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"The Field of Strategic Management within the Evolving Science of Strategic Organization"

Joseph T. Mahoney and Anita M. McGahan


First Author :

Joseph T. Mahoney
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business
1206 S. Sixth Street
140C Wohlers Hall, MC 706
Champaign, IL 61820

(217) 244-8257

Second Author :

Anita M. McGahan
Boston University, School of Management
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

(617) 353-4289

Abstract :
The Strategic Management field has matured over the last decade. We now face a number of critical issues that, taken together, suggest that now is the time to take hold of new ideas for explaining and predicting organizational performance. First, our courses once among the most exciting and innovative in the business school curriculum are waning at some flagship schools. We need to revitalize our teaching effectiveness through new materials and pedagogy. Second, the theoretical base in our field has developed in a number of specific directions. The opportunity today is to generate new integrative theory based on the empirically validated insights that we have obtained over the past several decades. This new integrative theory emphasizes property rights and carries implications for the strategic organization of both institutions and markets. Third, we can provide insights on the most pressing strategic issues confronting managers today and those that are likely to be pressing in the future. Some of these strategic issues such as the depletion of natural energy resources, the relationships between political and corporate control, distributive justice, and the emergence of new forms of corporate governance are theoretically knotty, and yet they are so pervasive and important that they must command our research attention. By tripping off a new cycle of integrative knowledge creation and scientific discovery about the strategic organization of both institutions and markets, the field will better serve the needs of students, executives, scholars (including those in the social-science disciplines) and society.
Footnotes & Acknowledgements :
We thank Raffi Amit, Nick Argyres, Jay Barney, Pam Barr, Bert Cannella, Ming-Jer Chen, Jeanne Connell, Moshe Farjoun, Nicolai Foss, Ranjay Gulati, Don Hambrick, Jinyu He, Connie Helfat, Amy Hillman, Mike Hitt, Gerry Johnson, Anne Marie Knott, Bruce Kogut, Yasemin Kor, Michael Leiblein, Marvin Lieberman, Ravi Madhavan, Alfie Marcus, Kyle Mayer, Rita McGrath, Doug Miller, Will Mitchell, Jackson Nickerson, Joanne Oxley, Laura Poppo, Michael Ryall, Mark Shanley, J.-C. Spender, Michael Tushman, Paul Vaaler, Andy Van de Ven, Gordon Walker, Heli Wang, Jim Westphal, Todd Zenger, and the editors for their comments on previous versions of this essay. The authors are solely responsible for the views presented here.
Manuscript Received : 2006
Manuscript Published : 2006
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