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Strategic Supremacy: How Industry Leaders Create Growth, Wealth, and Power through Spheres of Influence Hardcover – December 4, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st edition (December 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684871807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684871806
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,037,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book take the "core philosophy" one step further. You gotta be a strategy geek though to really understand it.
If the wonderful book BUILT TO LAST taught you how to work from the core, then this book teaches you how to protect your core.
This book is revoultinary because the author really sees things in a new way.
This book has helpt me understand me and my competitors. I understand what the core of my business is, and my competitors, the diffrence comes how we interact and work from the core proves how complex business strategy really is. This book helps you undertand it!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book was incredibly readable. At times, even witty. It provides a big picture context but, at the same time, puts business trends and examples in a context so you can see whether they are really applicable to your company or situation. As someone who runs a startup, too much theory can bog me down so I liked that each chapter also included practical applications and checklists like, for example, ways to rethink your portfolio or to reduce your vulnerability. I guess my overall take is that Strategic Supremacy has an agenda that is bigger than just promoting a new, one-size-fits-all business strategy. It makes it very clear how defined and yet dynamic any company has to be right now - and it provides a very practical template for breaking away from traditional thinking and looking at my business and my industry in a new way.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "sonnenfeld" on December 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Transcends the simplistic Chicken Little strategic approaches that recommend you blow yourself up to save yourself in the face of change and chaos. Rather than assuming the sky is falling, D'Aveni reveals, through wisely analyzed cross-industry and longitudinal studies, how the underlying character of firms can lead to startlingly successful and varied approaches for marketplace triumphs.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld,
Associate Dean, Yale School of Management,
& Founder and CEO, The Chief Executive Leadership Institute, "The CEO College"
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