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Tracking Strategies: Toward a General Theory Hardcover – 8 Nov 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 422 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (8 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199228507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199228508
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 3 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,078,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Henry Mintzberg is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal and winner of awards from the most prestigious practitioner and academic institutions in management (Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management, Association of Management Consulting Firms, and others.) He is the author of fifteen books, including Managing, Managers Not MBAs, Strategy Safari, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning, and Mintzberg on Management. For more information on his activities, visit www.mintzberg.org and www.CoachingOurselves.com.

"Perhaps the world's premier management thinker". Tom Peters

Product Description

About the Author

Henry Mintzberg is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University, and is the author of 13 books and about 150 articles, including ones that have won the highest academic and practitioner awards (best book for the year 2000 at the Academy of Management, for The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning, and best article for the year 1975 in the Harvard Business Review, for 'The Manager's Job: Folklore and Fact'). Tom Peters has referred to Dr. Mintzberg as "Perhaps the world's premier management thinker." He has held visiting appointments at the London Business School, INSEAD, HEC Montreal, and Carnegie-Mellon. Dr. Mintzberg has been elected an Officer of the Order of Canada, and makes his home in Montreal.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the early 1970s, I began a research project that was 'intended to run for another three to five years' (Mintzberg 1972: 1). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some authors have just one big idea, and peddle it in different forms throughout their careers. Henry Mintzberg has had three big ideas, and lots of small ideas that are bigger than many other people's big ideas. This book unveils the third big idea, which is a general theory of strategy formation.

The big idea for which Mintzberg has been known the longest is the notion of emergent strategy, by contrast with a formalised, predetermined planning process. Mintzberg has never abandoned this idea, although he now has it as one end of a continuum.

Mintzberg's second big idea was the Configuration school of strategy. Simply put, look at the shape of your organisation to understand its likely strategic direction.

As part of the long research programme which led to this book, Mintzberg, with Ahlstrand and Lampel, also came up with a big-little idea, which was to review all the schools of strategy, categorising them into the ten which are found in the pages of Strategy Safari.

This book, Tracking Strategies, is the culmination of that research project. It synthesises the two previous big ideas, alongside the big-little idea, but it presents the ultimate Mintzberg conclusion.

Note that, over the years, Mintzberg has lost interest in 'what is the ideal strategy', which was at the crux of the original planning vs emergent debate. His main focus now is 'what is the process by which strategy is formed'? In coming to this conclusion, he coalesces his configuration approach into four basic types of organisation: entrepreneurial, machine, adhocracy and professional, and coalesces the Strategy Safari 10 schools into four processes, each particularly suited to one of these kinds of organisations: Visioning, Planning, Learning and Venturing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gísli Jón Kristjánsson on 3 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dear Sirs

I have to gratulate Professor Mintzberg for this "fundamental work" on strategy and strategic formulation.

His hallmark is to approach this phenomenon open minded and analyze it in a "holistic way" to study it thoroughly because he (and we) think it is important.

So "why study the nature and use of strategy formulation"? The answer has been known for a long, yes, very long time and was stated in the earliest text we know about strategy that is Sun's Tzu classic work "The Art of War".

He wrote: "War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life and death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied." (S. B. Griffith 1963, p.63).

This classic military text was written in Ancient China sometime around 500 - 400 B.C. (T. Hanzhag, Y Shibing, 2000, 1987, p 10) and must be analyzed in context of that time when a number of kingdoms relied on military strength to secure there existence. Military institutions are organizations and formulated their strategy so that they were able to respond to emerging threats and to grab opportunities against rival kingdoms.

If we replace the words "War and State" with "Competition and Organization" we can see with analog the relevance of this statement to the individuals, organizations that make our "modern business world" as well as "nations".

We can take this "pattern of thinking further" and replace these words with, The Environment and Clan. Then it reads; The Environment is a matter of vital importance to the Clan; the province of life and death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Ferrari Robino on 21 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is, no doubt, the broadest view to Strategy. It is very helpful to understand that there is not a single way to set a strategy. In the business world and also in Governments units it is still considered the deliberate, planned approach, as the only way to identify and setting stragy. Carlos FerrTracking Strategies: Toward a General Theoryari
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
intrestesting but slow-paced 7 Aug. 2011
By A&D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is slow-paced. you really need to take time to read it. It has nice illustrations and they do help to clarify some aspects of the book. otherwise, if you are doing a case study, then this book is helpful. You can see how Mintzberg approaches his case organizations and how he details his findings.
The book starts with the basics: what is strategy, how can strategy be formed and what kind of strategies there are.

I bought the kindle version of this book. The text books are really not good for kindle (unless the author writes the references on each page) because it is not so easy to go back and forth to find the references in Kindle.
2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Gestalt 21 Jan. 2008
By Luiz G. O. Barro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This work is concrete and accurated to indicate the new way to think the business in a quantic market. How to brake the old and poor strategic planning.
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