Kenneth Andrews (1916-2005)
Harvard Business School professor (pictured right) who wrote a hugely influential corporate strategy textbook
The Concept of Corporate Strategy (1971)
Corporate strategy involves:
Setting aims for the organization’s owners (shareholders in a company), employees, customers and local
Analyzing the organization’s
- external opportunities and threats (favourable and unfavourable changes in competition and customer
- internal strengths and weaknesses.
An organization should do what it does better than competitors (“distinctive
Choosing the right strategy
The possibilities are:
1. Low growth strategies
- selling or cutting back existing businesses.
- focusing on a particular type of customer (market segment).
2. High growth
- vertical integration (buying a supplier or retailer).
- diversification (going into new businesses).
Evaluating the chosen strategy
Key questions in evaluating strategy are:
1. Is it identifiable, simple
2. Does it exploit market
opportunities at home and abroad?
3. Does it use present and future distinctive competences?
4. Are its major policies
consistent with one another?
5. Is it ethical, helpful to
society and consistent with employees’ needs and values?
6. Does it motivate employees?
7. Does it satisfy customers’
8. Is the risk involved
Employees make a strategy work, so it must inspire them.
Strategic management is also more of an art than a science, so it must rely on
intuition as well as the strategic analysis outlined above.
Key quotes on
Strategy is a human construction; it must in the long run be responsive to human needs.
Opportunism without competence is a path to fairyland.
Key quote on core
The distinctive competence of an organization is more than what it can do; it is what it can do particularly
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Purpose, especially if considered worth accomplishing, is the most powerful incentive to accomplishment.