How Strategy Professionals Develop and Sustain an Online Strategy Community: The Lessons from Ericsson

Anna Plotnikova, Krsto Pandza, Heraldo Sales-Cavalcante

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we report on an in-depth and inductive study of strategy professionals that proactively initiated, developed and sustained an online community dedicated to continuously engaging with issues of strategic relevance for the company Ericsson. We identified the design of an online community structure, cooperation of internal and external actors with diverse expertise and from different hierarchical levels, and formulation of adequate strategic content, as the three main decision areas that strategy professionals have to consider carefully. The detailed empirical analysis enabled us to expose characteristic interdependencies among decisions and contradictory demands that make open strategy processes a paramount organizational challenge. We argue that organizing of such collective action transforms professional strategists from expert planners and analysts into managers that centralize responsibility for decisions affecting a) permeability of community boundaries for different types of community members; b) incentive mechanisms that mobilize participation and stimulate knowledge sharing across hierarchical levels, and c) framing of strategic content needed to integrate fragmented contributions, often less aligned with strategic frames of senior managers, into actionable strategic initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102015
JournalLong Range Planning
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • strategy development
  • online communities
  • strategy professionals
  • strategy practice
  • open strategy

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