Strategizing and organizing in pluralistic contexts

Paula Jarzabkowski, Evelyn Fenton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, the concept of pluralism is used to expose variations in the relationship between organizing and strategizing and the consequences of these variations for managerial practice. Pluralistic contexts are those that are shaped by the divergent goals and interests of different groups inside and outside the organization. Internally, these divergent interests result in multiple organizing processes, while the interests of external stakeholders lead to multiple strategic goals and objectives. Despite the Fact that innate pluralism and the consequent complexity of strategizing and organizing processes are experienced by many organizations in the 21st century, pluralism has been inadequately examined in organisation studies and virtually ignored in the strategy literature. Having defined pluralism and explained its implications for strategizing and organizing practices and processes within organizations, three relevant questions are posed for investigating the nature of organizing and strategizing in pluralistic contexts. Case examples from the public sector, professional services and regulated industries are utilized to provide insights into these questions, and derive a framework that enables the drivers and potential problems of the interdependence between strategizing and organizing to be better understood. Practical implications for managing this interdependence are drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-648
Number of pages18
JournalLong Range Planning
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Long Range Planning. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Jarzabkowski, Paula A. and Fenton, Evelyn (2006). Strategizing and organizing in pluralistic contexts. Long Range Planning, 39 (6), pp. 631-648. DOI 10.1016/j.lrp.2006.11.002


  • pluralism
  • organizing
  • strategizing
  • managerial practice


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