Facilitators and inhibitors to visualising information in organisational practice
The benefits of visual artefacts and methodologies have been well documented in the strategy literature. However, this work has concentrated on the ‘how to do’ and ‘why to do’ of visualisation. It remains unclear why, given this widespread promotion, visualisation is not utilised more for communicating and developing strategy. This thesis explores the ‘doing’ of strategy visualisation through a practice lens by examining the processes through which visualisation services are adopted by organisations. Using a qualitative approach, I studied ten organisations in five countries that create visualisations for clients and identified common facilitators and inhibitors of visualisation adoption, discussing its implications for strategy. The study’s findings expand upon the literature on facilitators and inhibitors to visualisation, discovering that these factors are personal and contextual in nature. Personal factors include: - prospective clients’ experience of prior visualisation outcomes; - predispositions for or against visualisation; - prior knowledge about visualisation and associated services; - partiality towards particular visualisation consultants; and - the capability to distinguish specific organisational needs for visualisation. Contextual factors such as organisational culture, and ability to approve the service within an allocated budget, also influence the adoption of visualisation. Based on a greater understanding of these factors, a heuristic framework was developed to relate these facilitators or inhibitors to four process phases: Pre-contact → Contact → Commitment → and Post-purchase Evaluation. My research findings benefit practitioners, by clarifying facilitating and inhibiting factors to visualisation adoption and suggesting interventions based on these. The findings also have implications for methodology and theory development: they indicate the value of studying strategy visualisation through a practice lens; add to our understanding of how visualisation can clarify and support strategy making; and enable insight into the dynamics of visualisation adoption to provide reasons why visualisation is not as widespread a practice as its proponents suggest it should be.