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

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

How do firms behave? Why are firms different? What are the functions of the headquarters unit in a multibusiness firm? What determines success or failure in international competition? In Fundamental Issues in Strategy, twenty-two prominent scholars collectively address these four fundamental questions to examine strategic management's intellectual roots and to strengthen the field's theoretical foundations. They take a comprehensive look at the "intellectual backbone" of the field of strategy, raising important issues that demand further research. The result is a compelling reexamination of strategic management that urges scholars to refocus their efforts now - and sets a research agenda for the coming decade. The editors, Richard P. Rumelt, Dan E. Schendel, and David J. Teece, organized this project specifically to encourage focus on fundamental questions of strategy; call for a significant increase in the sophistication, rigor, and scholarly quality of strategy research; demonstrate a fruitful interaction between strategy researchers and discipline-based scholars; and show the tremendous potential of the intersection of basic disciplines and strategy for gaining new insights and improving management practice and organizational performance. Indeed, by focusing on fundamental questions, the contributors reveal that disciplines like economics, organizational sociology, and political science as well as research on strategic management can - and should - shed new light on this important field. Fundamental Issues in Strategy is the product of a conference jointly sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation through its consortium "Competitiveness and Cooperation", The John M. OlinFoundation, UCLA Center for International Business Education and Research, and the Strategic Management Society. It frames a complete and original statement about the future of strategic management - and establishes a foundation for future growth and development in the field of strategy.

About the Author

David J. Teece is Professor of Business Administration and Director of the Institute of Management, Innovation, and Organization at the University of California at Berkeley. Previous positions have included Director, Center for Research in Management (CRM), University of California at Berkeley, and
Visiting Fellow at St Catherine's College, Oxford. In 1998 he presented the Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies at Oxford and in 1999 was awarded the Andersen Consulting Award.
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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: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,683,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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: Paperback
This is a collected volume of presentations held 1990 by leading academics in the field of strategic management. It was a very good state of the academic field when the book was published in 1994. It was never supposed to be read by practitioners. Of course, the book is no longer a cutting edge description of the field. Still there might be a number of useful ideas in this book for doctoral students or students of management history. For those categories still four stars. For all others, this is a one star book.
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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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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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