Study of Strategic Thinking of Managers based on their Mental Pattern

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Management, Faculty of Humanities Science, Islamic Azad University Qeshm Branch, Iran

2 Department of Management, Faculty of Humanities Science, Islamic Azad University Central Branch, Iran

Abstract

In recent years, many researchers have focused on the cognitive aspects and mental structures of the managers to identify the strategies. They claim that in order to become familiar with how strategies are formulated and developed, they should evaluate the mind of the strategists and somehow decode the black box. Therefore, the present study aimed to understand the managers’ strategic thinking process and to investigate the similarities in their thinking processes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted based on Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET) interviews process. Interviews were conducted with 18 managers from two dairy industry companies. The data were analyzed based on emerging approach to grounded theory. The results of this study demonstrated that the managers of a company are using a shared mental model during strategic thinking. This similarity in their thinking process can be considered to be due to their communications and collaborative work experience. In addition, comparing the common mental model in the two companies, no significant similarity was found in their thinking process. But, there are some similarities between the mental structures of the managers of the two companies.

Keywords