This study is about the success of strategy implementation. Implementation, the conceptual counterpart of strategy formulation, has been regarded as an extremely challenging area in management practice. Still, strategy implementation has received remarkably less attention in the strategic management literature. The existing implementation frameworks are mostly normative and rather limited.

On the other hand, the strategy as practice research agenda has emerged to study strategy on the micro level, as a social phenomenon. Practice researchers have introduced an activity – based view on strategy that is concerned with the day – to – day activities of organizational life that relate to strategic outcomes. Still, there is a clear need to know more about these strategic activities: what are they like, and how are they related to strategic outcomes.

This study explores the success of strategy implementation in terms of organizational activities, by focusing on two questions: how are the strategy goals realized through organic goal’s adoption? The research questions are addressed empirically.

The analysis produces a general strategic activity categorization consisting of numerous activities under five main activity categories of determining, communicating, controlling, organization and interacting with the environment. The activities divide into existing and desired ones, which further divide into enhancing and novel one, the analysis reveals that successful adoption of a strategic goal is desired activities that enhance the existing ones and extensive repertories of novel desired activities in addition, the scope of the strategic goals’ origin and its coherence with other elements of strategy is proposed to contribute to the adoption of the strategic goal.

The study contributed to the strategy as practice discussion by taking the activity – based view seriously and showing in detail what the strategic activities are like and how they are linked to the success of strategy implementation. The research reveals that strategy implementation is a much more complicated, creative, communicative, and external oriented phenomenon than the extant literature presents. Furthermore this study adds to the very limited empirical research on how strategies are adopted and enacted on all organizational levels. The practical implications of the study concern critical evaluation of existing and desired activity patterns, as well as understanding the significance of the strategic goals’ origin and the coherence of the strategic whole.


Title page





Table of contents


  1. Background of the study
  2. Statement of problem
  3. Objectives of the study
  4. Research questions
  5. Hypotheses formulation
  6. Significance of the study
  7. Scope of the study
  8. Limitations of the study
  9. Definition of terms



2.0 Review of related literature

2.1 The concept of strategy

2.2 Strategy as content and process

2.3 Strategy as practice: An activity Based view of strategy

2.3.1 Strategizing all over the organization

2.4 strategic goals and components

2.4.1 Individual collective and organization goals

2.4.2 Strategic intent and goal

2.5 Adoption of strategic goals

2.6 Organization strategic activities

2.7 The Essence of strategic action

2.8 Strategic activities, Types and classification

2.8.1 Strategic activity classification

2.9 Bourdex Telecom’s strategic goal

2.9.1 Development project related activities

2.9.2 Desired activities for customer service

Process improvement



3.0 Research methodology

3.1 Research design

3.2 Area of the study

3.3 Population of study

3.4 Sample size determination

3.5 Instrument of Data Collection

3.6 Method of Data presentation and analysis



4.1 Presentation and Analysis of Data

4.2 Hypotheses test


5.0 Summary of findings, recommendation and conclusion

5.1 Summary of findings,

5.2 recommendations

5.3 Conclusion





   Although strategy has been one of the main interests of both organization theorists and practitioners for decades.

          Porter (1991:95-117) states that the most central question in strategy research has been why some firms  succeed and  some fail. According to Tsoukas (1996:11-25) in  studying  firms’ behaviour, management researchers have  traditionally addressed two questions in what direction should  a  firm  channel its activities and how should a firm be organized.

   On the other hand, business management and practitioners in private and public organizations as well as strategy consultants, strategy gurus, and business schools have constantly sought models and guidelines to ensure organizational survival and success as the basic motivation for all strategists. Strategy is about understanding and anticipating the nature of an organization’s competitive environment and its position within it.

  Barney (1991:99-120) states that  a strategy is about  understanding  the organization’s  valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitable  internal resources, and core competences.. Ansoff (1965) views strategy as about  creating ingenious plans for the future  to beat competitors to serve customers in novels ways, but it is also about  organizational action,  taking  different kinds of actions step-by-step in specific way.

          Though, this  research project is about  the success of strategy  implementation. The processes by which  strategies are  created, that is, strategy formulation, or strategy making, have gained growing  attention since  the 1960s and  the early  authors have developed  different normative frameworks  and models  for building a successful  corporate or business  strategy. As a conceptual counterpart  to formulation, strategy implementation has been considered a process  of executing  the  decisions made in the formulation process.

  Hrebiniak and Joyce (2001:602) stress that strategy implementation has not  reached as much  attention as formulation and has even been labeled  as “a neglected area in the literature of strategic  management. Therefore, formulation and implementation f strategy have generally been considered as separate, distinguishable  parts of the  strategic management process and the  conceptual separation of implementation and formulation can also be seen strategy write up or textbooks.

          Snow and Harmbrick  (1980:527:538)”  even argue that, researchers have  ( …) reached  a general consensus on distinguishing  between strategy formulation and strategy implementation. The  advantage of  making this distinction is that the cognitive aspects of  strategy formulation, can be viewed  as an important phases apart from the action component (implementation)  But this work look at this  distinction as myopic considering thinking  and doing. The believe here demonstrate that, implementation is more than pure mechanical execution, requiring cognition, initiative and interaction on the part  of  various stakeholders throughout the organization.

  Infact, the classical implementation literature is often laden with a rather mechanistic idea of man, which neglects the factor that organizational members are conscious agents with their own intents  and is manifested in terms such as “installing strategy” As Clegg et al (2004: 24) put it, the Cartesian split between the intelligible mind  and  the dumb  body that has  to be informed”.

  Some groups  of authors like, “Bourgeois  and Brodwin (1984) Noble (1999) and  Hrebiniak  and  Joyce (2001 states that  the concept  of strategy implementation is  “elusive”  and strategy implementation research is “eclectic” being fragmented among  several fields  of organization and  management study.

  Thus, normative strategy literature is packed with models of successful  strategy  implementation, suggesting a strategy  to be implemented through activities such as objectives, incentives, controls and structures.

  Alexander  (1991: 73-96) and Beer Eisenstat (2000:29-40) focused on the problems in implementation and  have identified a number of difficulties, (weak management roles in  implementation, lack of  communication, lack  of commitment  to the strategy, unawareness or misunderstanding of the  strategy, unaligned organizational systems and resources, poor coordination and sharing  of responsibilities, inadequate capabilities, and competing activities).

  The majority of strategy implementation literature is normative, suggesting that strategy is implemented in a certain way. Even though it is noted that the type of strategy may potentially influences the  implementation  action, the context is often ignored, proposing  that all kinds of organizations, in all kinds of situations and with any  kind  of  strategic goals, should know the same model of implementation .

     In other words, strategy implementation literature remains rather superficial and does not describe how  particular strategies  are realized. Whittington (1996. 731-735) recently emerged a strategy research stream that aims to look into the black box of organization to study strategy on the  micro level. This strategy as  practice research agenda explores strategy as a social phenomenon, by investigating  how the practitioners of strategy really act and interact. It calls of ran  “activity-based view  on strategy and proposes that value lies increasingly in the micro  activities of managers and others in organizations and seeks to understand organization’s  strategies and processes, and seeks  to understand organization’s  strategies and processes, and what is actually done  there and by whom.

  Obviously, there are both theoretical  and practical needs to understand strategy implementation better and there  is a growing  ambition to study strategy as an intra-organizational, micro level phenomenon. It is my believe  that in order to tackle the  numerous observed  problems  of implementation, we should create better more elucidatory, conceptualizations of strategy implementation, and to be able to concretize  what we want  to explore, what really happens in the name of strategy in organizations.