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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential guide to senior management's biggest challenge
When senior managers and executives discuss strategy, the results are often unhelpful or unenlightening. This is bad enough in a single company, but in a merger or formal partnership it can quickly result in energy sapping discussions which lead nowhere.
One of the main reasons is that there are so many deeply held views of what strategy is.
If you are a senior...
Published on 25 Feb 2003 by Martin Turner

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as expected
I bought this books as I had read Henry Mintzberg's book Managers not MBAs" and liked his style a lot. In this book the authors try to present an overview and critique all the different schools of Strategy classified into 10 different schools. I did not find the book too insightful - for example I did not find the distinction between the so called design school and...
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Ravikumar Cherubala


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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest books on strategic thinking and models, 1 Jun 2008
By 
Philip Jones (Wansford, England) - See all my reviews
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This book should be essential reading for anybody involved in strategy. It clearly breaks out ten diffent models of how strategy is thought about and managed. These 10 models explain why so often one person's view of what is the right way to go about thinking and planning strategy will differ from another person's view: they are coming from different camps or schools, with different beliefs and different understandings of how strategy should be developed, thought about, evolve and managed.

Just being clear how the "Strategy formulation as a process of conception" school differs from "Strategy formulation as a formal process" school will help many readers. Then understanding startegy as an analytical process, startegy as a visionary process, strategy as a mental process, etc., will further help you to understand what is going on around you, how others are thinking and how you can think in their way. This is a book I wish I had read 10 years ago when it first came out. I continuously refer back to it and it will remain useful for a very long time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stimulating intro to 10 different strategic approaches, 22 Sep 2005
The most valuable characteristic of this book is the concise but nevertheless stimulating way it describes and compares 10 overly different strategic approaches. Its reading can be very valuable to kick-off a more complete investigation of each of these "strategy schools". This book on its own, however, is not sufficient to really use any of these strategic approaches, as it mainly describe their "context" or "philosophy" and not their detailed application.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its binding, 22 Sep 1999
Great book. I've spent two weeks wading through ghastly tomes about strategy and at last here is a book that makes sense of it all and gives me some ideas that might be of some practical use. Unfortunately though, the book was bound so badly that the pages fell out as I read them - a poor publishing strategy if ever there was one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “Lions and tigers and bears....Oh my!”, 25 Feb 2006
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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Mintzberg, Ahlstrand, and Lampel are knowledgeable and congenial tour guides for those who have not as yet explored “the wilds of strategic management.” Such expert assistance is especially valuable, given the the fact that -- the last time I checked -- Amazon and its online partner Borders sell more than 53,000 different books on the general subject of strategy. Oh my! Following an apt quotation from A.A. Milne’s introduction to Winnie-the-Pooh, the authors dedicate their book to those “who are more interested in open fields than closed cages.” They carefully organize their material within 12 chapters which begin with “And Over Here, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Strategic Management Beast” and conclude with “Hang On, Ladies and Gentlemen, You Have Yet to Meet the Whole Beast.” The focus of the authors’ lively as well as enlightening narrative is on ten different “schools” of strategy formation:
Three are Prescriptive:
Design as a process of conception
Planning as a formal process
Positioning as an analytical process
Six are Descriptive:
Entrepreneurial as a visionary process
Cognitive as a mental process
Learning as an emergent process
Power as a process of negotiation
Cultural as a collective process
Environmental as a reactive process
With regard to the last school, “We call it configuration. People in this school are seeking to be integrative, cluster the various elements of our beast -- the strategy-making process, the content of strategies, organizational structures and their contexts -- into distinct stages or episodes, for example, of entrepreneurial growth or stable maturity, sometimes sequenced over time to describe the life cycles of organizations.” The authors devote a separate chapter to each of these ten “schools” and it remains for each reader to determine which school offers the most relevant guidance to the formulation of an appropriate strategy. The authors acknowledge that it can be argued that the last school, one which views strategy formation as a process of transformation, “really combines the others.” Read the book and then decide for yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts to the chase, 12 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (Paperback)
This is a perfect read for the student of strategy; Mintzberg and co cut through the counter less schools and books on the subject to give a clear and concise overview with some thoughtful insights - a superb investment
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5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the jungle, 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (Paperback)
Mintzberg introduces the process of strategy formation as ten different schools and then analyzes the pros and cons of each school. Although the topic is very large, he manages to give a good coverage of each elemental school and the relations between them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Summary, 23 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (Paperback)
A solid, historical journey which provides a broader context to the often messy subject of strategic management. Challenges traditionally held viewpoints, which still form part of the core of an MBA strategy syllabus. Will help the MBA student think outside of the 'tool kits' that they have been instructed to use, by suggesting fallacies in the way these tool kits attempt to decipher the present, and construct options for the future. An invaluable resource to truly encourage broader, self questioning thinking.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 7 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (Paperback)
The book looks like a new one, but I waited for a long time to get it, I think more than two weeks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice, 24 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (Paperback)
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the secrets of strategy, and to all students. I personally love the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Sep 2012
By 
Peter Gerlach "Peter Gerlach" (Baden Württemberg) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (Paperback)
This book is written for professionals and academics. It is full of practical insight and high as well as low level stuff. Just fabulous. Excellent book.
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