This is the complete version (it includes the cases) of the latest edition of Robert M. Grant classic "contemporary strategy analysis". The book itself is widely adopted and need little introduction here from me, let's say that it is translated into several languages and it is regarded as one of the best textbook on the subject. the cases included add a "plus" to an already outstanding work. The book itself is comprehensive, thoughtful, clever and never banal. Many factes of corporate strategy are analyzed and faced with insight and real-life lessons and example. the tools described are useful and clear and the graphic outline is clear. As a plus it is well written and cover extensively each topics so one can pick up also selected chapters and be satisfied with Grant's analysis of specific topics.
Needed this book for Strategic Analysis module at Exeter. Very good book, provides all the basic concepts of strategy in an easy-to-read format and clear layout. In each chapter, the author backs up points with real life examples ranging from Honda's production lines to Sega's differentiation strategy etc - this is very useful because many university exam questions require you to link the theory to practical business and to provide examples.
Another thing is there is a little leaflet inside the fist page with the book's website address, where you can access Chapter summary videos which are pretty helpful.
If I am going to be REALLY picky, the only (minor) negative point I can think of is that sometimes the spellings are incorrect (occasionally 's' missing of the end of words etc) but it is still worthy of 5 stars.
This is a tomb of a book which offers an excellent overview of the theory of strategy, adapted for modern business and is richly textured with practical examples to explain context. The topics start with the role, history and relevance of strategy today. This background is invaluable as a clear reminder as to the importance of strategy, that it is not an indulgence, but a necessity (whether formal or not) in every business.
The latest publication of the book is 2010 and supersedes multiple editions prior, giving it a sound pedigree of substance and at the same time the contents are relevant and fresh today. The areas of particular interest to me were that of: Analysing industry profitability; Shareholder versus stakeholder interests; Linking profit to Enterprise Value; Applying Discounted Cash Flow Analysis to Valuing Companies and Practicing Performance Analysis. I gave some thought to the practical application of the concepts of Duel Strategies and Volatility in Low Growth. Needless to say, each reader will find their own preferences, as there are many topics discussed at length.
Despite being familiar (like many others) with Michael Porter's model to do Industry Analysis, I found that the author was able to add enough detail and insight to make the context he provided, prove valuable and interesting to me. The book is well endowed with citations that make up an impressive bibliography of sources that are very useful as well as absorbing. Coupling this, with the endless references to case studies and events, makes the book a worthwhile read.
If I have two minor criticisms of the book, they are firstly that towards the end it did indulge in a fair amount of jargon. This did at times detract from its easy reading style that pervades the first three quarters of the book. Maybe this is symptomatic of writing many subsequent editions. (I am not sure)
One example of the jargon used, "These ideas are components of what has been termed organizational identity--a collective understanding of what is presumed core, distinctive, and enduring about the character of an organization. A strong consensus around organizational identity provides a powerful basis for coordinated action that permits flexibility and responsiveness to be reconciled with continuity and stability." As I say, only the very later stages of the book become satiated with narrative like this and is not in my opinion a style used throughout the first three quarters of the book. This may not be a problem for some readers well versed in the topics and strategy speak.
Secondly, I am always looking for texts on the effects of strategy on Corporate Governance in general and Risk Management in particular. While I did not find the book entirely vacuous on this, I did find that one had to draw a lot of the parallels oneself. Despite this, it still remains a helpful purchase for those interested in refreshing their knowledge or gaining a structure of strategy theory.
In the current times of global economic crisis, I found this book useful to take me back to basics. It helped me to regain context, to make sense of and integrate my own paradigms and prejudices that have infiltrated in recent times. By challenging my strategy tools of choice, it is comforting to know that most remain robust and relevant, yet I am now reminded that I must remain diligent in keeping up to date as environments relentlessly change. This book helped me do this and consequently I recommend it. It is pricy, yet practical, informative and interesting.
This is one of the best books on strategy I have ever read. Robert Grant has an engaging writing style quite unlike conventional textbooks. The book is liberally peppered with interesting and relevant case studies to illustrate his, many, good points. I'm studying MSc Quality Management and bought this book to support the module on Operations Management and Strategy. This book is full of rich pickings. Whilst there is a newer edition available, it is far more expensive and I found this book to be more than adequate. It was actually recommended to me by a colleague who had completed his MBA 15 years ago - this is one of the few books he still refers to since graduation, albeit he worked with a very early edition.