Strategy and virtue: Developing strategy-as-practice through virtue ethics
Google Scholar check
MetadataShow full item record
Strategy-as-practice research has usefully built on earlier strategy process research by taking into account the social embeddedness of strategy making. While such an approach has generated valuable insights, it has curiously left unexplored the moral dimension of practice. In this article, we show how the potential of strategy-as-practice research may be more fully realized if the moral dimension of practice is conceptualized through virtue ethics (especially MacIntyre’s version). Specifically, we first reconceptualize, through virtue ethics, the three main concepts of strategy-as-practice—practice, praxis, and practitioners—underscoring the inherently moral constitution of actions undertaken in strategy-related work. Moreover, we suggest that strategic management is viewed as a particular kind of practice (what we call “competitive institutional practice”), charged with “values articulation work” and “balancing work.” While the former articulates a good purpose for the organization, the latter seeks to care for both excellence and success through balancing “capabilities development work” with “differentiation work.” Illustrations are provided to support this argument, and several suggestions for further research are offered.