• Luis Serrano Tamayo

Student thesis: Phd


This study examined inclusion practices from three ‘strategy as practice’ categories: identity work, discourse and materiality, which also contributes to open strategy knowledge. The case around the Colombian peace process made two differences: first, the study of strategy as practice at the national level, while previous studies have focused on organisational level; second, this study focuses on inclusion of a somehow illegitimate organisation into a legitimate context, while earlier studies have an implied assumption of legitimate bodies to be included. The aim of this research was to identify manifestations and consequences of inclusion dynamics when governing with an open strategy, as a contribution to strategy as practice and open strategy body of knowledge. Initially, literature review focused on strategy as practice evolution, which has been focused on managerial levels, opening an opportunity for the study of grassroots in strategy making. This identification of a gap led to the idea of study inclusion in strategy making. Thus, a second literature review on inclusion was needed in order to understand how this concept has evolved in social sciences, and particularly in organisation studies and strategy. In addition, it was necessary to understand the concept of legitimacy due to the case focuses on the inclusion of a declared terrorist organisation that transformed into a political party. A qualitative content analysis of nearly 500 documents facilitated to interpret data from multiple sources such official documents, books, reports, academic documents, personal documents, news, websites, images, popular culture, and social media. The contents came mainly from the period of the Colombian peace process (2012-2016); however, other historical documents were needed to understand the context as well as other recent contents as the study also focuses on consequences of inclusion. The data analysis led to the identification of inclusion manifestations and consequences in terms of identity work, discourse and materiality, which contributes to understand some of the several challenges that strategy practitioners face in practice when open strategy process, as the case involved the endorsement of the peace process through a referendum. The study presents three main findings: first, in terms of the individual, inclusion moves in two dimensions, the individual identity and the identity of the other, which involves a personal transformation, while putting oneself in the shoes of the other. Second, intended inclusion involves the emergence of multiple inclusion and exclusion dynamics that interact and change along strategy making, questioning the promised benefits of inclusion, but also recognising the value of emergent inclusion over intended. Third, the multiple manifestations of inclusion along this dissertation suggest nine levels of inclusion that may be considered for organisations and further studies in order to advance in inclusion implementation and understanding.
Date of Award1 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPaul Chan (Supervisor) & Paul Blackwell (Supervisor)


  • inclusive projects
  • Colombia
  • legitimacy
  • strategy as practice
  • open strategy
  • inclusion

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