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Book review and commentary: good strategy/bad strategy: the difference and why it matters

Harney, Brian (2012) Book review and commentary: good strategy/bad strategy: the difference and why it matters. Irish Journal of Management, 31 (2). pp. 128-131. ISSN 1649-248X

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Strategy is in trouble: noted shortcomings include a failure to anticipate the fi nancial crisis, exposed defi ciencies in its economic heritage, and once lauded companies succumbing to complacency and inertia (e.g. Nokia and Kodak). In addition, the language of strategy (mission, vision, objectives, etc.) has become increasingly empty, promoting convergence and similarity as opposed to divergence and uniqueness. According to Rumelt, the real problem is not that companies are getting strategy wrong but that they ‘aren’t getting it all’ (Hill, 2011). With a 40-year track record and McKinsey’s designation as ‘strategy’s strategist’, Rumelt commands attention when discussing issues of strategy. His contributions are not known for their regularity (there is a 37-year interval since his last strategy text) but, critically, they are known for their impact. Conceptually, Rumelt’s (1979) work unpacking the dynamics of strategy evaluation is still a classic. Empirically, Rumelt (1982) was one of the fi rst to demonstrate a relationship between corporate strategy and profi tability. His 1991 paper ‘How Much Does Industry Matter?’ provided the much needed empirical impetus for the resource-based view of the fi rm, indicating that the characteristics of individual fi rms were actually more predictive of profi tability than traditionally assumed industry characteristics (Rumelt, 1991). The implication was that being good at what you do mattered a lot more than what industry you were in. This theme is transferred to Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, and here it is clear that ‘good strategy’ is the exception, while its antithesis is the rule. So how does the distinction between good and bad strategy play out?

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Book Review; Strategy; Business
Subjects:Business > Management
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > DCU Business School
Publisher:Irish Academy of Management
Copyright Information:© 2012 Irish Academy of Management
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:17598
Deposited On:07 Dec 2012 10:52 by Brian Harney. Last Modified 07 Dec 2012 10:52

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