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Fundamental Issues in Strategy, A Research Agenda Hardcover – June 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875843433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875843438
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Since 1984, Harvard Business School Press has been dedicated to publishing the most contemporary management thinking, written by authors and practitioners who are leading the way. Whether readers are seeking big-picture strategic thinking or tactical problem solving, advice in managing global corporations or for developing personal careers, HBS Press helps fuel the fire of innovative thought. HBS Press has earned a reputation as the springboard of thought for both established and emerging business leaders.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
The thesis of the book is that research in strategy needs to be directed at fundamental questions, like "Why are firms different (despite attempts to imitate one another)?" The writers don't even bother to discuss the popular sillyness of advising firms to be "quick" or "invest in IT" and so on. Rather, there is a real attempt to describe what is known and not known about fundamental issues, like imitability.
The book's strength is the quality of the 22 authors involved. It is the strongest showing of intellectual talent on this subject ever assembled. The weakness is that it was written just before the rise of "competence-based" views of strategy, so that it offers little perspective on that literature.
Twelve years after the papers in this book were written, it remains an essential reference to research in strategy. MBAs and business people looking for the newest guru ideas should stay away---there are plenty of guru books out there to satisfy their needs for cool hip ideas ("seek chaos!").
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book resulted from a conference held in Napa valley a few years before the book's publication. The editors and contributors examine critical issues in strategic management. Ten years later, these issues remain unresolved. This is because these issues are complex and enduring. Anyone interested in understanding enduring competitive advantage will benefit greatly by reading this book. One of its major contributions is that it delineates the boundaries of current understanding. To those looking for immediate help to their organizational problems this volume will offer few solutions. For those wanting to understand how firms behave, adapt, and organize for sustainable advantage this book will be a great start.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book for anyone interested to understand key questions on Strategy Research. It also provides the archaeology of the Strategic thinking and explains how different schools and approaches tried to design.

I was introduced to this book when I was completing my MSc and it was a key reference to provide a context of my research on Game Theory (which is related to a key strategy question: "how firms behave?"). As a practitioner in Strategy Consulting this books helped me in some areas especially on articles on firms heterogeneity and insights firms structure and the search for efficiency ("economizing" versus "strategizing").

This is not a book for beginners, I must say, it provides you depth on the subject without trying to provide a definite answer. It is not a toolset book either, but it helps you to understand why some strategy tools were adopted in the first place and why some of them are very limited (eg GE cash cow / star matrix, SWOT analysis, etc).

On a negative side, the articles in the book seem to be too wordy and perhaps they could have an "abridged version" in the future.

Anderson Arante
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By A Customer on August 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
The thesis of the book is that research in strategy needs to be directed at fundamental questions, like "Why are firms different (despite attempts to imitate one another)?" The writers don't even bother to discuss the popular sillyness of advising firms to be "quick" or "invest in IT" and so on. Rather, there is a real attempt to describe what is known and not known about fundamental issues, like imitability.
The book's strength is the qulaity of the 22 authors involved. It is the strongest showing of intellectual talent on this subject ever assembled. The weakness is that it was written just before the rise of "competence-based" views of strategy, so that it offers little perspective on that literature.
Twelve years after the papers in this book were written, it remains an essential reference to research in strategy. MBAs and business people looking for the newest guru ideas should stay away---there are plenty of guru books out there to satisfy their needs for cool hip ideas ("seek chaos!").
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 1996
Format: Paperback
The depth of knowledge of the authors and the complexity
of the agenda covered is so remarkable. This book enbles
the reader (who should be well versed in strategic studies) to
get their mind around the subject in a comprehensive light.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone
in with a strategy background.
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