A Wittgensteinian perspective on strategizing


Published: 20Jan2016

Author: Mantere, S.

Publication: Cambridge Handbook of Strategy as Practice


Introduction In this chapter, I explore the potential the work of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein has to contribute to strategy-as-practice scholarship. For many, Wittgenstein was the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century. His realization that the only satisfactory way to understand language was to understand the social life it enables provided a basis for what was to become the practice turn in social sciences. His work has informed a diverse set of social theorists, from Giddens (1984) to Bourdieu (1977) and Lyotard (1986), all of whom build on Wittgenstein’s elaborate inquiry into the ontology of language as a social phenomenon that is rooted in practice. Like these theorists, I shall focus on the concept of the language game, the central theme running through the ‘late and middle periods’ in Wittgenstein’s thought. I argue that the language game is a useful concept in making sense of strategy practice in a theoretical as well as a methodological sense.

Read full article: Cambridge Handbook of Strategy as Practice, 1 January, 2015