John Lewis Partnership lessons in logical incrementalism and organic growth: A case study and interview with the Chairman, Mr Charlie Mayfield

Nicholas O'Regan*, Abby Ghobadian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how strategy is developed and implemented in an organisation with an unusual ownership model. Partnerships are not a prevalent form of ownership but as this case demonstrates they can be extremely effective. Furthermore this case demonstrates how logical incrementalism can be used to implement major strategic decisions. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on company documentary evidence and a semi-structured interview with Mr Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership. A chairman has a helicopter view of business whose perspectives are rarely captured by strategy researchers. This case study offers an insight into strategic thinking of a chairman and chief executive of a successful company. Research limitations/implications – The case study and interview offer a unique insight into the rationale behind strategic decisions within a successful partnership that has grown organically in a highly competitive retail market without high gearing. Originality/value – This case study sheds light on strategic moves within partnership. Furthermore, very few case studies offer insight into the thinking of a chief executive who has successfully managed a business in a turbulent environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strategy and Management
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Decision making
  • Logical incrementalism
  • Organic growth
  • Retailing
  • Strategic decisions
  • Strategic innovation
  • Strategic leadership
  • Strategy
  • United Kingdom

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