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Determinants of Strategy Implementation in decision-making
DDBA 8560 - Seminar in Healthcare Managerial Decision Making
Walden University
Commitment of Top-level Management
Aaltonen and Ikåvalko (2002) recognize the role of middle managers, arguing they are
the key actors who have a pivotal role in strategic communication. If managers are not
committed to performing their roles, the lower ranks of employees will not be provided
support and guidance through encouragement of entrepreneurial attributes. According to
Rapa and Kauffman, (2005) commitment of top-level management is undoubtedly a
prerequisite for strategy implementation. Therefore, top managers must demonstrate their
willingness to give energy and loyalty to the implementation process. This demonstrable
commitment becomes, at the same time, a positive signal for all the affected
organizational members (Rapa & Kauffman, 2005).
Chakravarthy and White, (2001) suggest that managers have the discretion to pursue
varied strategies regarding three issues: entry-level education and training, employee
development, and company-school relations. Chakravarthy and White, (2001) indicate
that management characteristics such as innovation commitment and resistance to change
and management-led organizational change in firm downsizing and work redesign shape
strategy implementation.
Communication Process
Many organizations are faced with the challenge of lack of institution of a two-way-
communication program that permits and solicits questions from employees about issues
regarding the formulated strategy. In addition to inability to solicit questions and
feedback, lack of communications cause more harm as the employees are not told about
the new requirements, tasks and activities to be performed by the affected employees,
and, furthermore, cover the reason behind changed circumstances (Alexander, 2003). It is
essential both during and after an organizational change to communicate information
about organizational developments to all levels in a timely fashion (Rapa & Kauffman,
2005). However; one may misunderstand communication, or the sharing of information,
as engagement and direct dialogue that produces lack of active participation in the
The way in which a strategy is presented to employees is of great influence to their
acceptance of it. To deal with this critical situation, an integrated communications plan
must be developed. Such a plan is an effective vehicle for focusing the employees’
attention on the value of the selected strategy to be implemented (Rapa & Kauffman,
Co-ordination of Activities
So far in the review of literature on strategy implementation there is evidence of some
recurring themes, including coordination which is essential to ensure that people across
the organization know what to do and to ensure that they stay focused on the key targets
under the everyday pressures. Strategic control systems provide a mechanism for keeping
today's actions in congruence with tomorrow's goals. Al Ghamdi (1998) replicated the
work of Alexander (1985) in the UK and found that for most of the firms, due to lack of
coordination, implementation took more time than originally expected and major
problems surfaced in the companies, again showing planning weaknesses. He found the
effectiveness of coordination of activities as a problem in most of the firms and
distractions from competing activities in some cases. In addition key tasks were not
defined in enough detail and information systems were inadequate.
Organizational Culture
Organizational Culture (OC) refers to the leadership style of managers how they spend
their time, what they focus attention on, what questions they ask of employees, how they
make decisions; also the organizational culture (the dominant values and beliefs, the
norms, the conscious and unconscious symbolic acts taken by leaders (job titles, dress
codes, executive dining rooms, corporate jets, informal meetings with employees).
Marginson (2002) contend that strategy implementation evolves either from a process of
winning group commitment through a coalitional form of decision-making, or as a result
of complete coalitional involvement of implementation staff through a strong corporate
The challenge of successful strategy implementation results from lack of cultivation of
strong cultural values which are essential in meeting the changing organizational needs
(Marginson, 2002). The distinction between “thinkers” and “doers” begins to blur but
does not totally disappear. Another challenge in strategy implementation that is appears
cultural and behavioural in nature is the impact of poor integration of activities and
diminished feelings of ownership and commitment (Aaltonen & Ikåvalko, 2002). Corboy
and O'Corrbui (1999), identify the deadly sins of strategy implementation which involve:
a lack of understanding of how the strategy should be implemented; customers and staff
not fully appreciating the strategy; difficulties and obstacles not acknowledged,
recognized or acted upon; and ignoring the day-to-day business imperatives.
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