Process Model of Consensus-Building: The Role of Political Heuristics

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Consensus is required for every new strategic initiative. Although politics can contribute to consensus-building, politics have also been associated with undermining the effectiveness of strategic initiatives. Our findings show how managers use heuristics to circumvent the adverse effects of politics in order to enhance consensus and improve the effectiveness of strategies. Based on a longitudinal case study in a large intergovernmental, aerospace organization in Europe, we show that effective consensus-building is enabled by the application of three distinct ‘political heuristics’ that we coin inception, delimitation, and validation. These three types of heuristics ensure the effectiveness of the strategic initiative and the consensus required. Consensus is achieved by the applications of these heuristics during formal-informal interactions across three phases of strategy development: initiation, content development, and consolidation. Hence, the three aforementioned heuristics mitigate the negative implications of politics and thereby enhance the effectiveness of the strategic initiative. Our findings offer insight into organizational politics and the micro-foundations of strategy, by showing at the micro level how heuristics enable effective and positive application of politics for consensus-building in organizations."
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2020
Event80th Annual virtual Meeting of the Academy of Management -
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020


Conference80th Annual virtual Meeting of the Academy of Management


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