Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The art of stage-craft: A dramaturgical perspective on strategic change

Whittle, A.; Gilchrist, A.; Mueller, F.; Lenney, P.

The art of stage-craft: A dramaturgical perspective on strategic change Thumbnail


Authors

A. Whittle

A. Gilchrist

P. Lenney



Abstract

This article contributes to our understanding of how organisations change the set of practices and practitioners involved in strategising, what we term the ‘strategy arrangement’. Drawing on insights from a qualitative study of the introduction and subsequent removal of a new strategy team, we develop a dramaturgical theory of the practices involved in changing strategy arrangements. First, we conceptualise the relationship between the frontstage performances where impressions are generated and the backstage work that takes place to craft and control those impressions. Second, we distinguish between preventive practices designed to ‘stage the show’, where foresight is used to imagine the impressions of the audience and inform the design of the show, and corrective practices designed to ‘save the show’, where the desired impression has been discredited and repair is needed to restore the desired impression. Third and finally, we distinguish between the more innocuous backstage practice of rehearsing, the ‘behind the scenes’ work that involves taking up the roles of actor, playwright, director, audience and critic to craft the show, and the less innocuous practice of conspiring, where team members work ‘behind the backs’ of the audience to construct false impressions. In so doing, we seek to advance strategy-as-practice research by developing a dramaturgical theory of practice that captures the theatrical dynamics of strategic change.

Citation

Whittle, A., Gilchrist, A., Mueller, F., & Lenney, P. (2021). The art of stage-craft: A dramaturgical perspective on strategic change. Strategic Organization, 19(4), 636-666. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476127020914225

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 27, 2020
Publication Date Nov 1, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2020
Journal Strategic Organization
Print ISSN 1476-1270
Electronic ISSN 1741-315X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Pages 636-666
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1476127020914225
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1268329

Files


Accepted Journal Article (1.2 Mb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Whittle, A. Gilchrist, A. Mueller, F. & Lenney, P. (2020). The art of stage-craft: A dramaturgical perspective on strategic change. Strategic Organization. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). DOI: 10.1177/1476127020914225




You might also like



Downloadable Citations