Exploring the Edges of Theory-Practice Gap: Epistemic Cultures in Strategy-Tool Development and Use

Johanna Moisander, Sari Stenfors
  • Organization, March 2009, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1350508408100476

How received ideas about strategy and knowledge complicate production of useful strategy tools

What is it about?

This paper examines complexities of collaboration between developers and users of strategy tools from a stratgy-as-practice -perspective. Drawing on the literature on SST and the concept to epistemic culture (by Karin Knorr Cetina), the paper shows how strategy tools can be inscribed with particular normative beliefs and understandings about knowledge and strategy that complicate communication and interaction between scholars and practitioners in the field of strategy.

Why is it important?

We find that that differences in epistemic culture may result in management scholars producing knowledge and strategy tools that lack practical pertinence for corporate actors. Our analysis suggests that many conventional strategy tools that have been designed for rational problem-solving may be ill-matched to the epistemic culture of contemporary, "post-bureaucratic" organizations. This is mainly because these tools do not necessarily support collective knowledge production and learning.


Professor Johanna K. Moisander
Aalto University

For me, this paper illustrates the value and usefulness of the strategy-as-practice lens for creating knowledge that is also managerially relevant in the field of management and organization studies.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Johanna K. Moisander