The paper shows, based on a case study of the production of a strategic plan at a fairly traditional university, the problems and potential meaninglessness of working with strategic plans in this type of setting, and possibly some others. People involved in senior positions raise strong doubts over a process they have been involved in, but then distance themselves from. Activities such as marketing, identity construction, or producing an image of rational management backfired. The paper raises doubts about the planning view, but also about strategy in practice or as process. An alternative understanding of strategy is proposed: strategy as parody.

Professor Mats Alvesson

Mats Alvesson is Professor at the University of Lund, Sweden and Honorary professor at University of Queensland Business School.
He has worked within the following areas:

Management and organization of knowledge work and knowledge-intensive firms, organizational culture and identity, leadership, identity constructions in organizations, power in organizations, reflexive and qualitative methodology, critical management studies, gender and organization, organizational change processes, discourse analysis.

Mats has published a large number of books on a variety of topics, including Interpreting Interviews (Sage 2011), Qualitative Research and Theory Development (with Dan Kärreman, Sage 2011), Reflexive Methodology (with Kaj Skoldberg, Sage 2009), Doing Critical Management Research (with Stan Deetz, Sage 2000) Understanding Organizational Culture (Sage 2002), Understanding Gender and Organization (with Yvonne Billing, Sage 2009), Postmodernism and Social Research (Open University Press 2002), Studying Management Critically (co-edited with Hugh Willmott, Sage 2003). Knowledge Work and Knowledge-intensive Firms (Oxford University Press 2004).

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