Where do we fit in the swings and roundabouts of strategy?

Abby Ghobadian*, Nicholas O'Regan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to examine and analyze the development of strategic management as a field of inquiry. Design/methodology/approach – The paper relies on secondary-source analysis. Findings – Strategic management has evolved significantly over the past four decades and today it is a well accepted and respected field of inquiry. In gaining academic acceptance, it has lost its practitioner root and it relies too heavily on positivistic deductive research methods and economics as the base discipline. The paper argues that it is time for a re-think. Research limitations/implications – The paper argues for a more inclusive approach to strategic management where inductive qualitative research drawing on base disciplines such as sociology, political economy, psychology, behavioral economics play a significant role alongside positivistic deductive approach mainly rooted in industrial or organizational economics. Practical implications – To continue its impressive upward trajectory, strategic management needs to pay more attention to relevance but not at the expense of rigour. Furthermore, strategic management needs to embrace more issues of interest to practice such as implementation, sustainability and regulation. Originality/value – The paper provides an overview of developments in the field of strategic management and to move forward it is important to have a good grasp of the past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strategy and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • Continuing development
  • Management history
  • Management research
  • Strategic management


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