Towards an Integrated Theory of Strategy

We develop an integrative approach to the study of strategic management in a four-step logical sequence. First, we discuss one of the rare conceptual frameworks of integrated firm strategy, introduced by Coda (1984). Second, we focus on competitive, growth, and stakeholder strategies and identify four integrative mechanisms underlying the creation of joint outcomes from the combination of different strategic choices. Third, we study how these mechanisms might allow specific binary combinations of strategic choices to create higher levels of value for stakeholders. Lastly, we study the likelihood of different three-way bundles of strategies to generate the highest expected value. This analysis identifies two bundles of strategic decisions that can potentially maximize performance outcomes: one characterized by differentiation strategy, organic growth and stakeholder integration, the other by cost leadership, acquisitive growth and arms-length stakeholder strategies. Implications are drawn for future work on integrative approaches to strategic management theory and practice.