Why Do Product-market Strategies Fail? A Sociostructural Examination Under Conditions of Adherence

Paul Hughes*, Mathew Hughes, Robert E. Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The authors contend that structural and managerial antecedents of strategy failure exist and the extent to which these determine failure is different under conditions of high and low adherence to strategy. Our results support these arguments and demonstrate that the drivers of failure differ according to the unusual strategy process environment of both types of firms. Resource scarcity is found to be a common antecedent to strategy failure in organizations regardless of adherence. From there, managerial conditions (symbolic information use, strategy championing, and tenure) drive strategy failure in high-adherence firms. However, only structural conditions (formalization and resource scarcity) are antecedents of strategy failure in low-adherence firms, while failure is mitigated by centralized decision making.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGroup and Organization Management
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)606-635
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Strategy failure
  • Adherence
  • Championing
  • Product-market strategies

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