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Strategic behaviours of the UK's leading grocery multiple firms: an hermeneutic virtuous inquiry (2006-2009)

Khan, N. M. (2016) Strategic behaviours of the UK's leading grocery multiple firms: an hermeneutic virtuous inquiry (2006-2009). PhD thesis, University of Reading

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This thesis examines the strategic behaviour of the UK grocery multiple firm within its retail environments during 2006-2009. In reality, strategic behaviour emerges from the historically realised outcomes (Mintzberg et al., 2009) of firm strategy and influences from the external environment. Where existing models offer only single-level lens or partial understanding of strategy, this inquiry engages the co-evolutionary framework (Volberda and Lewin, 2003) to examine strategic behaviour more holistically; at the global, regional, national, industry (i.e. selective) and firm (i.e. adaptive) interacting levels. The sample (Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Co-operative) is taken from within the leading group of UK-headquartered grocery multiple firms that publically published their annual reports during the period under inquiry.By this inquiry’s definition, the corporate firm or institution is a social entity that consists of people (Aristotle, 384B.C.-322B.C.), thereby behaviour is an outcome of empathetic strategising. However, regardless of selective regulatory interventions (Cadbury report and Governance Codes, 1992; 2010; 2012), the cyclical pace (Schularick and Taylor, 2009) and intensity of economic crisis (VanEssen et al., 2013) within the Anglo-American governance system have impacted firm survival and growth (Enron, Parmalat, WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia, Global Crossing, Maxwell, Polly Peck, Lehman's, RBS, BP). As such, this qualitative inquiry responds by engaging a Continental approach to better understand adaptive/selective social phenomena as strategic behaviours within the Anglo-American governance system. The sources of empirical evidence (publically published reports) are hermeneutically interpreted (Heidegger, 1927; Dilthey, 1996) at three layers. The inquirer asks reflectively What was the strategic change event?, What was the strategic action? and What was the strategic behaviour? The emergent (1) themes and (2) spheres of action are analysed and interpreted into a strategic virtuous behavioural model at the third layer. Virtues are further conceptualised within Islamic source, as required by philosophical hermeneutics. Findings asa virtue/vice model are supported by golden-mean; Islamic conceptualised virtue/vice; and Islamic golden-mean alternatives. The inquiry concludes with nine propositions for the virtuous nature of the firm and institutional levels, along with the distinct patterns of their strategic behaviours as interpreted within the model.This thesis finds Sainsbury's as the virtuous firm and Tesco as the growth firm in that context. The propositions assert that the larger the corporation, the more it becomes dependent on its selective environment.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Kakabadse, N. and Kakabadse, A.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:68172


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