Friday, March 5, 2010

Strategic Management by Charles Hill and Gareth Jones

Strategic Management an Integrated Approach by Charles W.L. Hill and Gareth R. Jones, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008

Strategic Management, an Integrated Approach, always will hold a special place in my heart because it is most likely the last text book I will ever read.

That's right. Having finished this book, I finished the last of my reading assignments for my MBA.

With that in mind, I will try to keep this review unbiased.

I really liked this book.

It starts with the broad premise that there are two strategies a company can pursue to maximize shareholder profits: Price leadership (cost cutting) or product differentiation.

Cost cutting is the process in which a firm focuses on strategies that lower cost either through process innovation, supplier discounts, vertical integration, economies of scale and much more.

Product differentiation is the process in which a firm focuses on strategies that minimized the elasticity of its products and make them more desirable to customers through innovation, branding, performance and much more.

Obviously, I didn't get this far into my MBA program without knowing what these two strategies were, but this text provided concrete examples that clearly illustrated examples to bolster each strategy as well as decisions a company should take to decide which is best for it.

The text is sprinkled with real world cases from interesting companies, and has one running case on Dell Computer which extends through each chapter.

I particularly enjoyed the text's explanation of Six Sigma, vertical integration, horizontal integration, divesting and calculating the value and cost of a new customer.
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