This study is an attempt to meet a general challenge facing a strategy consultant’s choice of tool: “how do you know your tool works?”. This question is inherently difficult to answer and in this single-company multiple case study, we test narrative facilitation of strategy workshops that aimed at implementing strategy and propose a method for measuring its effectiveness. We used a Mann–Whitney U-test to statistically compare the effectiveness of facilitating workshops with and without interview technique from narrative therapy. The study shows that an empirical comparison of the effectiveness of narrative facilitation technique can be made statistically through a Mann–Whitney U-test when part of the workshop data, e.g. employees’ self-evaluation of possible actions’ impact on strategy, can be numerically evaluated. We assessed effectiveness according to the participants’ evaluation of planned future actions’ relative impact on strategy on a 10-point scale where 10 was maximum impact on strategy. The result showed that using narrative facilitation technique (median: 8.5) was more effective compared to not using it (median: 7) and that the difference was significant (p = 0.0216). The study also gives valuable insight in how an effective facilitation technique can be empirically condensed through expert reviews and sorting and naming exercises resulting in a prescriptive guide to effective facilitation of strategy implementation workshops and thus adds empirical detail to the ongoing discussion of measurement methods in action research design.
Bibliographical notePublished online: July 13, 2018
- Research design