Implementing strategy demands an organizationwide effort, where teams should not operate in isolation. A challenge many organizations face in implementing their strategy is eradicating silo thinking and creating shared understanding of strategy between interdependent teams—that is, intergroup strategic consensus. However, strategy process research is silent on how such intergroup strategic consensus can emerge. Drawing on social identity theory, we offer a lens to understand what influences the degree of intergroup strategic consensus. We unveil a tension between organizational and group identification such that organizational identification enhances intergroup strategic consensus, whereas group identification reduces it. Moreover, we hypothesize that high group identification crowds out positive effects of organizational identification on intergroup strategic consensus. Data from 451 intergroup relationships between 92 teams within a service organization support these hypotheses. We replicate our results using 191 intergroup relationships between 37 teams from another organization. These results allow us to develop an understanding of intergroup strategic consensus, expand the conversation in strategy process research to between-team interdependencies, and challenge the assumption in management literature and practice that higher identification is always desirable.
Bibliographical note© Sage 2018. The final publication is available via Sage at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0149206318788434
- behavioral strategy
- intergroup relations
- intergroup strategic consensus
- social identity
- strategic consensus
- strategy process