I was lucky because Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant was the core text book for my MBA strategy module at the Manchester Business School.
I was in Waterstones yesterday and it still looks the best of the strategy text books to me. Its big rival was Exploring Corporate Strategy but I think this is much better.
For any practising manager who wants to get a good overview of strategy and to be challenged intellectually, should look to Contemporary Strategy Analysis.
Contemporary Strategy Analysis Review
Who Is Robert Grant?
Robert M. Grant is the Eni Professor of Strategic Management at Bocconi University in Milan as well as a Visiting Fellow at Georgetown University.
And he’s British.
Robert Grant has been a leading contributor to the resource based view of strategy.
What’s Included in Contemporary Strategy Analysis?
Here is a list of chapters in Contemporary Strategy Analysis so you can see that its scope is broad.
- Chapter 1 The Concept of Strategy
- Chapter 2 Goals, Values, and Performance
- Chapter 3 Industry Analysis: The Fundamentals
- Chapter 4 Further Topics in Industry and Competitive Analysis
- Chapter 5 Analyzing Resources and Capabilities
- Chapter 6 Developing Resources and Capabilities
- Chapter 7 Organization Structure and Management Systems: The Fundamentals of Strategy
- Chapter 8 The Nature and Sources of Competitive Advantage
- Chapter 9 Cost Advantage
- Chapter 10 Differentiation Advantage
- Chapter 11 Industry Evolution and Strategic Change
- Chapter 12 Technology-based Industries and the Management of Innovation
- Chapter 13 Competitive Advantage in Mature Industries
- Chapter 14 Vertical Integration and the Scope of the Firm
- Chapter 15 Global Strategies and the Multinational Corporation
- Chapter 16 Diversification Strategy
- Chapter 17 Implementing Corporate Strategy: Managing the Multibusiness Corporation
- Chapter 18 Current Trends in Strategic Management
My Thoughts On Contemporary Strategy Analysis
I gave the game away at the start of this review when I admitted that Contemporary Strategy Analysis is my preferred strategy text book.
It’s interesting, easy to read, relevant to anyone with strategic / profit responsibility for a business and very well organised.
I like its emphasis on competitive advantage, both cost leadership and differentiation and how this is achieved through resources and capabilities. I also like the focus on mature businesses which are often overlooked in the search for the sexy, new, current stars of the business world.
The version I read I had bias towards hard strategy issues rather than the soft stuff about leadership and culture. That suits my personal preference but the impression I get from the Robert Grant video, is the latest version of Contemporary Strategy Analysis has more focus on the softer side of strategy.
It’s not a “how to prepare a strategic plan” guide. All the elements are in the book but you don’t get a step by step process. It was never intended to be that type of book.
Have You Read Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant?
If you’ve read this book, I’d like to know what you think so please leave me a comment.
Do you agree with me that it is probably the best of the strategy text books?
Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.
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