ABSTRACT This article examines six British manufacturers that have recovered from imminent disaster to create sustained and profitable growth in four mature, European industries. Their record is contrasted with that of less successful rivals. Rejuvenation was achieved by making a series of ‘holistic’ changes in structure, systems, process and strategy affecting the entire organization. Rejuvenation is shown to be much more than a ‘turnaround’, which concentrates on finance and efficiency. Innovation in ‘emergent’ strategies was critical and was based on chief executives’beliefs in opportunities that could not be sustained by ‘rational’ strategy calculations. A model of the sequence of change is developed to show how these beliefs were translated into action. The behavioural aspects of the process highlight the importance of both the role information plays in shaping how problems and opportunities are perceived, and the ability of teams to manage the dilemmas inherent in these markets. Both attributes determine much of an organization's capacity to learn. The evidence challenges conventional prescriptions of strategy for mature firms.
Journal of Management Studies – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1990
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