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Time in Strategic Change Research

In ever-changing environments, strategic change manifests as a crucial concern for firms and is thus central to the fields of management and strategy. Common and foundational to all strategic change research is time—whether recognized in the extant studies or not. In this article, we thus critically review the existing body of knowledge through a time lens. We organize this review along (1) conceptions of time in strategic change, (2) time and strategic change activities, and (3) time and strategic change agents. This approach facilitates our assessment of what scholars do and do not know about strategic change, especially its temporal components. Our review particularly revealed a need to advance scholarly understanding about the processual dynamics of strategic change. We thus extend our assessment by proposing six pathways for advancing future research on strategic change that aim at fostering an understanding of its processual dynamics: (1) temporality, (2) actors, (3) emotionality, (4) tools and practices, (5) complexity, and (6) tensions.

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