Strategy is a vital part of any organization for the purposes of efficiency and mission clarity. Strategy is vulnerable, though; a solid, well-thought out strategy can be developed with precision of detail and clarity of implementation, but can be rejected or sabotaged by those that are actually responsible for the implementation process (Davies, 1993). Followers are the key to successful implementation of strategy. Research points to the reality that strategies are often modified, or even sabotaged at different levels of an organization during the implementation stage (Allen & Wilson, 2003). Due to this reality, it is vital for organizations to develop unity and collaboration in the development of strategy in order to insure a successful process of implementation when the time comes.
Members of every level of an organization should be brought in to give their unique perspective and input when strategy is being developed. Strategy derives from the thinking, conversations, and negotiated agreements within groups of people (Eden and Ackermann, 2012), making collaboration vital to strategy development. When followers are engaged in the process of strategy development and are allowed to collaborate with higher level leaders, as well as those in other departments, their buy-in is increased. Strategy is expected to help all staff act cooperatively with alignment of action to some degree, or at least refrain from being in continual conflict with one another (Eden & Ackermann, 2012). Unfortunately, though, without collaboration throughout different levels of the organization, strategies are unlikely to be implemented at the level of success intended by those who develop strategy (Campbell et al., 2005). Organizations can not simply focus on the intellectual dimension, contents of plans and planning methodologies, but must give a fair amount attention to the social dimension, the people involved in the creation of alignment (Reich and Benbasat, 1996).
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