With its roots in ancient military philosophy (e.g. Clausewitz 1997), the concept of strategy was introduced in business and organizational science in the second half of the 20th century. Decades of intensive research have created a vast amount of scientific publications and practical guidelines about strategic management processes (Mintzberg 1990; Mintzberg 1998, Walker 2004).
Surprisingly, the understanding of strategy as a rational and top down led formal planning process has dominated almost all strategic management concepts. In line with a wider social shift in management science, this traditional perspective of strategy has recently drawn major criticism from scholars and practitioners as well (Farjoun 2002; March 2006). Whittington (1996) introduced Strategy-as-Practice as an alternative perspective intended to address some of the shortcomings of traditional strategy concepts.
This report will start with an introduction of the main building blocks of the traditional and Strategy-as Practice (SAP) perspective. Furthermore, it will outline three main arguments why SAP contributes to the understanding of strategic management in terms of scientific progress on the one hand and strategy as an applied concept in the practical domain on the other. A critical discussion of SAP and possible areas of future research will conclude this report.