Summary of Strategy Safari

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  • Innovative


You could read 100 books on corporate strategy and not find any of them as informative or as pleasant as this one. While no one would read a discussion of the core precepts of different corporate strategy schemes for entertainment, this book’s three authors come reasonably close to providing just that. Using a sprinkling of witty quotes and cartoons to spice up their text, Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand and Joseph Lampel explain 10 strategy theories without ever making you feel like you’re eating sand. They offer a chapter on each “school” of strategic management, an introduction and a final chapter that affirms that no strategic model can replace your connection to the realities of your business. getAbstract finds that while the discussions are not deep enough to allow you to implement any of the strategic models, they will give you a feel for what may make sense in your situation. General readers with an interest in strategy will also find this text accessible and educational.

About the Authors

Henry Mintzberg teaches management at McGill University and is the author of several books and dozens of articles on management. Bruce Ahlstrand teaches at Trent University. Joseph Lampel teaches at Cass Business School, City University, London.



A Natural History of Strategic Management

Just as each of the proverbial six blind men felt one part of an elephant and argued that the piece he explored demonstrated the behemoth’s nature, from the snaky tail to a tree-trunk leg, you can find academics, consultants and executives who claim that their views and experiences represent all of strategic management. Like the elephant, corporate strategy is bigger and more complex than any single perspective can convey. Although certain ideas have great influence for a while, competitive reality forces businesspeople to create effective new approaches all the time – or lose out to those who do. Experts have produced many different schematics for corporate strategy. To get a jump on your strategic planning, start by studying the principles of 10 general models of strategic management so that you understand your choices.

1. “The Design School”

This school analyzes a company’s capabilities and external environment, and then strives to design a competitive strategy that accommodates both. This approach, formulated in the 1950s, held sway for several decades and most business schools still teach it. Critics charge that...

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