Mastering Strategic Management
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9461351-4-8
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
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I found the book to be comprehensive, covering in detail important parts of strategic management. read more
I found the book to be comprehensive, covering in detail important parts of strategic management.
I found the book to be accurate and well referenced. Examples were used which were most instrumental in helping students to understand important concepts.
The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement. Many of the examples used are classic or very timely. It would require little work to update concepts and examples.
The book is written without unnecessary jargon. Terms commonly used in the study of Strategy are fully explained.
The framework of the book allows for easy transitions from one topic to another. Throughout the book there is consistency in the straight forward approach to topics. There is a consistent attempt within this book to explain complex concepts in such a way as to allow undergraduate students to master them easily.
The text is well divided into a logical sequence of intuitively developed reading sections. Sections within the book serve to reduce confusion which can occur when learning a subject area with the diversity and complexity of Business Strategy
I like the flow of the text but prefer a flow which started by simply following the strategic management process step by step.
I had no issues with the interface of the textbook. Navigation was simple and charts were well placed and clear.
I found no grammatical errors i the text.
Culturally the book was sensitive in dealing with issues such as ethics and the role of diversity in the workplace.
With the current push for on-line offerings I feel that it is now imperative that offerings include test banks, power-points, on-line readings, films and perhaps simulation tools that can be used on-line. I love the book for in-class use but feels that it does not offer enough support to be viable for extensive on-line offerings,
This book does a somewhat good job of covering many aspects of strategic analysis. For instance, the discussions relative to cost leadership, read more
This book does a somewhat good job of covering many aspects of strategic analysis. For instance, the discussions relative to cost leadership, differentiation, and focused strategies were good. However, I found this book to be lacking in critical discussion areas, such as the importance of evaluating a firm's internal financial assets. While it mentioned current ratio, debt to equity ratio, and net income .. it does not show how to calculate those ratios. And, there are many, many more financial ratios that should be covered in great detail to effectively analyze an organization's internal financial capabilities. This was an area I would consider to be seriously lacking in content. Other critical areas missing from this textbook were the discussion of entrepreneurial strategy and competitive dynamics, as well as managing innovation and corporate entrepreneurship. Likewise, this textbook did not include any strategic management cases which greatly supports a student's ability to apply concepts to a multi-page case of an organization they may be familiar with. Also, while there was included on the website a table of contents, no such table of contents exists in the .pdf version that students would actually use. In general, this book is not written at the level of sophistication and comprehensiveness I would expect to use for college students, particularly since a strategic analysis course is often taught as a capstone course (undergraduate senior level of student). In my opinion, this textbook is written more at the senior in high school or college freshman level.
The book's accuracy is adequate, although there are many areas of strategic analysis which I would consider to be missing in this textbook.
The one area of relevance and longevity I found to be questionable was the various references to "At the Movies". Some of the movies are quite dated and students may not have even heard of them. Or, if they have heard of the movie, they may not have seen it. While the intent seems to be a creative way to illustrate basic concepts, the use of movies is not (in my opinion) the most relevant way to accomplish this, at least to the extent that this is repeated throughout the textbook.
The book is written clearly, although not at the college reading level I would expect it to be written at.
The text is inconsistent since it references certain figures that actually do not exist. For instance, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix is referenced to be in figure 8.7. There is no BCG matrix figure, nor any figure 8.7. In fact, there are very few figures in the book. There are some pictures (unidentified mostly) but no figures that illustrate important concepts.
The book's modularity is done well. Within each chapter there are several smaller reading sections.
The book's organization/structure flow is generally good. I believe the organization and flow would be better if corporate-level strategies followed business-level strategy, and then the chapter about international markets would follow after that. This textbook, instead, has business-level strategy, international markets, then corporate-level strategy.
The images are generally not distorted, although on page 172 the Arby's graphic and text are out of proportion. Page 177 includes some type of graphic that is only shades of grey. I don't know what that is intended to represent.
The text contains no grammatical errors that I observed.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way that I observed.
The book covers most of the chapters commonly found in a strategy textbook, and the content within each chapter is also similar in terms of the key read more
The book covers most of the chapters commonly found in a strategy textbook, and the content within each chapter is also similar in terms of the key topics & models addressed. One exception is strategic entrepreneurship, which is not covered as a separate chapter as is often the case but is instead partially covered under "Entrepreneurial orientation" within Chapter 2, "Leading strategically". Another exception is that there is only one chapter on corporate strategy, whereas many books have a second chapter on strategy alternatives (M&A, etc.). However, some of this content has been folded into the corporate strategy chapter. The PDF I reviewed did not contain a glossary or index.
The book provides an accurate introduction to contemporary strategic management. The authors' perspective is consistent with mainstream scholarly views in the field.
Most strategy textbooks tend to gravitate towards concepts and models that have a relatively long "shelf life," and this one is no exception. The book contains current examples and timely content. The book also does a good job presenting strategy in ways that undergraduate students, in particular, will find relevant. It does this through an emphasis on familiar, everyday brands (Facebook, Redbox) and through cultural references, such as its "Strategy at the movies" segments, which link concepts in the book to recent popular films.
The book is written in clear and accessible prose, and it carries a sense of humor. At times I would have liked to see clearer definitions that were easier to find in the text (e.g., highlighted or placed in sidebars). For example, the concept of "cost leadership" is introduced with good examples, but a concise definition seems lacking. Having clear definitions on key concepts is helpful to students studying for exams and for faculty who want to check concepts for consistency across materials without re-reading entire sections.
The book is internally consistent. It provides a framework for understanding strategy that is coherent and, at the same time, generally consistent with other major texts.
The text seems modular, and reorganizing the material is unlikely to pose a problem. It would be easy to rearrange the materials within a strategy course - provided, of course, that foundational concepts (e.g., "capabilities") have been established early on, as would be required in working with any major strategy text.
The book's flow is logical and it adheres to a structure that is common in strategy texts. One slightly unusual sequencing is the presentation of international strategy before corporate strategy (the reverse is more common), but these two chapters remain adjacent and there is a reasonable case for doing this. Given the overall modularity of the book, moreover, instructors can rearrange chapters as they see fit without much difficulty.
The interface reflects the thoughtful and creative selection of accompanying visual materials, especially photos and illustrations. There are fewer charts and tables than in the average strategy text. Some instructors and MBA students might find the text easier to navigate with fewer visual interruptions overall and perhaps more data or charts included in addition to the pictures. Overall, I think this interface that would be well received by undergraduate students, in particular.
The book's grammar is fine.
The book does not appear to be culturally insensitive. Examples are drawn primarily from the U.S., as is common in many major strategy texts, but there are also many examples drawn from outside the U.S.
Overall, I think this book is a very solid and worthwhile contribution to the set of available strategy textbooks. A particular strength of the book is its accessible writing style and its selection of "user-friendly" illustrations and examples. I think the book would be especially well-suited to first-time students of strategy who seek a general introduction. I also like that the book avoids delivering long, arbitrary lists of items in presenting material (e.g., "the nine reasons firms do acquisitions"), which is a common weakness of strategy textbooks. Instead, this book is generally succinct and reasonably comprehensive. At the same time, instructors & students seeking a more advanced treatment of strategy may find coverage of some topics to be relatively light. For example, limitations of the 5 Forces model are only briefly addressed and issues of industry evolution do not seem to be addressed.
I found this text to be well-written and high quality, with up-to-date material, examples and case studies. In my experience, both as an read more
I found this text to be well-written and high quality, with up-to-date material, examples and case studies. In my experience, both as an instructor and retired practitioner, this textbook covers all basic concepts and topics at an appropriate depth for an Introduction to Business Strategy/Policy course. The backend - index, glossary, on-screen reader and search engine - were accurate and faultless.
Diagrams, tables and case studies were up-to-date, professional quality and accurate. I found the text well supported by the supplemental teaching resources (quizzes, PowerPoint’s, teaching notes, etc.) As with any USA based textbook, and to be fair hardly unique to this one, the content is USA-centric. Examples and in-text case studies do tend to examine issues through the lens of USA companies, and occasionally USA laws/regulations. Within this caveat, all material was well-edited, error-free, unbiased and including appropriate supplemental instructor material.
As with most introductory courses, the basic components of Business Strategy tend not to change rapidly. New tools, techniques, occasionally fads, as well as the inevitable rebranding (i.e. Management by Objectives [MBO] becomes Outcome Based Key Performance Indicators) are adopted by Business relatively slowly. The textbook covers certain recent advances in strategic and policy, as appropriate for a textbook at an introductory level. Looking forward, advances to this textbook would tend to focus on maintaining current and timeliness of in-text examples, update trends and data, and incorporate emergent strategies which could emerge in response to changing economic, business or global events, such as a global recession.
The textbook to be quite readable and engaging, and makes good use of current business examples. Terms and business jargon are properly defined, both within the text and by using small ‘call-out’ (?) boxes on the side of pages and through the use of examples.
The concepts and ideas in the textbook are presented in a clear and logical order. Terminology is used consistently. As well, I found the ‘readability’ of the textbook to be internally consistent – with no sense that different authors/editors had writte
The material is covered in 12 chapters, with 2 to 4 sections each, making it easy to assign weekly readings and cover the content within one semester. Chapters are fairly consistent in length and complexity. Instructors have the option to re-organize the course / subject order prior to students downloading the textbook should they wish. The text is not overly self-referential.
The flow or order of idea/concept presentation is consistent to most Strategy texts, and appropriate for an introductory textbook. Within Chapter layout is consistent; each chapter begins with “Learning Outcomes” and concludes with “Key Takeaways” and exercises, which can be assigned as homework.
Neither I, nor any of my students, experienced any interface issues at all. The underlying technology appeared faultless. The navigation process is logical and all images and text were clear and high quality, even on smaller e-reading devices. As well, color use is consistent, assisting in overall navigation. Interestingly, as the first e-textbook for NWCC Business, my students appreciated the ability to perform in-text searches and hyper-link to external electronic references (in text URLs), as well as textbook’s cost of course!
I found zero (0) grammatical errors, or ‘broken’ URL links. Well edited
This text is not culturally or sexually insensitive, or offensive. Overall, examples are based on business culture with limited applicability on cultural relevance. One chapter focuses on Ethics and Social Responsibility and examines these issues from a strategic perspective, with examples. However, the focus is principally from a business perspective, as compared to social, legal or moral perspectives. As the text is fairly USA-centric, Canadian students may feel that Canadian and possibly Asian business strategies should receive greater emphasis.
Overall, I was very impressed with the quality and professionalism of the text. A ‘newbie’ to e-textbooks, I was surprised by the usefulness of additional features available with electronic textbooks (searching, imbedded URLs, etc.). As noted above, the textbook content is somewhat USA-centric. Examples and in-text case studies tend to focus on USA companies, and occasionally USA laws/regulations. However, given the highly integrated nature of Canadian and USA business environments, there is some value in this. And, it was certainly not difficult to incorporate Canadian examples into the Lectures.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Mastering Strategy: Art and Science
- Chapter 2: Leading Strategically
- Chapter 3: Evaluating the External Environment
- Chapter 4: Managing Firm Resources
- Chapter 5: Selecting Business-Level Strategies
- Chapter 6: Supporting the Business-Level Strategy: Competitive and Cooperative Moves
- Chapter 7: Competing in International Markets
- Chapter 8: Selecting Corporate-Level Strategies
- Chapter 9: Executing Strategy through Organizational Design
- Chapter 10: Leading an Ethical Organization: Corporate Governance, Corporate Ethics, and Social Responsibility
About the Book
Teaching the strategic management course can be a challenge for many professors. In most business schools, strategic management is a “capstone” course that requires students to draw on insights from various functional courses they have completed (such as marketing, finance, and accounting) in order to understand how top executives make the strategic decisions that drive whether organizations succeed or fail. Although students have taken these functional courses, many students have very little experience with major organizational choices. It is this inexperience that can undermine many students’ engagement in the course.
Mastering Strategic Management is designed to enhance student engagement in three innovative ways.
The first is through visual adaptations of the key content in the book. It is well documented that many of today’s students are visual learners. To meet students’ wants and needs (and thereby create a much better teaching experience for professors), Mastering Strategic Management contains multiple graphic concept pages in ever section of every chapter of the book. Think of graphic concept pages as almost like info-graphics for key concepts in each section. This feature sets Mastering Strategic Management apart from any strategic management book on the market today.
The second way the authors capture student interest through their textbook is by using a real-world company as the running example in each chapter. For example, Chapter 1 in Mastering Strategic Management utilizes Apple to harness the conceptual coverage of the chapter in a running, corporate, application to which students will relate.
The third inventive way Mastering Strategic Management holds the attention of strategic management students is through the “strategy at the movies” feature in each chapter that links course concepts with a popular motion picture. In Chapter 1, for example, the authors describe how “The Social Network” illustrates intended, emergent, and realized strategies.
You can expect Mastering Strategic Management to cover all of the traditional topics that standard strategic management texts cover, but in an exciting way that will assist you in engaging your students in your course. See for yourself by checking out the book online today.
About the Contributors
Mastering Strategic Management is adapted from a work produced and distributed under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA) in 2011 by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.