Join getAbstract to access the summary!


Join getAbstract to access the summary!


1. A Revolutionary Mindset that Combines Competition and Cooperation. 2. The Game Theory Strategy that’s Changing the Game of Business.

Doubleday Broadway,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Use the rules of game theory to think strategically about your organization and the decisions you make. Play the game.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Professor of business economics and strategy Adam M. Brandenburger and professor of management Barry J. Nalebuff show you how to apply game theory to your business. They say you will be able to think more strategically if you recognize that all business relationships involve games that consist of five basic elements: “players, added values, rules, tactics and scope,” or “PARTS” for short. Thinking about your business in game terms empowers you to recognize competitive and complementary relationships where your business will benefit from another company’s products or services. The book’s first section discusses the key principles of game theory, while the second section shows you how to improve the way you play. The authors highlight the main principles in capsule summaries. This clearly written strategy manual illustrates its main points with real-world examples of successful and unsuccessful corporate game playing. getAbstract recommends it to strategic thinkers and negotiators in any business.


Business as a Game

Many people think of business as a war, wherein companies are involved in “outsmarting the competition, capturing markets, making a killing” and otherwise gaining victory. However, this is not a good business approach, since wars (such as pricing battles) can result in losses for all parties involved. Rather, think of business as a blend of war and peace: You need to cooperate with others to create or expand the pie, as well as compete when dividing it.

Game theory brings competition and cooperation together into a more accurate model of the way business really works. Mathematician John von Neumann and economist Oskar Morgenstern established the theoretical foundations of game theory in 1944, when they published Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. The game theory approach has gained many adherents in the academic and scientific world. However, it is applicable to the business world, too. You can use it to act more strategically when making decisions.

The Particpants

A link exists among a game’s four players – “customers, suppliers, competitors and complementors” – forming a “Value Net.” Imagine this link as a map in the...

About the Authors

Adam M. Brandenburger is a professor at the Harvard Business School. Barry J. Nalebuff, a professor at the Yale School of Management, is the co-author of Thinking Strategically.

Comment on this summary