Full Text

emergent strategy

Dale Littler


In analyzing the process of strategy formation, a distinction has been made (e.g., Mintzberg and Waters, 1985 ) between deliberate and emergent strategies. The former embraces strategies that are devised and implemented as intended. Emergent strategy, as termed by Mintzberg (1987) , is a strategy that is not carefully pre‐planned; it is realized in the absence of intentions, or in an unexpected form. As Mintzberg notes: “strategies can form as well as be formulated. A realized strategy can emerge in response to an evolving situation, or it can be brought about deliberately, through a process of formulation followed by implementation.” In the case of a planned strategy, the emergent strategy may be realized though not as intended, possibly as a result of changes in the environment; alterations in the personnel, who may have different perspectives and motives; and adjustments made by those involved in the implementation in order to take account of local conditions not anticipated by the planners of the strategy. Moreover, as strategy develops, those participating in the process will become acquainted with new knowledge, sometimes through a process of discovery involving active research, sometimes serendipitously, and sometimes through feedback from actions taken which suggests in some cases the need for adjustments to original assumptions and desired consequences. Given the uncertainties ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top