Organizational strategy as a language game

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Under what conditions does a collective strategy exist among organizational members? Where should a scholar look for one? To offer one way to start solving these puzzles I propose a view of organizational strategy as a language game that governs the use of strategy labels at the level of the organization. Organizational strategy exhibits a division of linguistic labour, where responsibility for key concepts is assigned to particular individuals or organizational functions. Such linguistic experts oversee the proper use and maintenance of strategy language. The language‐based view helps to understand linkages between institutional, network, organizational, and micro level views on strategy. It also problematizes widely held intuitions regarding the relationship between strategy and organizational outcomes.