategizing that underlies the origins of resources and capabilities including exploitation/exploration trade-offs.
Carlo Salvato is Associate Professor of Business Strategy at Bocconi University. His research focuses on micro-level and endogenous aspects of capability development and change, internal entrepreneurship and corporate level strategy.