This paper provides evidence that strategy visualization has a positive causal effect on the probability of changing the cognitive frames of small entrepreneurs. Recent developments in global competition are exposing entrepreneurs to new, previously unexperienced discontinuities and increasing pressures to modify their strategies and business models. Strategic renewal, however, is difficult, since it requires changing the cognitive frames through which strategic problems are interpreted. Often, it is not the environmental changes per se that constitute the biggest issue but, rather, the inability of entrepreneurs to assess what these changes mean. Under such circumstances, the first step toward effective strategic renewal is the recognition of and challenge to consolidated beliefs. Making implicit assumptions about the strategic environment explicit allows for the identification of potential inadequacies of current cognitive models and, eventually, the development of new and better models. Strategy mapping can facilitate such an exercise, identifying the relevant building blocks of the current strategy and their linkages with environmental features. The paper documents the results of a field experiment on a sample of 42 small entrepreneurs involved in a strategy visualization exercise. A total of 32 entrepreneurs used an original method for the visual representation of strategy, while 10 used Osterwalder and Pigneur’s (2010) business model canvas. A questionnaire about perceptions of the external environment and internal structure was submitted to the participants before and after the exercise. The same questionnaire was submitted twice to a control group of 50 SME entrepreneurs who were not involved in any activity. The results show that involvement in the visualization experiment significantly increased the probability of the participant changing perceptions on strategic issues, with a stronger impact for strategy mapping. The results are interpreted as indicative of a positive contribution of visual representation in strategy renewal.

The Impact of Strategy Visualization: Evidence From a Field Experiment

VEDOVATO, Marco
2015-01-01

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that strategy visualization has a positive causal effect on the probability of changing the cognitive frames of small entrepreneurs. Recent developments in global competition are exposing entrepreneurs to new, previously unexperienced discontinuities and increasing pressures to modify their strategies and business models. Strategic renewal, however, is difficult, since it requires changing the cognitive frames through which strategic problems are interpreted. Often, it is not the environmental changes per se that constitute the biggest issue but, rather, the inability of entrepreneurs to assess what these changes mean. Under such circumstances, the first step toward effective strategic renewal is the recognition of and challenge to consolidated beliefs. Making implicit assumptions about the strategic environment explicit allows for the identification of potential inadequacies of current cognitive models and, eventually, the development of new and better models. Strategy mapping can facilitate such an exercise, identifying the relevant building blocks of the current strategy and their linkages with environmental features. The paper documents the results of a field experiment on a sample of 42 small entrepreneurs involved in a strategy visualization exercise. A total of 32 entrepreneurs used an original method for the visual representation of strategy, while 10 used Osterwalder and Pigneur’s (2010) business model canvas. A questionnaire about perceptions of the external environment and internal structure was submitted to the participants before and after the exercise. The same questionnaire was submitted twice to a control group of 50 SME entrepreneurs who were not involved in any activity. The results show that involvement in the visualization experiment significantly increased the probability of the participant changing perceptions on strategic issues, with a stronger impact for strategy mapping. The results are interpreted as indicative of a positive contribution of visual representation in strategy renewal.
Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Knowledge Management
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3661870
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