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A short, up-to-date, practical and readable guide to strategy formulation, this book is designed for practicing executives who are getting ready to assume broader responsibilities. By focusing on strategic thinking and using real-life examples and historical references, this book is a must-read for the serious executive strategist. The first chapter defines strategy and its effect on a corporation's effectiveness; and then in subsequent chapters covers the external strategic environment, the analysis of a firm's physical assets, the development of a competitive strategy, different industry environments, corporate strategy and competition, different strategy choices, global strategy, and implementing and controlling a chosen strategic direction. For CEOs, senior executives, general managers, vice-presidents, divisional managers, and consultants.
Table of Contents
1. What Is Strategy? 2. Change and Uncertainty in the External Strategic Environment. 3. Leveraging Internal Resources and Change Drivers for Strategic Advantage. 4. Formulating Business Unit Strategy. 5. Business Unit Strategy: Context and Special Dimensions. 6. The Dynamics of Corporate Strategy. 7. Strategic Options at the Corporate Level. 8. Formulating Global Strategy. 9. Strategy Implementation and Control.
Corporate success is increasingly tied to the ability of senior executives to craft and implement effective strategies. There is a demonstrated link between executives' strategic choices and their companies' long-term performance. The benefits accrue because companies that enjoy a substantial competitive advantage over their rivals typically have a better grasp of what their customers prefer, how they can create value, who their competitors are, and how they behave. Formulating a sound strategy requires both analysis and synthesis, and therefore is as much a rational act as it is a creative one. Successful strategies reflect a clear strategic intent and a deep understanding of an organization's core competencies and assets. Generic strategies rarely propel a company to a leadership position. Knowing where you want to go and finding carefully considered, creative ways of getting there are the hallmarks of successful strategy. This book is designed for practicing executives who are getting ready to assume broader responsibilities and need a short, practical, highly readable guide to strategy formulation, and for MBA and EMBA students who aspire to top management responsibilities. ORGANIZATION The first chapter defines strategy as the act of positioning a company for competitive advantage by focusing on unique ways to create value for customers. It contrasts strategy with operational effectiveness, links strategy development to value creation and competitive advantage, and notes the importance of organizational learning in crafting an effective strategy. Chapter 2 looks at the importance of changes in a firm's external strategic environment--driven by economic, technological, political, and sociocultural change--and the impact of the evolutionary forces that shape an industry environment on a company's strategy formulation. In particular, we focus on two key issues that every strategist must confront: how to assess change and uncertainty and how to deal with them. Chapter 3 focuses on the analysis of a firm's strategic resources including its physical assets, its relative financial position, the quality of its people, and specific knowledge, competencies, processes, skills, or cultural aspects of the organization. Chapters 4 and 5 address the development of a competitive strategy at the business unit level. The principal focus of business unit or competitive strategy is on how to compete in a given competitive setting. In Chapter 4, we begin this discussion by asking: What determines profitability at the business unit level? We look at the relative importance of the nature of the industry in which a company competes, of a company's competitive position within the industry, and of the drivers that determine sustained competitive advantage. We also introduce a number of techniques that are useful for generating and assessing strategic alternatives, such as profit pool, growth vector, gap, competitor, and product life cycle analyses. Since business unit strategy is developed in a specific industry context, Chapter 5 discusses six different industry environments. Three represent different stages in an industry's evolution--emerging, growth, and maturity. We then discuss three additional industry environments that pose unique strategic challenges--fragmented, deregulating, and hypercompetitive. Because hypercompetition is increasingly characteristic of business-level competition in many industries, we then discuss two critical attributes of successful firms in dynamic industries: speed and innovation. We conclude this chapter by considering the importance of vertical integration and horizontal thinking in business unit strategy formulation. Chapters 6 and 7 deal with corporate strategy, which is concerned with identifying the businesses in which a company should compete and how a parent company can add value to its business units. In Chapter 6 w