While some experts look for an explanation on the theoretical side (the use of wrong models of the strategic process, the weekness of the strategy theory, and so on) the men of action, the real strategic operators prefers put the blame, or the excuse, on the difficulties of the new changing contexts. They are practical men and do not want to hear about new strategy theories or approaches. And they will not do so until a critical level of failures convinced then that the current array of ideas that the Business Schools have sacralised regarding management and strategy have serious vices in their origins, and that they are no longer useful for the new action contexts.
It is for this reason that I would go so far as to say that the most important news in the last few years in the strategy field is the extraordinary coincidence between two critic movements: the proposals that a series of prestigious North American experts grouped under the name “Half Moon Bay Renegades” have just brought forward (2009) and the New Strategy Theory (NST) that the Ibero-American Forum on Communication Strategies (FISEC) has been laying out since 2001.
The fact that two movements so far apart and without communication between them have come to similar conclusions should make us think. These is the story I would like to tell in this pages.
Those who wish to go back to the original source can do so by reading, for the proposals of Half Moon Bay, February 2009’s issue of the Harvard Business Review, and Raul Morales’ comment on the 13th February 2009 in www.tendencias21.net
And for the NST’s proposals you may read the articles published on www.fisec-estrategias.com.ar, FISEC’s academic magazine, indexed in Latindex, and on “Toward a General Theory of Strategy” (Rafael Alberto Pérez and Sandra Massoni, Ariel, 2001).
>1994: the year than Padora´s box was open
If we had to look for a date for the beginning of this story, we could say that it started in 1989 but really emerges in 1994. I will make myself clear:
One of the first critiques to strategic management and at the same time one of the strongest is that of Philip Mirowski. Professor in the University of Notre Dame (Indiana), historian, philosopher of economic thinking, and one of the fathers of neoinstitutionalism. In his book “More Heat Than Light: Economics as Social Physics” (1989) he underlines that the mainstream (inheritor of neoclassic economics) remained trapped under the influence of the paradigm of 19th century physics and unable to contemporise. A line of research which he continued in his book “Machine Dreams” (2001).
But it is in 1994 that three of the most significant critical works are published:
– “Strategy as a field of Study: Why Search for a New Paradigm” (Prahalad y Hamel)
– “The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning” (Minztberg)
– “The Death of Economics” (Paul Ormerod)
Pandora’s box had been opened and critiques appeared endlessly.
These critics, although stemming from the same shared concern, spark off two different reflections without communication between them but quite close in their conclusions, one movement regarding the future of Management and the other the future of strategy
The reflection on the future of management led by anglosaxon experts passed by without making noise during the 1994-2008 period to broke out in 2009 in the proposals of Half Moon Bay (Gary Hamel, “Moon Shots for management”, Harvard Business Review, February 2009) and the other on the future of Strategy stars in 2001 in Rafael Alberto Perez ´s book “Communication Strategy” (Ariel 2001) follows through the- Ibero-American Forum on Communication Strategies- FISEC’s debates, to climaxes on the proposals of the book “Toward a General Theory of Strategy” (Ariel, 2009). We would have to reach the present day for them to meet
(It will continue)