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# I am because we are: a systems approach to strategy design

Evans, Rhianne (2015)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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## Abstract

The word $$strategy$$ has represented many concepts since it originated in a military domain. Fundamentally, it is concerned with determining how best to direct systems in a changing world. However, in today's increasingly complex and vertically separated sectors, conventional top-down approaches to strategy design are becoming less applicable. The proverb 'I am because we are' encapsulates the idea that the world is not formed of independent, separate entities, but that all beings and actions are connected. This thesis puts forward a case for applying that way of thinking in a systems approach to strategy design.

The proposed approach comprises three processes which are aligned with systems engineering principles, to plan, capture and communicate strategy. It is argued that strategy documents produced by following the approach would be clearer and more rigorous. To the field of strategy, this research offers a language framework for discussing strategy concepts, a new approach for designing strategy, and pragmatic guidance for strategy design exercises. In the field of systems thinking, it contributes to the challenge of translating systems engineering principles for non-traditional domains.

Type of Work: Ph.D. thesis. Roberts, Clive and Elphick, Jon Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering HD28 Management. Industrial ManagementTF Railroad engineering and operation University of Birmingham 6322
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