Rethinking Strategy: An Interdisciplinary Workshop Series

Funded by The Carnegie Trust.

Collaboration with University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and University of St Andrews.

Lay summary: Strategy is the watchword of our times: organizations and their leaders across public, private and third sectors need strategies to respond to unprecedented societal challenges (COVID-19, Brexit), new business environments (disruptive trends) and new forms of global conflict (from fake news to hybrid warfare). But what is “good strategy”? How can it be impactful yet adaptive, goal-oriented yet emergent, principled yet agile? How does strategy interface with politics (statecraft) on the one hand and administration and organization on the other hand? Current strategy scholarship is ill-equipped to answer these questions. Two disciplines - Business Studies and International Relations – work in silos on partial answers. There is little if any interdisciplinary engagement between them, leaving a rich field for mutual learning barren. The proposed series of workshops is designed to fill this void by fundamentally rethinking the “what” and “how” of strategy: i.e. what it means to act strategically, and how we can do so in a networked, fragmented and fast-changing world. To do so we will convene a series of four workshops. These events bring together an interdisciplinary and national as well as international group of scholars and experienced practitioners to discuss what it means to think and act strategically in a disruptive and disrupted world. The results of our discussion will be captured in written publications, video and interactive form in order to maximise the broadest audience and widest impact of the events. The benefit of our proposal is twofold: practically, the proposed project pools intellectual resources across theory, practice and disciplinary boundaries in order to foster a networked, interdisciplinary way of strategic thinking and acting across a variety of domains. Theoretically, bringing existing domain expertise into interdisciplinary dialogue will precipitate new, innovative and creative means for understanding and teaching strategy.

Total award value £7,300.00