Companies cannot have secrets anymore
Professor Richard Whittington emphasizes the meaning of open strategies resulting as increased communication in companies.
According to Richard Whittington, Professor of Strategic Management at Saïd Business School, strategy is becoming more open.
"This is not just a normative point but also a descriptive one. For example, if you look at Wikileaks, it is evident that companies cannot have secrets anymore. From the normative point employees must be more engaged."
Professor Whittington was one of the keynote speakers at the EGOS 2012 Colloquium at Aalto University and Hanken School of Economics in the beginning of July. EGOS 2012 Colloquium gathered over 1600 researchers on organization and management to Helsinki.
Openness of strategies can be seen in communication.
"Firms should communicate more to both directions, internally to the employees and externally to investors, media and regulators. Communication should be a two-way-traffic, says Whittington."
According to Whittington, American semiconductor company Intel and Australian software company Atlassian are good examples of companies which have adopted important aspects of more open strategies.
Emerging strategy research emphasizes people instead of firms
Whittington is excited about the current changes on the strategy research.
"A strong European tradition of strategy research is emerging. Because of it, firm is not anymore the only center of strategy issues and impacts. Instead, research turns into practitioners and people."
"After ten years domination of particular paradigm there are new perspectives in the field. Professors Johanna Moisander and Pikka-Maaria Laine represent this new tradition, just to name a few."
Whittington argues that strategy really matters and strategic choices have major impacts within the firm and outside.
"Strategic choices are very relevant outside firms, and it is important to look upon responsibilities firms have. Strategic research has a critical look on firms, and especially on semi-monopolies. Strategic choices can affect economy wider. For example, it is part of big powerful companies' contracts with society that they should be more open and accountable."
Read more about EGOS 2012 (egos2012.net)
Richard Whittington is Professor of Strategic Management at Saïd Business School, and is Millman Fellow in Management at New College, Oxford. He is a prominent academic in the area of Corporate Strategy and leader in the field of Strategy-as-Practice research.