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Business Strategy


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Table of Contents

1: Introduction to Strategic Work, Language, and Value 2: Strategic Analysis - Consulting Tools 3: Strategic Analysis - Academic Models 4: Building Language and the Business Model 5: Persuading Supporters 6: The Business Strategist's World Appendix A - On Case Writing and Teaching Appendix B - Teaching from This Book Appendix C - Some Strategy Texts and Their Implicit Theory Appendix D - Further Reading

About the Author

J.-C. Spender trained initially as a nuclear engineer, and worked for Rolls-Royce & Associates, IBM, and as a merchant banker. He completed his PhD in Strategic Management at the Manchester Business School, which won the 1980 Academy of Management AT Kearney Prize. This was later published as Industry Recipes (Blackwell 1989). After being on the faculty at various universities including the Cass School, York University (Toronto), UCLA, University of Glasgow, and Rutgers, J.-C. Spender retired in 2003 as Dean of the School of Technology & Business at SUNY/FIT. He is now Visiting Professor at ESADE, Universitat Ramon Llull, and in addition holds visiting positions at Lund University School of Economics and Management, Cranfield School of Management, Open University Business School, University Campus Suffolk, and International School of Management (Paris).


In this fascinating book, Spender integrates decades of study of uncertainty, knowledge (and lack of it), entrepreneurship, industry recipes, language, and judgment into mainstream strategic analysis. The result a brilliant reinterpretation of strategy tools and uncertain situations. Nurtured on economic rationality, I found this a major step towards closing the gap between managerial practice and strategic theorizing. * Robert M. Grant, University of Bocconi *
For too long, strategy and entrepreneurship have been different fields. Now Spender shows entrepreneurship not founding firms but creating value under uncertainty to be the nub of the strategizing process, irrevocably linking them. The result is important for scholars and practitioners alike. Strategy now embraces entrepreneurship as the starting point of any explanation of superior firm performance. * Jay B. Barney, University of Utah *
Business managers usually say more than they intend, so employees often interpret strategies differently and go in different directions. Spender re-examines strategizing under conditions of uncertainty, showing entrepreneurs construct special language to shape what others note and act on. He provides managers and consultants with a structured practice for value-creation. * Andrew H. Van de Ven, University of Minnesota *
Fascinating much to be learnt from the books exposition and content. Taking Knightian uncertainty seriously, Spenders subjectivist approach is wholly novel. The entire positivist strategy oeuvres relevance to managerial practice (and much else besides) is questioned. * Stewart Clegg, UTS Business School *
Yes! Managerial rhetoric should be central to our teaching. * Peter Lorange, Lorange Institute of Business *

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