Strategic decisions in turbulent times: lessons from the energy industry

Ferran Giones, Alexander Brem, Andreas Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Most of the firms currently in the S&P 500 probably will not be there in 15 years. In times of great uncertainty, managers are called upon to make the right strategic choices, preserve core businesses, and prepare their organizations for the future. How can managers make these choices when the industry is under transformation? In this article, we explore how the popular VUCA framework can help to make sense of turbulent contexts and drive the decision making of managers. We study the case of the energy industry, in which traditional business models eroded quickly and dominant players lost their positions. Based on personal interviews with the CEOs of RWE (Germany) and NRG Energy (U.S.), we analyze how these executives led transformation of their organizations. We get immersed in their decision-making processes and depict how the VUCA framework helps them to identify, map, and prepare their organizations to respond to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in their industry. We propose a guide for executive managers to navigate through VUCA contexts, taking into account the necessity to introduce short- and long-term responses that prepare organizations and stakeholders for an uncertain future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Horizons
Volume62
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)215-225
ISSN0007-6813
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. Mar 2019

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Strategic decisions
Managers
Energy industry
Industry
Uncertainty
Energy
Business model
Strategic choice
Stakeholders
Decision making
Germany
Decision-making process
Chief executive officer

Keywords

  • Business strategy
  • Decision-making process
  • Energiewende
  • Energy industry
  • Market turbulence
  • Organizational change
  • VUCA

Cite this

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Strategic decisions in turbulent times: lessons from the energy industry. / Giones, Ferran; Brem, Alexander; Berger, Andreas.

In: Business Horizons, Vol. 62, No. 2, 01.03.2019, p. 215-225.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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