PhD dissertation at MSC

News

 
09/07/2018
Anders Kryger

Anders Kryger, Industrial PhD fellow at MSC, successfully defended his dissertation “Aligning future employee action and corporate strategy in a resource-scarce environment” on 4 September 2018.

 

The challenge

The dissertation takes a point of departure in a seemingly simple task: to align action planning with a strategy. This simplicity is deceptive, however, since in reality such alignment is a highly complex and challenging endeavor for organizations – and more so in an environment of resource scarcity brought on by a market downturn which forces managers to think in short-term deliverables and to deprioritize long-term activities and setting a new strategic direction.

A possible solution

The dissertation shows that planned actions and a company’s strategic reorientation can, in fact, be aligned at a strategy implementation workshop when two conditions are in place:

 

  1. efforts should be made to improve workshop design through iterative prototyping, where a prototype design evolves through testing at actual workshops, evaluation with participants, managers and researchers, and workshop modules are replaced or added until the design proves effective according to all evaluations

  2. interview technique from narrative therapy offers a useful tool to help elicit problems and solutions. The purpose of interviews in narrative therapy is to elicit experience-near accounts of problems and thereby map their influences. This process enables participants to identify the real causes of problems, which is required if effective solutions are to be found.
     

Findings
In the final workshop design, used at the case company MAN Energy Solutions in Copenhagen, the new strategy was first introduced at an abstract level and then rendered experience near through facilitation with interview technique from narrative therapy. This enabled participants to interpret past and possible future tasks in the context of the new strategy, and to formulate, select and plan action that was aligned with the strategy, thus supporting the impending strategy implementation.

 

When adapted to a strategy context, the method can open up a space for depth and dwelling within a resource-constrained, rushed and high-pressure environment.

 

For further information about the project, contact Anders Kryger at anders.kryger@man-es.com.

 

The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Society and Communication // 09/25/2018