Study of the development of strategic innovations highlights, first, the need to analyse strategy itself. Is strategy the rational lever through which top management achieves change and innovation? Or is it a much more diffuse and politically fractured force within organizations? This paper suggests that in the technology arena the intentions of top management are heavily mediated by their dependence on the expertise of other groups. The crucial role played by computer specialist in innovation in information technology is compared with the influence exerted by the accounting function, and in particular in the use of traditional investment appraisal techniques. A case study based on the computing function in a bank suggests that expert groups play an important role shaping the strategic use of technology, but that notions of strategy need to be modified in the context of innovation. In reality, "strategic" and "operational" issues are closely intertwined, and the political implications of technological change are comparable in impact product-market decisions.