Many students of strategic management find the competing schools or approaches to strategy confusing and difficult to relate to the real world they experience. The unique focus of Strategy in Action is in demonstrating how these different approaches to strategy can be used in real life situations.
The first section of the book covers the basics of strategy. This section is followed by an overview of the various approaches to strategy. The possibilities and limitations of each are examined, enabling the reader to assess them in terms of their suitability to particular strategic situations, rather thyan as competing theories.
The last two sections present a selection of readings and cases. The readings provide a summary of the development of strategic thinking pver the last few decades, while the cases provide a focus for discussion and demonstrate the application of a particular strategic framework. In this way the theoretical underpinning is balanced by practical application.
‘Todays financial environment was created largely to provide for the needs of industry. The earliest financial institutions were created to raise finance for projects which were beyond the means of single or small groups of investors. … The financial markets however, no longer exist primarily to serve these needs. They have developed their own purposes, to provide a wide range of opportunities and returns to savers, investors and speculators.’
‘Strategy management, let alone strategic management, is time consuming and expensive and its short term returns are most often extremely limited if not negative. Its long term returns must therefore be substantial for the process to be worthwhile. For many organisations, in many situations, this is demonstrably the case. With no focus on strategy they would not have got to the top of the heap; indeed they may well not have survived at all. For other organisations, it may seem they can survive perfectly well just by managing the day-to –day professionally and efficiently, making continuous incremental improvements. Surely, for them, it might be argued, their performance is good enough without wasting time and money on implanting a strategy process. This may be so. But it is impossible to say how long the situation will last. Tomorrow may be the day when logical increments in cease to be sufficient. Then implanting a strategy will become an urgent necessity.’