Following careers in the military and in industry, Robert Grattan has devoted himself to the subject of strategy and its related theory through his research into the strategy implementation employed by business, governments and the military. Strategy process is widely studied and taught but, argues Robert Grattan, comprehensive prescriptive theories have yet to be developed. This book is based on analysis of the strategic defence review (SDR) conducted by the UK Ministry of Defence, the methodology for which has been employed in other countries. The study focuses on how the review was managed through the twin lenses of strategic business management theory and the 'Essence of Decision' theory of governmental decision-making closely associated with the John F. Kennedy School of Government in the USA. The author has been fortunate in being granted interviews with the leading figures in Government, the Civil Service and the Military who participated in the SDR process and in having gained access to information in Ministry of Defence files under Freedom of Information legislation. The result is Strategic Review, a book that provides vivid insights into what happened in a large complex organisation during a major strategic review and highlights the problems likely to be encountered during the process of formulating strategy in business, in government, in sport and any other human endeavour. It will appeal to many in business intrigued by the similarities between the issues facing business and military strategists; to those involved in public policy-making; to the defence community; and to academics and higher level students with an interest in this rich field of study.
The author illustrates the strategy formulation processes in complex organisations by focusing on the Strategic Defence Review in the UK as a case study. He offers some powerful insights into strategy formulation and vividly illustrates the connection between theory and practice. A fascinating book - and a must for all those involved in strategy formulation in both the public and private sectors.' - Nicholas O’Regan, Professor of Strategy/ Enterprise and Innovation, Bristol Business School, UK