Corporate strategy as plural rationality
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Conflicting model-based prescriptions for strategy are viewed from the perspective of the extended general theory of rational decisions. The conflicts are re-cast as general meta-rational arguments and this perspective yields diagnostics for evaluating strategy-models. There follows a quite radical re-formulation of the prescriptive dimensions of strategic-management, such that the general theory of rational decisions is seen as the latent prescriptive theory of strategy. In "Strategy as Rationality" the strategic-entity (individual, group, organization, network, etc.) is cast as a plurally-rational agent, with rationality informing strategy and vice-versa. Meta-rational and meta-ethical arguments then project this new framework into the ethical domain, with the stra tegic-enti ty now cast as a moral-agent. The extended framework of "Strategy as Moral Philosophy" carries with it further implications for prescription in strategic management, whilst is also complements an emerging re-integration, at the systemic level, of Economics with Ethics. The new conceptual framework is then applied to: (i) the strategic mystery of corporate investment decisions with sunk costs, involving the set of backward-looking rationalities, (ii) competitor-analysis and strategic-intelligence, involving a view of other strategic entities as plurally-rational agents, and (iii) capital-budgeting methodologies. The latter application prescribes modification and confinement of some traditional decision-rules for strategic investments.