Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) to the Technological University Dublin, March, 2005.


The purpose of this study is to review and empirically examine the literature on the strategy processes and the emerging strategy as practice perspective. The study is set in the Irish independent television production sector, bringing a significant contextual dimension to the analysis of strategy in practice. Working within the interpretive paradigm qualitative case studies are chosen as the means of inquiry, employing in-depth interviews and documentary evidence. The method proved to be both flexible and inventive, allowing for a depth of understanding and a holistic view of the research question. This research examines the strategy formation process and seeks to gain an understanding of the managerial, cultural, and political and environment influences on this process; the periods of absence, evolution, crisis and revolution; the individuals involved in strategy, their role in the process and the routines and procedures used to enact strategy in practice. The primary contribution of the study is the endorsement of prior empirical studies in the strategy formation literature. The study confirms that strategy emerges entrepreneurially: incrementally; is absent in transition; and is an outcome of a process involving bargaining, persuasion, and negotiation. In addition, the findings suggest strategy is largely undemocratic, management possess hegemonic control over decision making. In some cases management choice was constrained by a reactive process in which the environment sets the agenda. Other cases highlighted a more pro-active approach to strategy and development. A further contribution of the study relates to an increased understanding of strategic management in the small business context, where the senior executive and/or founders experience is influential. The study also highlights distinct challenges faced by managers in the culture industries. The role of outsiders was influential in supplementing the process. One of the most interesting contributions is that strategising activity draws on established social practices and the language of strategy is adopted as a form of rhetoric that makes sense of, legitimates and produces certain activities.