Determinants of the Performance of Strategic Initiatives Wolfgang Kaltenbrunn

Foreword Since the first studies by Bower and Burgelman in the early 1980's on the phenomenon of strategic initiatives, the use of strategic initiatives in the strategic management of diversified organizations now is omnipresent. Strategic initiatives are seen as efficient answers of management teams for pressing challenges. By making use of strategic initiatives, managers can proceed flexibly and with entrepreneurial vigor from broad ideas toward specific commitments. Managing initiatives is perceived as a complex challenge by most managers. Empirical studies show that about 70% of all strategic initiatives fail to reach their goals. This statistic shows us, that successful management and implementation of strategic initiatives requires a multitude of diverse managerial skills. To date, the complexity of strategic initiatives is most often not fully taken into account in strategic management research. Almost all studies investigating strategic initiatives have concentrated either on the external or internal organizational context or have solely identified contextual factors that undermine the successful implementation of strategic initiatives. This underscores the fact that most prior research on the relationship between the organizational context and strategic initiatives is too narrow and suggests the need for a more holistic approach.
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