- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 2 edition (June 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118818377
- ISBN-13: 978-1118818374
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Strategy for the Corporate Level: Where to Invest, What to Cut Back and How to Grow Organisations with Multiple Divisions Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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From the Back Cover
All multi-business companies need a corporate-level strategy toprovide a clear vision for managing current business and newinvestments. Strategy for the Corporate Level addresses bothbusiness and management strategy to help executives deal with majordecisions relating to investment, acquisitions, market entry,supervision of management, and corporate centralization ofactivities.
Strategy for the Corporate Level uses three importantlogics to guide such decision-making: business logic, added valuelogic and capital markets logic. These key perspectives will enableexecutives to make more effective decisions about their businessportfolio by providing a structure to approach each challenge.
Grounded in academic literature and using real-life examplesfrom industry, Andrew Campbell brings us the latest oncorporate-level strategy. This book will help readers to understandand address their concerns about corporate-level strategy andprovide a range of perspectives to help make important strategicdecisions.
This book is for executives with strategic responsibilities, aswell as junior mangers and students looking to understandcorporate-level strategy. It is of relevance to conglomerates,large focused companies and public sector organizations.Strategy for the Corporate Level comes complete withadditional online resources, providing managers and students alikewith all the tools they need to structure and review effectivecorporate strategy in organizations.
About the Author
Andrew Campbell, BA, MA, MBA, is a Director of AshridgeStrategic Management Centre. He is programme director of GroupLevel Strategy, Making Successful Acquisitions, AdvancedOrganisation Design and Designing Operating Models. Before joiningAshridge, Andrew was a Fellow of the Centre for Business Strategyat London Business School. Prior to that, he spent six years withMcKinsey & Co. Andrew has published numerous articles with theHarvard Business Review and authored many books includingCorporate Level Strategy (Wiley, 1994) and DesigningEffective Organizations (Jossey-Bass, 2002).
Marcus Alexander, MA, MBA, is a Director of AshridgeStrategic Management Centre. Marcus has taught on a wide range ofopen and tailored programmes over the last 23 years at Ashridge.Prior to that, he had worked in Investment Banking, in strategyconsulting, at the Boston Consulting Group in several countries,and as co-founder of a business that he subsequently sold to anAdvertising group. His publications include Corporate-LevelStrategy (Wiley, 1994) as well as many articles in theHarvard Business Review, California Management Reviewand Long Range Planning.
Michael Goold, BPhil, MA, MBA, is a founding Director ofAshridge Strategic Management Centre. His research and consultinginterests and expertise are concerned with corporate strategy andstructure, especially in multi-business companies. Prior toestablishing the Centre in 1987, he was a Senior Fellow at theLondon Business School. Michael has extensive consulting experiencewith senior management. From 1971 to 1983 he was a member of theBoston Consulting Group, and in 1978 was elected a Vice Presidentand Director of the firm.
Jo Whitehead, MA, MBA, PhD, is a Director of AshridgeStrategic Management Centre. Before joining Ashridge, Jo was a VicePresident and Director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) andacted as BCG’s Director of Energy Research and Marketing. Joalso worked as an Assistant Professor at London Business School,where he taught primarily on Executive Education programmes. Joco-authored the book Think Again, with Andrew Campbell andSydney Finkelstein (Harvard Business Press, 2009). His most recentbook is What You Need to Know about Strategy (Capstone,2011).
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The book is about corporate strategy, as opposed to business-unit strategy. This is kind of a much shorter, second edition of the authors' Corporate-Level Strategy: Creating Value in the Multibusiness Company from 1994. It is a book done by consultants masquerading as academics. They have a lot of examples of real companies, but I am not impressed by the result. The key problem associated with using successful examples is that anything seems to go. I really would have liked some statistical analysis of what kind of corporate strategies that actually generate value. Or at least some serious references to the last 20 years of academic research in the area. Instead we get some BCG stuff from the 1980!
Given the dismal performance of many corporate strategies, the total absence of failed corporate strategies in the book is also quite annoying. Let me take an example. Danaher is a US conglomerate that has done spectacularly well over a long time. However, almost all US conglomerates perform pretty badly. The focus on Danaher is misplaced, unless a detailed analysis is done on exactly why this company can perform so well. However, the authors are not interested in that level of depth. And why not discuss a few of the more typical conglomerates?
One more example: The authors present an interesting matrix called the Ashridge Portfolio Display. Its axes are (1) corporate's potential to add value and (2) corporate's risk of subtracting value. So what does it mean that corporate has great potential to add value but also high risk of subtracting value? It might be possible to be good and bad at the same time, but the authors should acknowledge and discuss the issue. The same matrix was also featured in their first edition, but at that time they seemed to realise the difficulty and labelled the axes differently. I find the matrix interesting, but what I don't appreciate is the sloppy thinking.
Reading the book it is very much an old-school management book full of war stories. It is sad that the authors' vast experience has not been used in a more engaging and structured manner.
Unfortunately, there are few good books on corporate strategy, but I would recommend Repeatability: Build Enduring Businesses for a World of Constant Change instead. However, if you are a serious student of corporate strategy you might want to buy both. I have to say that the old Competing for the Future still provides a valid perspective.