Boardroom strategizing in professional associations: Processual and institutional perspectives

  • Parker L
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This study examines strategic decision-making at the boardroom level of two non-profit professional associations, penetrating directors' strategic orientations, discourse and decisions in their holistic context. In comparison with the predominantly survey and interview based literature on board level strategy behaviour, this study employs a longitudinal complete member researcher, participant observer methodology. Its findings are analysed from an institutional theory perspective and reveal selective championing of strategies by directors, the evaluation of strategic proposals and progress in predominantly financial resource/outcome terms, and directors' attention to navigating strategic initiatives through organizational politics. Also revealed are private sector philosophies imported into the non-profit boardroom, the predominantly ceremonial role of formal strategic plans, and an informally enacted strategic discourse. This study offers a unique insider view of strategizing at the highest organizational level.

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