Basic Strategy in Context centres on real-world firms andmanagers by giving each chapter s cases a higher weighting inimportance and explanation than is normal. Given this emphasis onreal-world as opposed to theoretical treatment the book enables thesolving of practical business problems like those below. Thisemphasis on reality is cemented by the book s treatment ofdiversity as being the norm highlighted through European businesscases from different countries. Giving example answersand links from case to theory rams home further the expectedusefulness of the book to students about to enter industry. Oftentheory and cases are treated as different and separated topics; webelieve that our integrated didactic treatment is quite unique.Finally we use the basic theories of strategy and then show howthese mainly simple concepts can be extended to solve trickybusiness problems anywhere in any industry.
Here is a sample of specific practical problems to which thisbook can show solutions:
Why are resources important and how are they leveraged? Usingthe case of a British failure (Railtrack) we show the fatalconsequences of neglecting existing resources, and then in acompletely different country and industry (Carlo Gavazzi Space inItaly) how resources can be utilised from outside the firm toachieve leverage.
Given our emphasis on diversity we highlight successful changein a foreign and inflexible environment (Japan and Carlos Ghosn).But can change be planned? Sometimes events or luck sabotage thebest intentions as shown in the Samsung case.
The book differentiates itself from the competition in fourways: * Cases form the highlight of the book. Taking European and someinternational cases as the starting point, the objective is to linkthemes or topics to a description of their effect on the firm. Thelinkage will occur at the relevant point in the case, not in aseparate section or in another book. The author team has usedseveral longitudinal cases spread over a 15-20 year period. Thelongitudinal cases are supported by some new, non-longitudinalcases selected from award winning cases associated with the LRPJournal and the Gate2Growth Academic Network. We feel such anemphasis on cases is a novel feature. * The theory is explained using a range of modern didacticmethods not usually found in competitive offerings. Examplesinclude colour coded and highlighted links from the theory to thecase, questions inside each theory section with model answers andunanswered questions to test the student s grasp of theconcepts. * The book features a mixture of cases from short specific toacademically challenging ones. Too often, superficial cases areplaced at the end of chapters in strategy theory books. They arepicked to emphasize the topics of the preceding chapters. Theresult is spoon-feeding, with little need or motivation to provokeindividual thought or learning. The cases in this book arecomprehensive, approximately 20 pages in length, with amplequantitative and qualitative data, thus forcing a modicum of effortfrom the student. Shorter cases are also included for ease ofunderstanding and instructor flexibility. * Another differentiating feature is the emphasis on diversityhence the use of European as opposed to US based cases.
"Thomson and Baden-Fuller have crafted a highly original andpractical strategy textbook covering a wide range of strategicissues, debates, and frameworks. Their work contains a thoroughoverview of the strategy field, appealing cases of European firmssuch as Abrakebabra and Your cup of tea, as well as insightfultreatises on the Brent Spar ignominy and the weapon industry. Theclever combination of mini-cases, theory, questions andfull-fledged cases, and a clear overall structure ensure thatstudents obtain a representative image of strategy as it plays outin the 21st century." Paul W.L. Vlaar, Associate Professor, Vrije UniversiteitAmsterdam, Faculty of Economics and Business Management