Capabilities for strategic flexibility: a cognitive content framework

Ian Combe, Gordon E. Greenley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Different forms of strategic flexibility allow for reactive adaptation to different changing environments and the proactive driving of change. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for decision makers to not only possess marketing capabilities, but also the capabilities for strategic flexibility in its various forms. However, our knowledge of the relationships between decision makers’ different ways of thinking and their capabilities for strategic flexibility is limited. This limitation is constraining research and understanding. In this article we develop a theoretical cognitive content framework that postulates relationships between different ways of thinking about strategy and different information-processing demands. We then outline how the contrasting beliefs of decision makers may influence their capabilities to generate different hybrid forms of strategic flexibility at the cognitive level. Theoretically, the framework is embedded in resource-based theory, personal construct theory and schema theory. The implications for research and theory are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1480
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2004
Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited


  • dynamics
  • marketing
  • marketing strategy
  • cognition
  • competitive advantage


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