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Competitive Strategy For Dummies

Making Everything Easier!

Richard Pettinger

Publisher: Wiley, 2009 , 372 pages

ISBN: 978-0-470-77930-9

Keywords: Strategy


Toggle Synopsis

Understand the fundamental forces of competition and gain a competitive edge.

Whether you're studying the subject, an experienced manager in need of a knowledge top-up or want to make your business more competitive, this book offers an accessible guide to the ideas, theories and principles of competitive strategy. Inside you'll find expert advice and practical real-life examples to help you assess the competitive environment, establish a competitive position and develop your strategy, enabling you to move quickly to spot and make the most of business opportunities and stay one step ahead.

  • Understand the foundations and framework of competitive strategy: get to grips with the basics, understand the competitive environment and give yourself the best possible chance of becoming and remaining competitive
  • Get competitive: understand how the forces of competition work in practice, how markets, customers and clients behave, assess finances and investments and learn how to spot the best opportunities and set yourself up to compete effectively
  • Develop a competitive strategy: develop an appropriate organisational structure, assess and manage risk effectively, allocate resources and monitor, review and evaluate your strategy to remain competitive
  • Plan for the future of your business: be aware of all the things you need to be a successful strategic business leader in today's competitive world and take advantage of outsourcing, project work, new markets and globalisation opportunities to build and maintain success

Table of Contents:

Toggle Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • About This Book
    • How This Book Is Organised
      • Part I: Laying the Foundations of Competitive Strategy
      • Part II: Being Competitive
      • Part III: Putting Strategic Management into Action
      • Part IV: Enhancing Your Competitive Strategy
      • Part V: Looking Towards Your Future
      • Part VI: The Part of Tens
    • Icons Used in This Book
    • Where to Go from Here
  • Part I: Laying the Foundations of Competitive Strategy
    1. Gearing Up to Get Competitive
      • Defining Strategy
        • Being effective
        • Clarifying every detail
        • Finding purpose and direction
      • Defining Competition
      • Surveying Different Types of Strategy and Competition
        • Grand strategy
        • Sub strategies
        • Incremental strategies
        • Radical strategies and transformation
      • Establishing Your Priorities
      • Knowing Whether You're Willing
      • Figuring Out What Matters
    2. Laying the Foundations of Strategy
      • Building on the Past and Present
        • Considering Core Positions
        • Focusing on cost leadership and advantage
        • Banking on brand leadership and advantage
      • Taking a position based on something else
      • Reinforcing Your Core Position
        • Being clear about what you will - and will not - do
        • Rules, priorities and flexibility
        • Getting specific about future priorities
      • Avoiding Sure-Fire Failures
  • Part II: Being Competitive
    1. Feeling the Effects of the Forces of Competition
      • Competing to Your Best Advantage
      • Getting to Know the Forces of Competition
        • Rivalry
        • Substitutes and alternatives
        • The threat of entry
        • The power of buyers
        • The power of suppliers
      • Acknowledging Other Competitive Forces
        • The threat of regulation
        • The threat of withdrawal
        • The collapse of a competitor
      • Developing Existing and New Markets
        • Expanding in your existing market
        • Developing new markets
      • Considering Alternatives to Competing
    2. Scanning and Analysing Your Competitive Environment
      • Exploring Your Environment
        • Considering environmental constraints
        • Analysing your environment: Environmental scanning
        • Knowing your markets
        • Considering technology and work practices
      • Noting Present and Future Concerns
      • Recognising and Dealing with Opportunities and Threats
        • Considering context
        • Pinpointing the real opportunities-and passing on the illusions
      • Assessing Environmental Factors
        • Assessing the strength of factors
        • Making progress: Drives and restraints
        • Fussing with forces: Force field analysis
        • Working within present and envisaged constraints
    3. Looking to Leadership
      • Looking at Leadership - Now and in the Future
      • Leading Strategically
        • Envisioning your vision
        • Doing the hard work
        • Considering charisma
        • Creating your identity
      • Playing Key Roles
        • Surveying a wide range of roles
        • Becoming knowledgeable
        • Cheerleading and advocating
        • Inspiring others
      • Looking to the Future
  • Part III: Putting Strategic Management into Action
    1. Assessing Your Competition
      • Assessing Industries and Sectors
        • Being aware of changes in confidence
        • Knowing your industry and sector
      • Assessing Locations
        • Factoring in prosperity
        • Examining specific locations
      • Assessing Your Competitors and Alternatives
        • Gathering information from outside sources
        • Knowing your competitors and alternatives
      • Acknowledging Barriers to Entry
        • Contemplating costs
        • Guarding your reputation
        • Responding to barriers: Resource allocation and management
      • Knowing Critical Paths and Activities: All in the Timing
        • Paying attention to time: The shortest and longest
        • Setting timetables
        • Taking a strategic approach to time
      • Refining Your Competitive Position
        • Steering and adjusting
        • Identifying and responding to significant problems
    2. Appraising Investments
      • Defining Investing
      • Getting Specific about Returns
        • Maximising returns
        • Considering the extremes
        • Noting important variables
      • Clarifying Your Investment Objectives
        • Factoring in feasibility
        • Researching rates of return
      • Staying Competitive
      • Making Investment Decisions
        • Getting personal
        • Picking your path: The make/lease/own/buy decision
        • Denying problems
        • Understanding how decisions are really made
        • Anticipating the consequences of decisions
    3. Finessing Your Finances
      • Balancing Obligations and Costs
        • Meeting your obligations
        • Managing your costs
      • Choosing Your Financial Structure
      • Assessing Financial Performance
        • Setting expectations
        • Establishing best, medium and worst outcomes
      • Defining Your Assets and Liabilities
        • Noting your assets
        • Looking at your liabilities
        • Selling assets
        • Shifting between asset and liability
      • Monitoring Costs and Revenues
        • Falling costs and rising revenues
        • Rising costs and rising revenues
        • Rising costs and steady or falling revenues
      • Making Strategic Financial Management Decisions
        • Connecting costs, income and expenditure
        • Getting more from budgets
        • Reporting activities to stakeholders
      • Assessing Returns
    4. Matching Products and Services with Your Customers and Clients
      • Observing Product and Service Lifecycles
      • Mixing It Up: Product and Service Mixes
        • The Boston Matrix
        • The Ford Model
      • Pondering Quality and Value
      • Developing New Products and Services
        • Proceeding through a process
        • Looking for results
        • Changing your mind
        • Getting emotional: Vance Packard
      • Getting to Know Your Customers and Clients
        • Identifying customer demands, needs and wants
        • Characterising your customers and clients
      • Competing for Customers and Clients
        • Working with a strength — or not
        • Growing your own customer base
    5. Putting Your Competition in Context
      • Spotting Opportunities
        • Distinguishing between opportunities and non-opportunities
        • Taking advantage of opportunities
        • Knowing your position
      • Considering Constraints
        • Avoiding constraints
        • Turning constraints to your advantage
      • Getting Comfortable with Your Competitive Environment
      • Succeeding, Failing and the Bits in Between: The Nature of Competition
        • Dealing with success
        • Learning from setbacks and improving
        • Dwelling between success and failure
  • Part IV: Enhancing Your Competitive Strategy
    1. Pulling Together a Comprehensive Strategic Plan
      • Assessing Activities
      • Monitoring Value
        • Adding value
        • Losing value
      • Noting (and Overcoming) Barriers and Blockages
        • Busting the barriers to entry
        • Breaking through blockages
      • Putting It All Together
      • Managing the Whole Endeavour
        • Allocating resources
        • Monitoring, reviewing and evaluating
    2. Defining and Establishing Organisation Structure and Culture
      • Establishing an Organisation Culture
        • Surveying common culture types
        • Figuring out what really counts in organisation culture
        • Exploring attitudes, values and behaviour
        • Seeking out sources of power and influence
        • Establishing your culture
        • Passing on attitudes and values
        • Encouraging behaviour
        • Providing opportunities
        • Rewarding performance
      • Giving Structure to Organisations
        • Considering various structures
        • Defining authority
        • Taking on responsibility
        • Creating a structure that works
        • Playing with the patterns of work
        • Working with teams and groups
    3. Doing The Right Things: Ethics
      • Taking Positions: Ethics
        • Finding your absolutes
        • Defending ethics
        • Addressing the tough stuff
      • Making a Profit — Ethically
        • Gaining a competitive edge based on your standards
        • Building trust and confidence
        • Earning loyalty
        • Developing an ethical stance
        • Handling complaints
        • Encouraging openness and honesty
    4. Wrangling with Risk
      • Knowing the Unknown: Risk and Uncertainty
        • Looking at key areas
        • Pondering the wild and wacky
        • Learning from previous events
        • Taking cues from human behaviour
        • Looking at untargeted projects and proposals
        • Defending your reputation
        • Avoiding wrong actions
        • Dealing with stress
        • Eliminating risk
      • Responding to Real Risks
        • Negligence
        • Incompetence
        • Fraud
        • Bad behaviour
        • Product and service problems
        • Security issues
        • Accidents and injuries
        • Disasters
      • Getting Everyone Involved in Risk Management
        • Creating a full understanding of risk
        • Assessing risk — actively and constantly
  • Part V: Looking Towards Your Future
    1. Venturing Into Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers
      • Going into Strategic Ventures
      • Lining Up Resources and Finance
      • Approaching Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers
        • Figuring out why
        • Understanding your competitive drives
      • Securing Other Critical Resources
        • Leadership
        • Contingencies
    2. Getting the Big Picture: Globalisation
      • Going Global
        • Preparing to expand
        • Acquiring global finance and resources
        • Acquiring global expertise
        • Considering the role of technology
        • Outsourcing global expansion
      • Applying Global Competitive and Strategic Principles
    3. Pointing Your Company Towards the Future
      • Figuring Out What Your Future Holds
        • Building on present pressures and concerns
        • Defining growth for yourself
      • Establishing Your Future Strategy
        • Planning for growth and expansion
        • Planning for other things
      • Seeing Where Your Opportunities Lie
        • Taking advantage
        • Surveying new and emerging markets and activities
        • Gaining entry into new markets and locations
  • Part VI: The Part of Tens
    1. Ten (Or So) Great Books on Competitive Strategy in Action
      • Maverick
      • Ryanair
      • Competitive Strategy
      • Management Stripped Bare
      • Dot.Bomb
      • Investment Appraisal
      • The Eddie Stobart Story
      • Be My Guest
      • The Rise and Fall of Marks & Spencer
      • Green, Inc
      • Beyond the Deal
    2. Ten (Or So) Questions to Ask About Any Corporate Investment
      1. Why?
      • When?
      • Where?
      • How?
      • What Returns Are Available?
      • What Returns Are Really Available?
      • What Can Go Wrong?
      • What Can Really Go Wrong?
      • What's My Next Best Alternative?
      • What's My Exit Strategy?
      • Do We Want to Invest?
      • What Next?
    3. Ten Tips on Mergers and Acquisitions
      • Clear Your Mind
      • Assess the Target
      • Weigh Assets and Liabilities
      • Set a Price
      • Identify What You're Really Paying For
      • Know Why You Want the Deal
      • Consider Longevity
      • Add - and Subtract — from Your Business
      • Be Realistic
      • Let Go
    4. Ten (Or So) Top Ways to Manage Risk
      • Double-Check Yourself
      • Play a Constant Game of 'What If'
      • Monitor Money
      • Regard Your Reputation
      • Keep Things Honest
      • Set Standards
      • Assume the Worst
      • Challenge Prevailing Risk Assumptions and Analysis Approaches
      • Counterattack Violence
      • Say No to Negligence
      • Be Attentive and Alert


Competitive Strategy For Dummies

by Roland Buresund last modified 2015-12-14 20:51

Rating: ******** (Very good)

Well, this really has the wrong title, as it is very far from a "Dummies" book! In fact, it is an extremely good book on strategy and the practical aspects of it (with a lot of theory thrown-in where approriate).

OK, it doesn't reach Grant's class, but it is in fact not very far from it. Absolutely recommended reading. Maybe not as an introduction, but more as an advanced primer.

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