The process of strategic change
: a management perspective

  • Gerald N. Johnson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis is concerned with the management processes concerned with complex strategic decision in organisations. The research has sought to explore these processes by taking as its focus the reconstruction of decision processes a) on the basis of an historical study of an industry and in particular a major company in that industry; and b) the perception and understanding of strategic decision processes and change by managers involved in companies in that industry. The main body of analysis and theoretical contributions arise from the detailed analysis of extended depth interviews with managers carried out in 1980 and 1983 which trace thirteen years of the strategic development of a firm. In so doing, extensive use is made of verbatim accounts by managers of events and their interpretation of events. This is then compared with data gathered from.similar interviews with managers of two other companies and examined in the light of existing research and theory in the field. The thesis both provides a detailed insight into the processes associated with the identification and resolution of complex strategic issues and also generates a body of theory concerning the mechanisms by which strategic decisions and the processes of strategic change are interwoven with the cultural and political fabric of organisations. The thesis is divided into four parts. The first part deals with the background to the research, provid1ng a fuller summary of the purpose, structure and content of the thesis and a discussion of relevant previous research and the methodology employed herein. The second part mainly provides case studies of the industry and the main company studied. The third part is a detailed presentation and analysis of data. The fourth part is a synthesis of the findings and consolidation of the theoretical interpretation advanced in the thesis.
Date of Award1984
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn Child (Supervisor)


  • strategic change
  • management perspective

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