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Exploring strategic management paradoxes related to intended and emergent strategies: a case study at Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa).

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As organisational environments become more global, they have changed drastically due to environmental needs and demands resulting to strategic paradoxes. This ultimately encouraged researchers to respond by using different models, asking particular questions like what a strategic paradox is and under what conditions they occur. While this research focused on the intended and emergent strategies, it is diffused across different areas of strategic management including; strategy, paradoxes, strategic paradoxes, as well as intended and emergent strategies. A continuum of different approaches in strategic making is crystallised from the literature. The study suggests that the fast pace of environmental change provide managers unpredictable results for their strategic commitment. The collision of strategic commitment and strategic uncertainty is causing what Raynor (2007) calls the strategy paradox. This study thus endeavoured to unite various views regarding strategic paradoxes, while also sharpening its focus on intended and emergent strategies. This research utilised a qualitative research method by exploring the research questions. The insights from the in-depth interviews formed the basis of the data that was analysed to produce research findings. Results suggested that strategic paradoxes are difficult to avoid even though they can be reduced if the strategy is aligned with the environmental change. The study aimed to make a positive contribution to the body of knowledge on strategy paradoxes by qualitatively exploring strategic paradoxes and hoping to provide answers, to what context do intended and emergent strategies impact the decision making and effectiveness of the Human Sciences Research Council (SA).


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.