Shaping strategy as a structuration process

Paula Jarzabkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on top managers’ strategizing behavior has addressed how they shape either the structural context or the interpretations of organization members. I offer a structuration theory framework integrating these two partial explanations and treating strategy shaping as socially dynamic. A qualitative seven-year analysis of top managers in three universities shows a sequential pattern of shaping strategy first in the action and then in the institutional realm, and also a simultaneous pattern of shaping strategy in both realms at once. Both patterns are successful in weakly institutionalized strategy contexts, whereas the simultaneous pattern is more successful in strongly institutionalized strategy contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-650
Number of pages30
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008


  • top managers
  • strategizing behavior
  • structuration theory framework
  • socially dynamic
  • strategy contexts


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