Strategic Choice Theory

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In organizational theory, a topic in sociology and social psychology, Strategic Choice Theory describes the role that leaders or leading groups play in influencing an organization through making choices in a dynamic political process.[1] Previous to this theory, a common view was that organizations were thought to be designed along operational requirements based on the external environment. Strategic choice theory provided an alternative that emphasized the agency of individuals and groups within organizations to make choices, sometimes serving their own ends, that dynamically influenced the development of those organizations. These strategic choices formed part of an organizational learning process that adapted to the external environment as well as the internal political situation.

Apart from (but complementary to) organizational settings, Strategic Choice theory was studied with regard to individual's responses in ordinary, everyday disputes. Findings include that both complainants and respondents used a variety of strategies that changed over time in an effort to resolve the dispute. [2]


  1. ^ Child, John (January 1997). "Strategic Choice in the Analysis of Action, Structure, Organizations and Environment: Retrospect and Prospect" (PDF). Organization Studies. 18 (1): 43–76. doi:10.1177/017084069701800104. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Mark E.Keating, Dean G. Pruitt, Rachael A. Eberle, Joseph M. Mikolic, (1994) "STRATEGIC CHOICE IN EVERYDAY DISPUTES", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 5 Iss: 2, pp.143 - 157

Further reading[edit]

  • Child, J., 1972. Organizational structure, environment and performance: The role of strategic choice. Sociology 6, pp. 1–22. DOI 10.1177/003803857200600101
  • Miles, R.E., Snow, C.C., 1978. Organizational strategy, structure and process. McGraw-Hill, New York.