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Executive Use of Strategy Tools: Building Shared Understanding through Boundary Objects

Executive Use of Strategy Tools: Building Shared Understanding through Boundary Objects,Sari Stenfors,Leena Tanner,Ilkka Haapalinna

Executive Use of Strategy Tools: Building Shared Understanding through Boundary Objects  
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This article presents an empirical study of over 250 company executives. The study focuses on their use of strategy tools (management tools that support strategy-work). The most com- mon strategy tools are SWOT-analysis, Balanced Scorecard applications and spreadsheet ap- plications, but also EIS (executive information systems) and BI (business intelligence) were mentioned. The executive level strategy-work is found to be complex, embedded in social processes and contextual. In order to find and maintain strategic advantage, individual and collective learning processes need to take place. Hence, the function of strategy tools is most often to support interaction between individuals and groups. Furthermore, there are various ways to use a tool, some of them just cognitive, nevertheless they contribute to shared under- standing. In sum, the actual ways of using strategy tools and the needs of the executives are not often taken into account when designing tools. Our study concludes with suggestions for future strategy tool design.
Published in 2004.
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