Strategic Thinking: Explorations around Conflict and Cooperation

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The Strategist Actor, in order to seek a 'win' and search for power, engages in acts of cooperation, contests and conflicts, shaping organizations, institutions and practices. Strategic Action seeks to secure a governance to preserve or subvert the balance of power in inter-organizational and intra-organizational state of affairs. The conventional portrayal of strategy refers to strategy of a firm or an organization. This book opposes this stance as being seriously limiting and non-reflective of the expanding inter-organizational space for strategic acts. One needs to move away from viewing the firm as the unit of analysis for understanding of strategy. Strategic Thinking provides an interpretation of strategy around an 'actor' rather than an organization. It views strategic action as being executed in a 'milieu' populated by power holders, where the individual strategist actor holds centre stage, and where pursuits are obstructed by the countervailing threats of other power holders. The authors explain that the strategic 'milieu' is an intensely governed set-up where the relations and transactions between the power holders controlling key assets are under the governance of the current set of rules and institutions. The book shows how one can appreciate several contemporary business practices, especially under 'increasing returns', by focusing on the relation between the 'economics' and the 'governance' of an asset. Cooperation, as opposed to deterrence, informs such strategic acts under increasing returns.