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A Blue Ocean Strategy for “Blue Ocean Strategy”: on Performativity of Strategic Management

Taking a performativity perspective, this paper analyzes the case of “Blue Ocean Strategy” – a strategy concept widely used by practitioners to create new market spaces rather than battling competition – to inform the debate about the impact of management and strategy theories. Specifically, the “Blue Ocean Strategy” case shows the efforts that have been undertaken during more than a decade to mobilize academics, consultants, strategy tools, prestigious publishers, etc. to bring the concept into being and change business practices. In so doing, the paper contributes to the debate on impact of management research by bringing the concept of performativity inherited from Science, Technology and Society. It also adds to research on performativity by suggesting a novel form of performativity, called self-performativity, which consists of performing a concept by applying its underlying principles.

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