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Published by: University of California, Berkeley
Published in: "California Management Review", 2008

Abstract

This article proposes a framework to address a central conundrum in strategic management: How can firms transcend the trade-off between the momentum that results from the strong strategic commitments needed to gain industry leadership with the need for strategic agility in the face of strategic discontinuities? The article develops an analysis of the meta-capabilities underlying strategic agility, which is clustered around strategic sensitivity (both the sharpness of perception and the intensity of awareness and attention), resource fluidity (the internal capability to reconfigure business systems and redeploy resources rapidly), and leadership unity (the ability of the top team to make bold decisions fast, without getting bogged down in ''win-lose'' politics at the top). Based on an in-depth study of Nokia''s evolution over the past twenty years, this article shows how these three meta-capabilities interact over time and proposes a framework to enable a firm to maintain and regain strategic agility as it matures.

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Abstract

This article proposes a framework to address a central conundrum in strategic management: How can firms transcend the trade-off between the momentum that results from the strong strategic commitments needed to gain industry leadership with the need for strategic agility in the face of strategic discontinuities? The article develops an analysis of the meta-capabilities underlying strategic agility, which is clustered around strategic sensitivity (both the sharpness of perception and the intensity of awareness and attention), resource fluidity (the internal capability to reconfigure business systems and redeploy resources rapidly), and leadership unity (the ability of the top team to make bold decisions fast, without getting bogged down in ''win-lose'' politics at the top). Based on an in-depth study of Nokia''s evolution over the past twenty years, this article shows how these three meta-capabilities interact over time and proposes a framework to enable a firm to maintain and regain strategic agility as it matures.

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