Julia Hautz is Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Innsbruck (Austria). In her research, writing, teaching and talks she focuses on strategy. She has published in leading international journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Global Strategy Journal, Long Range Planning, Strategic Management Review, and the British Journal of Management as well as in prestigious practitioner-oriented outlets such as Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. Her research has received numerous awards. Prior to joining the University of Innsbruck, she held an interims professorship at the University of Cologne and was a visiting scholar, including at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.
Julia Hautz is one of the leading scholars on the concept of Open Strategy – a major new phenomenon in strategy practice and research that is attracting attention from organizational leaders and strategy scholars. She is co-author of “Open Strategy: Mastering Disruption from Outside the C-Suite” (MIT Press, 2021), a particularly influential non-fiction bestseller and Financial Times “Business Book of the Month.”
Her research talk focused on the question of how open strategy could affect implementation consequences. While strategy was traditionally perceived as the exclusive domain of small, elite groups within firms and was guarded with secrecy in order to protect competitive advantage, a shift towards increasing openness is now apparent. Open practices aim for greater transparency around strategic issues and inclusion of a greater number and variety of both internal and external actors in the strategy process.
Open Strategy provides a radical challenge to powerful entrenched theoretical traditions in strategy research, established and taught for decades, that are heavily based on exclusivity and opacity. The majority of literature so far has emphasised information benefits related to idea generation, much less attention has been paid to its potential implementation benefits. This is intriguing, since studies still report failure of 50–90% of strategic initiatives due to implementation problems. Therefore, the goal of the paper presented is to focus on the paths and mechanisms between greater inclusion of individuals in the strategy process and their specific implementation consequences.
Her project – co-authored with Thomas Ortner – applies an experimental research design and investigates how the depth of involvement (participation vs. inclusion) and idea selection vs. non-selection affect the implementation consequences. The authors find that higher degrees of inclusion do not necessarily lead to improved implementation consequences including strategy understanding, psychological ownership and strategy commitment. However, they find strong support that if individuals’ contributions are not considered in an open strategy setting, this results in lower commitment and psychological ownership.