Selected Publications

Here you can access or link to some of Andrew MacLennan’s most popular publications exploring different aspects of strategy execution.

Causal Mapping for Strategy Execution: Pitfalls and Applications

How can organisations make strategy clear enough to inform the everyday decisions and actions of employees? How can conceptual strategic objectives be translated into concrete activities, which competent teams can actually deliver?

Dr Andrew MacLennan and his London Business School colleague, Prof Costas Markides, explore these questions in this article in California Management Review, one of management’s top journals, aimed at both practitioners and academics.

The article explores strategy execution mapping – a methodology for producing highly visual one-page articulations of strategy and execution models. Key pitfalls to avoid when mapping are examined, along with several key applications of maps. The insights presented are based on in-depth case studies of 41 organisations, which include extensive action research.

Leading From Afar: Giving Autonomy Without Losing Control

Forbes logo

In this Forbes article, London Business School colleagues Prof Costas Markides and Dr Andrew MacLennan explore how to give employees autonomy through enhancing strategic clarity. Drawing on their research, they identify five problems that limit strategic clarity and suggest how to avoid them.

Strategy Execution:
Translating Strategy into Action in Complex Organisations

The cover of Strategy Execution: Translating Strategy into Action in Complex Organisations, by Dr Andrew MacLennan

Andrew MacLennan’s latest book has been written for practitioners and students of strategy execution. It provides a rigorous and practical framework to underpin strategy execution efforts.

The book reports many findings from Dr MacLennan’s multi–year study of strategy execution, the largest ever undertaken in the field.

The book can be bought at all good bookshops and widely online.

Five Cs for Successful Strategy Execution

Dr Andrew MacLennan outlines five key principles that are essential for successful strategy execution, and illustrates these with examples including Ford’s new generation of its best-selling F-150 truck and the extraordinarily profitable low-cost airline Ryanair.

The article includes a case study on the ‘Rolls Royce’ of Scotch whisky: The Macallan single malt. (For a version of the article without the whisky case study, please follow this link.)

Forced Ranking:
Time to dismiss this underperformed?

Andrew MacLennan explores the logic and evidence behind the use of forced ranking for performance evaluations. He explains why it is such a dangerous option for organisations seeking to execute strategy successfully.

Why Performance-related Pay...Isn't

Andrew MacLennan explains why performance-related pay often doesn’t operate as intended and can create unintended effects that are highly damaging to strategy implementation.