Strategic Contingency


Power and politics are understood as fundamental and important factors in managing strategic contingencies. Relevant practical case evidence and implication advice provided helps leaders to minimise the potential impact caused by a risk factor, threat or emergency.

Technique Overview

Strategic Contingency Definition

A contingency is "a requirement of the activities of one subunit which is affected by the activities of another subunit. What makes such a contingency strategic is that the more contingencies are controlled by a subunit, the greater is its power within the organisation. For example, an engineering subunit has power because it quickly absorbs uncertainty by repairing breakdowns that interfere with the different workflows for each of several organisational outputs" (Hickson et al., 1971).

Strategic Contingency Description *

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Business Evidence

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Business Application

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Success Factors of Strategic Contingency *

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Professional Tools

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Further Reading

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Strategic Contingency References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Blau, P. (1964) Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York: Wiley.
  • FEMA (2000) Publication 364: Planning for a sustainable future: the link between hazard mitigation and liveability.
  • Goldner, F. H. (1970) Success Vs. Failure: Prior Managerial Perspectives. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol.9, pp.453–474.
  • Hickson, D.J., C.R. Hinings, C.A. Lee, R.E. Schneck and J.M. Pennings. (1971) A Strategic Contingencies Theory of Intra-organizational Power. Administrative science Quarterly, Vol. 16 (2) pp. 216-229.

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