Essentials of Strategic Management
In framing and writing Essentials of Strategic Management, our goal is to inform and familiarize students with what strategic management means to today’s global world. Often people are unaware of how the strategy-making process affects them. We are all used to going to work and going into companies such as restaurants, stores, and banks, and buying the goods and services we need to satisfy our many needs. However, the actual strategic management activities and processes that are required to make these goods and services available to us commonly go unappreciated. Similarly, we might know that companies exist to make a “profi t,” but what is profit, how is it created, and what is profi t used for? Moreover, what are the actual strategic management activities involved in the creation of goods and services, and why is it that some companies seem to be more effective and more “profi table” than others? Essentials of Strategic Management, Third Edition, has been structured and written to address these issues. The goal of this revision is to explain in a clear, comprehensive, but concise way why strategic management is important to people, the companies they work for, and the society in which they live. Our objective in writing this book has been to provide the overall “big picture” of what strategic management is, what strategic managers do, and how the strategy-making process affects company performance. The book provides a focused, integrated approach that gives students a solid understanding of the nature, functions, and main building blocks of strategic management.
Organization of the Book
The book presents a broad overview of the nature and functions of strategic management in nine chapters. Part 1, Introduction to Strategic Management, explains what strategic management is and provides a framework to understand what strategic managers do. Chapter 1 discusses the relationship between strategic management and strategic leadership and shows how competitive advantage results in superior performance. It also describes the plan of this book and discusses the principal functions of strategic managers. Chapter 2 discusses the way companies affect their stakeholders, and why it is necessary to create corporate governance mechanisms that ensure strategic managers work to further the interests of stakeholders and behave ethically.
In Part 2, The Nature of Competitive Advantage, we discuss the factors and forces both external and internal to an organization that determine its choice of strategies to create a competitive advantage and achieve above-average profi tability. Chapter 3 discusses opportunities, threats, and competition in the external environment. Chapter 4 examines how a company can build competitive advantage by achieving superior effi ciency, quality, innovation, and responsiveness to customers. It also discusses how managers can craft functional-level strategies that will allow an organization to achieve these goals.
In Part 3, Building and Sustaining Long-Run Competitive Advantage, we provide a streamlined discussion of the different level of strategy that must be developed to build and sustain a long-term competitive advantage. Chapter 5 discusses how to use business-level strategies to optimize competitive positioning and outperform industry rivals. Chapter 6 discusses how to strengthen competitive advantage by expanding globally into new national markets. Chapter 7 then examines the various corporate-level strategies such as vertical integration, diversifi cation, and outsourcing that are used to protect and strengthen competitive advantage and sustain longrun profitability.
Part 4, Strategy Implementation, we examine the many operational issues involved in putting all these strategies into action simultaneously. Chapter 8 first discusses the importance of strategic change in today’s fast-changing global environment and the issues and problems involved in managing the change process effectively. Then, it outlines how to build and develop a company’s business through the use of internal new venturing, acquisitions, and strategic alliances and considers the pros and cons of these different methods. Chapter 9 discusses how to implement strategy through the design of organizational structure and the operational issues involved in selecting structures to match the needs of particular strategies. It also discusses the organizational control systems necessary to fi t strategy to structure and the role of organizational culture in developing competitive advantage. And, finally, in Part 5 we provide a collection of cases that will appeal to students and instructors alike. We selected cases based both on the intrinsically interesting and timely topics, such as the global auto industry and the gaming industry, and the strategic management issues they illuminate. Through the cases and the guidelines on analyzing a case, students can further investigate the successes and challenges presented throughout the strategic management process. All ten cases are new to this edition and strive to introduce students to well-known global corporations such as Apple, Dell, McDonald’s, IKEA, and IBM.
As you can see by perusing the table of contents, our essentials book parallels the approach we take in our other book, Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach. Our goal is to offer a contemporary, integrated account of strategic management, but one that is streamlined and focused only on the essentials of this complex and fascinating subject.
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