On today's business agenda - the future

Exploring Corporate Strategy - Strategy
January 19, 2007

This seventh edition of Exploring Corporate Strategy , one of the leading strategy textbooks in Europe, features some major improvements.

It introduces a new co-author and incorporates new material and additional features that make it an engaging and accessible learning resource. The book is packed with illustrations and mini case studies to illustrate key points. Each chapter ends with case examples that ask thought-provoking questions that push students to think critically and apply the concepts and analytical frameworks to complex real-world situations. The cases, which vary in length and complexity, can be pitched at students at different levels.

The new design contains more photographic materials and uses more colour, which makes the book more attractive but also more expensive.

In terms of content, the most welcome feature of this edition is its comprehensive coverage of international business strategy and the resource-based view of the firm. Chapter six has been reorganised, and several sections have been added to reflect the importance of international business strategy. The other major changes involve updating and improving chapter three on "Strategic capability". In addition, it is good to see more discussion of e-business strategy. Having said this, the strategy field is moving fast, and several sections, case studies and examples in the book have passed their sell-by date. In particular, corporate social responsibility and ethics are vital components of any strategic management module, but they receive little coverage.

Overall, the book keeps its successful formula and introduces many features to make it more accessible, up-to-date and enjoyable to read.

Strategy: Analysis and Practice is a new carefully crafted strategy textbook suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The book is divided into five parts. Each starts with a brief section explaining how the chapters fit into the larger structure of the book. The first part provides key definitions and lays out the book's structure. The second (and weakest) part is "Economic analysis for strategic decisions". Chapters three and four focus on economic analysis and pay little attention to strategic decisions, and most of the references in these chapters were published decades ago.

The intriguing thing about part three, which deals with strategy, is the comprehensive coverage of global strategies and strategy in a networked economy. Part four, "Strategy and practice", focuses on the implementation stage. It addresses the issue of strategic choice and strategic decision-making. It also covers several topics often short-changed in strategy textbooks - risk and uncertainty, organisational learning and the process of governance. The book's final part is structured around four themes described as "close to the core of strategic thinking".

In terms of pedagogical features, the book provides recap questions and case studies at the end of every chapter to encourage application of strategy tools and reflection on key issues. The companion website provides test questions, suggested answers to end-of-chapter questions, further reading lists and strategy tools.

Kamel Mellahi is professor of strategic management. Sheffield University Management School.

Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases

Author - Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes and Richard Whittington
Publisher - Prentice Hall
Pages - 1,033
Price - £41.99
ISBN - 1 405845996

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