From Publishers Weekly
In a glib, predominantly theoretical exercise, Dartmouth Business School professor D'Aveni sets out to demonstrate how extremely large ("multiproduct, multilocation") corporations can obtain even more influence than they already possess. Drawing on world history as much as business history, D'Aveni contends that corporations need to spend more time establishing and developing their "sphere of influence," or the core market or markets that they own. By concentrating on that sphere, which should include adjacent markets, they can do two things simultaneously extend their reach and protect their core. His message is that firms will either shape this sphere or be forced to react to competitors who try to shape it for them: "As both the Roman Empire and Microsoft found, the evolution of their spheres was a process of... shifting their spherical growth strategies to circumvent the obstacles placed in their way by rival great powers." It is an intriguing argument, but it would have been more appealing if illustrated by in-depth case studies. Examples of companies that have followed these strategies, even unknowingly, are few, and the ones D'Aveni includes are unconvincing. If a reader is not in the upper ranks of a multibillion-dollar multinational company, it is difficult to translate his theory into reality. Presumably even tiny firms could follow this strategy, but they will be hard-pressed to learn how, given D'Aveni's abstract, academic approach.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This handbook on company global warfare offers tools that will help companies thrive in the face of competition. D'Aveni (strategic management, Amos Tuck Sch. of Business Administration, Dartmouth; Hyper-Competition) and his coauthors show how companies of any size can measure and map patterns of competitive pressure and interpret the meaning and strategic implications of these patterns in light of the industry's power hierarchy. He presents strategies and tactics that large corporations can use to create periods of dynamic stability, conquering chaos and shaping a world or industry in which they are the center. He also adds historical highlights to illustrate his ideas about how to douse disruptions, contain competitors, and master the art of competitive configuration, using case studies of today's airline, beer, media, PC, and automobile industries. A very detailed table of contents will lead readers to topics they are most interested in, and chapter notes at the end of the book provide additional references for further study. For most business collections. Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.