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Product Details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: G. Richard Shell Consulting (February 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615456537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615456539
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Being smart and successful in business is possible only for those armed with the "kill or be killed" mentality. Competition is inevitable, says author Shell, a professor at the Wharton School, but in a cutthroat world that rewards street smarts and cunning—along with good connections and unlimited funds—conquering business enemies is the necessary ingredient for true success. Shell explains "everything-you-wanted-to-learn-in-business-or-law-school-but-didn't": if you want to be a rule maker, then you must know the rules, which include be bold, don't sleep and be prepared to settle. It's not always pretty and it's certainly never fair, he says, but the sooner one accepts the reality of this cold, hard business world, the sooner the competition will seem less threatening if not entirely inconsequential. Drawing on a well-researched laundry list of business-related case studies, personality profiles and history lessons that show how—and how not—to win in the game of business, Shell makes a good case of why nice guys rarely finish first (and manages to bring in everyone and everything from Coke and Pepsi to Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Wal-Mart, Pennzoil, Texaco and many, many others). Men and women who go to law and business school to learn how the system works so they can make the world a better place are fooling themselves and are likely not headed for super-success. Understanding how people, companies and laws really work—what Shell refers to as "sophistication in litigation"—is what separates the winners from the losers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In the competitive high-stakes game of big business, it is no secret that companies work the legislative and legal systems to gain advantage in the marketplace. It's called competitive legal strategy, by which some companies make the rules and others are forced to operate within restrictive boundaries that add cost and inconvenience to entering a given market. Rather than pass judgment on these tactics, Shell exposes these realities in order to give business owners and managers the legal knowledge to make better, more profitable strategic decisions. Citing numerous real-world cases, he examines contracts, lawsuits, government legislation and lobbying, patents, copyrights, and other intellectual-property issues such as music downloading. Famous rivalries such as those between Henry Ford and the early automobile consortium, the railroads and the trucking industry, the cola wars, and the case against Microsoft are examined. Without getting too technical, Shell shows how companies that utilize smart legal strategies early and pick their fights wisely are the ones that come out ahead. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

G. Richard Shell is the Thomas Gerrity Professor of Legal Studies, Business Ethics, and Management at the Wharton School of Business. His latest book, Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success (Penguin/Portfolio 2013), was named Best Business Book of the Year for 2013 by one of the largest business booksellers in the United States, 800CEOREAD. His earlier works include the award-winning Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People (2006) and The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas (2007)(with Mario Moussa). He is Director of the Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop and the Wharton Strategic Persuasion Workshop. He has taught thousands of students and executives, including everyone from Navy SEALs and Fortune 500 CEOs to FBI hostage negotiators, hospital nurses, and public school teachers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Cross on September 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There are many wise lessons in this book. In some ways, it has a zen or eastern quality in that it doesn't shy away from the hard reality of business. Instead of moralizing (so common today in the wake of the Enron, Worldcom messes) it says, this is the way it is, and this is how you can prosper in this type of an environment. It is like a survival book for a jungle fighter in the middle of a guerrilla war. Very useful and practical.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew C. on July 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Shell has written an excellent book that opened my eyes regarding the central role legal strategies have played - and will continue to play - in American business. Indeed, the reality is that business is conducted in an environment with many constraints that need to be considered. Those business leaders treating legal questions in an ad hoc fashion or tactically may find that they have been out maneuvered by a competitor and left with few, or at least painfully expensive, options.

I especially appreciated Dr. Shell's writing style that illustrated the heart of the principles of law involved without bogging down in difficult legal language.

I believe this book should be required reading for emerging MBA students and new managers alike.

If you're not using your legal team as an active advisor to your business management group, you may revise that after reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ludovic Meilhac on August 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Richard Shell describes in a very organized and systematic way how legal moves can impact the firm's profitability for the short and long term. Legal is viewed as a key component of a strategy. Numerous relevant examples are provided by the author to demonstrate "law making in action". The perfect balance between theory and concrete examples contributes greatly to the clarity of the book.

Excellent book, so good that I had to read it twice.
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