Research Areas
Embodiment and Identities

Organizational strategy can be said to be embodied in the managers who rose to, or stayed at, the top while pursuing a particular set of strategic initiatives. What is the nature of such embodiment? How are strategies embodied, and to what consequences? What is the role of the strategist’s body in the practice of strategy? There is a growing discontent toward the dominant Cartesian view that organizational strategies are outcomes of calculated analysis by brilliant people, and evidence is mounting that intended strategy is founded on embodied metaphors and interpreted through embodied storytelling. Embodied strategy and strategy work in organizations is studied by Aalto scholars and collaborators in universities in Finland and abroad. Further, research on strategy-making has begun to focus attention on the identity construction of strategists, and researchers in our program (Pikka-Maaria Laine, Susan Meriläinen, Janne Tienari and Eero Vaara) are active in forging a critical understanding of the ways in which socio-historical understandings of strategy are (re)constructed at the level of identity. Embodiment and identity in strategy work – and socio-materiality more generally – offer an exciting new research agenda, which is actively pursued in our research program.