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on 12 April 2017
Perfect, Thank you!
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on 19 March 2017
Please change the status of this product, since I have already received it!
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on 4 March 2017
The book on the appropriate condition as mentioned
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VINE VOICEon 7 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am currently doing the CIM professional diploma and one of the modules is on planning and strategy. I have not studied a lot in this area before and was looking for a book that would not only explain the theory but provide practical examples on the application of theory. This book was exactly what I wanted.

Various theories are explained and compared and real-world examples are given which make the topics discussed very accessible and memorable. Self-study questions are provided to help you review what you've learned.

One of the really nice featuers of this book is that it is supplemented by an interactive e-book. A unique code is included with the book and this gives you access to the online experience. It's very easy to sign up and well worth doing. One of my favourite features is the 'flash cards'. You're presented with a number of cards with the name of a theory on the front - click on them and you'll get the definition. A really nice revision feature.

The range of topics covered is comprehensive ... in brief they are:
The concept of strategy
The tools of strategy analysis
Business strategy and the quest for competitive advantage
Corporate strategy
24 case studies - these range from 'brands' as diverse as Madonna, Facebook and Manchester United.

Highly recommended for anyone who neesd a firm foundation in the study and application of strategy.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Contemporary Strategy Analysis is a well-written text book composed of theory, case studies and analysis, written from the Design School of Strategy perspective.

The case studies vary from the breezy and general, such as the analysis of HM The Queen and Lady Gaga, to highly technical and detailed, such as the 18 page discussion of Eastman Kodak's Quest for a Digital Future. This is a judicious method, since the lessons learned from the 'Strategy Capsule' studies, as the short studies are termed, and the full-blown chapter-length case studies are quite different. Readers may be particularly interested in the 'Manchester United: Preparing for life without Ferguson' section, as there is now an opportunity to directly compare the intended strategy, as set out here, with the club's strategic performance with Ferguson gone.

The overall strategic approach of this book could be described as 'SWOT-plus'. The author explains early on the relationship of his approach to the SWOT model, though he points out the fundamental weaknesses of SWOT and demonstrates effectively why a more nuanced approach is necessary, which can take account of something being both a strength (Alex Ferguson's skill as a coach) and a threat (the fact that he was nearing retirement). Nonetheless, the book's fundamental perspective is finding a strategic fit between the company and its environment, and therefore fits into what Mintzberg terms (and the book acknowledges to be) the Design School.

There is a brief discussion of the Design and the Emergent Schools, but author Robert M. Grant does not seem to take into account the other schools described by Mintzberg in Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management, and, indeed, the most recent references to Mintzberg's work are from the 1970s.

Overall this is a very good and helpful book, lucidly written and well structured for those looking for a particular strategy area or case study. My only quibble is that the chapter end-notes are not supplemented with a unified bibliography at the end.
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have mixed feelings about this!

The reference is to "C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre: c'est de la folie" ("It is magnificent, but it is not war: it is madness"), the comment of Marshal Canrobert on the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava. That might also apply here.

This is a massive, well-researched and thorough tome. The first section offers a good overview of various strategy concepts - sources of competitive advantage, analysis, vertical and horizontal integration, value chain analysis and so on. The second section offers a good selection of twenty four up to date case studies with a broad range and coverage. The standard is very good - it's intelligent, well organised and thought out, and well written. The author clearly brings insight to the task of presenting this rather than just trotting out standard models. For example, he debunks the "SWOT" model (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), pointing out that this doesn't really add much you wouldn't get from just thinking about internal and external factors. That's a breath of fresh air, as is the writing overall. In this genre, this is a very good book.

My reservation is that despite nods to the role of creativity, this is necessarily a reductionist view of the world. It assumes that everything can be analysed to determine key factors that cause it, and that those key factors can then be understood and applied elsewhere. I'm not so sure. Other perspectives exist - from Feyerbrand's The Tyranny of Science through Iain McGilchrist's The Master and His Emissary to the Demna translation of Sun Tzu The Art of War and even Borges and Lao Tze. I suspect this kind of analytic approach has greater limitations than we generally recognise, in a kind of "Texas Barn Shooting" kind of way. Rationalization is applied to those businesses which are known because they have succeeded at some point, and we believe we can determine the cause of success or subsequent failure. But in the end you can't be sure it's any more than post hoc rationalization - you can't tell if other factors made a difference, and if you try to apply the ideas elsewhere and they don't work, you can't tell whether it's your analysis that's the problem, or that the context was different. And if you can't replicate it, it's not science (with a nod to Karl Popper there).

Machiavelli once suggested that about 50% of success is down to chance, and I've yet to see anything that improves on that estimate. As Sun Tzu says, "victory cannot be determined in advance".

Of its type this is good, but in the end I'm not sure this kind of detailed, analytic and academic approach is as useful as it seems. Ultimately, success (in any field) is a performance art. Frank Zappa once said "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" - the same might well apply to business.

It's a solid or even excellent book, in its own terms. I just think those terms have limitations!
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on 18 November 2000
I studied this book as part of the Strategy module for my MBA and found it comprehensive, thorough and relatively easy to read and digest.
There are many good strategy books that provide excellent insight into key parts of strategy, this one gives a solid grounding across all the disciplines (including work by Porter, Ansoff, Hamel & Prahalad, Ohmae, Chandler, BCG, McKinsey etc.).
Highly recommended for strategy students and executives looking to build a thorough and credible knowledge of the subject.
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on 21 May 2004
I am an undergraduate degree level student (Business Studies).
"Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Concepts, Techniques, Applications" is an excellent book. I used it both in my first and final year. I really gets to grips with the key issues and provides a lot of depth. Not too difficult to read and if this is in a list of books for you to get, and you have to choose one, I definately recommend this one.
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on 5 September 2003
I don't write alot of reviews but this one compelled me to share my thougths becuase it was so good. Recently completing my MBA, I read a few strategy books but put them all down after I bought this one. This is a clearly written, well-crafted book that elequently combines theory with real-world examples in an easy to understand and compelling way. Really good!
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on 28 October 2014
It took a while to come but it useful and brand new
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