Student Review: Strategic Management: From Theory to Practice

May 26, 2011

Author: Allen C. Amason

Edition: First

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis

Pages: 302

Price: £65.00 and £33.99 (paperback and e-book)

ISBN 9780415871723 and 1693; and 9780203865835

Any student studying a module devoted to strategic management will know that textbooks on the subject are often rather daunting in size. But at just over 300 pages, this feels accessible by comparison. The author's style is complemented by a concise approach, providing a text that is straightforward, interesting and engaging. However, it is clear that this is not a textbook for those wanting to learn strategic theory step-by-step in a spoon-fed fashion. Allen Amason does not aim merely to outline the vast theory taught to students of strategic management, but instead offers a more practical application of the principal frameworks that students of the subject are probably already familiar with.

This means that the textbook discusses tools such as the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis in the context of appropriate business or industry examples, with companies such as Coca-Cola and Walmart and the US airline industry frequently cited throughout the text. The presence of well-known transnational brands such as Starbucks, Honda and Microsoft, as well as Marks and Spencer and Ryanair, ensure that non-US readers will not be alienated when studying the applied examples.

Features include clearly highlighted cases and diagrammatic illustrations of theory, questions for review and the definition of key terms at the end of each chapter. These are all expected and helpful, but where Amason is most successful is in his "Concluding thoughts and caveats" at the end of most chapters. These make readers feel they are gaining access to insightful points for consideration, rather than just being given a summary of the information already covered. Moreover, the author's diverse range of sources, from quotes by Winston Churchill and song titles by P. Diddy to episodes of The Oprah Show and observations on the successes of the Roman Empire, also work well in aiding understanding and making sure the text is not a dull read.

The only minor annoyance is the inclusion of the same URL link and explanation of the companion website at the end of every chapter. The site appears to be quite a worthwhile resource for students. If the author had referred to specific videos, articles and interviews found on the site (to better illustrate its value as a supplement to the material covered) readers might be more inclined to access it.

Who is it for? Those already familiar with strategic management tools and frameworks.

Presentation: Clear, concise and neat.

Would you recommend it? Yes, for anyone who wants to access relevant real-life application of theory.

Highly recommended

Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead

Authors: Michael R. Czinkota and Ilkka A. Ronkainen

Edition: First

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis

Pages: 254

Price: £39.99

ISBN 9780415801942 and 9780203875100 (e-book)

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