Open strategy in manufacturing SMEs

Ates, Aylin (2018) Open strategy in manufacturing SMEs. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018 (1). 13190. ISSN 0065-0668

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This research study aims to probe evidence of open strategy phenomenon as being practiced by manufacturing small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Empirical inquiry is based on multiple case studies. Qualitative data is gathered from 15 semi-structured interviews with senior managers in four medium-sized, manufacturing SMEs in the UK. Data analysis methods comply with validity and reliability criteria and include abductive data coding techniques. This research suggests that open strategy can be observed in SMEs to some extent. However, there are temporal elements before making strategy process more open. This study proposes a readying phase that involves educating employees, setting a direction and developing a communication strategy to enable openness at grass roots level. Secondly, this study extended open strategy spectrum by identifying key practices under those three modalities: Transparency is practiced for creating a common understanding of strategy through regular meetings, participation is seen important within continuous improvement initiatives and inclusion is practiced through devolved project ownership for proactive solution providing in SMEs.