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How Industries Evolve: Principles for Achieving and Sustaining Superior Performance Hardcover – November 14, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

McGahan has worked closely with Michael Porter for more than a decade and is consistently identified as an up-and-comer in the strategy field.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (November 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578518407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578518401
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,437,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Fred G. Sanford on June 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Prof. McGahan (BC and HBS) has written an interesting book on how industries evolve and how a business executive can identify those trends and make $ out of it.

These are the key insights from the book,

1. 4 types of industry evolution patterns - Progressive (retail), Creative (pharma), Radical (fedex) and Intermediating (financial brokers).

2. These rules can be applied across core assets or core activities.

3. Two categories of phases of changes - [Fragementation, shakeout, maturity, declining]or [Emergence, Convergenc, Co-Existence and Dominance]

4. Her prescriptive approach to apply it to the industry,

- Identify what is your industry

- Determine Evolutionary Trajectory

- Determine nature of change - architectural/foundational

- Determine phase of change

- Apply principles of competition for each type

5. 2 kinds of tradeoffs - Leading vs. Following, Repositioning vs. Sustaining.

As you can well see these perspectives are not driven from lot of data and hard stats but more conjectures and hypothesis that are not well proven. I am not sure using this approach will help you make $ of money of these trends but it can get you tenureship at the local university.

FGS
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marcy on September 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was written by a b-school professor based on many years of research. The framework takes a little while to absorb. We read and reread the book several times. Once we "got it," though, this really made a big difference in helping us understand how our business threatened larger firms. We made much better pricing decisions after reading it.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian Waldman on December 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a book definitely worth reading. While the concepts can be second nature to someone who considers themselves a strategic thinker, the way Dr. McGahan defines the different types of competitive environments and they ways to achieve success within them is simple and yet insightful. Any business person should put this on their must read list.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book that could have been great. The book looks like a fluffy management book, but it is actually much deeper and interesting than the typical output from the Harvard Business School Press. In fact, one could argue that the book in incredibly dense and full of interesting ideas, which could have been developed further. So the reader should really have a decent awareness of strategic management as taught in a business school before attempting to read this book. However, for the thoughtful reader you will be well rewarded. If you are looking for quick fixes, you should not buy this book.

I have deducted one star because the book could have done with more actual data. The author states that it is based on ten years of research and I believe her, but unfortunately that does not really come across reading the book. Sadly, the author has not published (much/any?) of the research, which makes it impossible to understand the methodology. The author is accomplished so my guess is that she got kind of bored with the research and decided not to publish it. The book would have been much stronger had it contained more actual data.
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By John on February 27, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hate to leave a bad review, but this book truly inspired me to do so. The information in this book is dated and not applicable to anyone operating a modern diversified organization. The author appears to be writing for liberal arts professors, not experienced business people. If you want to learn the most complicated ways to describe simple things (that are not even relevant) this book is for you. I had to read it for my MBA program, and upon reflection, I think the purpose of reading this was to improve our writing ability. This is not how you write about business topics, thanks professor, point taken!
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