Six Actionable Canons for Rationality in Strategy Practice

Roeland van Straten*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    4 Downloads (Pure)


    For strategists working in and for firms, acquiring knowledge about the business world is dependent on a rational process of collecting, organizing, and interpreting information. As such, these individuals are best conceived not as knowers, but as self-directing learners who are motivated to acquire, create, and apply new knowledge. To facilitate these processes, in this paper an axiomatic foundation for strategic thinking is established regarding the nature of the object of strategic thinking, the nature of strategic thinking, and the nature of knowledge. Next, four boundary references set by these axioms are used to establish a new conceptual frame of reference for strategic rationality. Interconnections between the boundary references are subsequently used to infer six canons for strategic rationality. It is concluded that strategic rationality may be found where all references overlap. Finally, to contribute towards greater rationality in strategic management practice, an actionable definition of strategic rationality is formulated that includes all references and canons.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)409-426
    Number of pages18
    JournalPhilosophy of Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


    • UT-Hybrid-D
    • Firms
    • Judgment
    • Rationality
    • Strategy
    • Cash flows


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