1st Edition

The Cores of Strategic Management

ISBN 9780415887007
Published July 27, 2011 by Routledge
152 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Most strategic management textbooks seem to stem from the old belief that ‘more is always better’. But in this age of data deluge, many are calling for a return to the basics. If students can master the core concepts and learn how to apply these basics, they are bound to be better equipped to approach and resolve even the most complex problems.

This book, unlike most textbooks, focuses on the core concepts of strategic management, aiming to help students understand the basic ideas of the field more clearly, rather than overloading them with new, peripherally-related information. With cases designed to help students apply their deeper understanding of the core concepts, this book will equip any student with the solid grounding in strategic management fundamentals needed to succeed in the academic and professional arena.

Table of Contents

Main topics

1. Prologue

2. What is strategy?

  1. 3Cs
  2. Strategy is about strengths
  3. Trade-off



3. External Environment Analysis

  1. Industry
  2. Five-force Analysis
  3. Switching Costs

4. Internal Environment Analysis

  1. Tangible vs. Intangible Resources
  2. Economies of Scale
  3. Vertical Integration vs. Outsourcing


Southwest Airlines

5. Business-Level Strategy

  1. Cost Strategy
  2. Vale Strategy
  3. First Mover Advantages vs. Disadvantages
  4. Recap


Starbucks Coffee

6. Corporate-Level Strategy

  1. Why Diversification?
  2. Diversification and Synergy
  3. Risks of Synergy



7. M&A, Alliances, and International Strategy

  1. M&A and Alliances
  2. International Strategy



8. Leadership and Decision Making

  1. Courage
  2. Decision Making and Biases
  3. Decision Change

9. Strategy Implementation

  1. Strategy Implementation

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Katsuhiko (Katsu) Shimizu is a Professor of Organization Theory and Strategic Management at Graduate School of Business Administration, Keio University in Japan. Previously, he served University of Texas at San Antonio for ten years. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and MBA from Tuck school at Dartmouth College. His research has been published in various top journals including Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management, and Journal of Management Studies. He is serving the editorial review boards for Academy of Management Journal of Management Studies, and Journal of International Management.


"For those who need a concise but complete treatise on strategic management, this book should be at the top of their list. It is marvelously well written and covers the most important (core) topics in strategic management. The mini-cases illustrate concepts effectively and bring them alive for the reader. The author’s experience as a major consultant and a "cutting-edge" academic allows him to span the boundaries of theory and practice, nesting the content in practice relevant discourse that is easily understandable. It is a must read for those interested in learning more about strategic management." - Michael A. Hitt, Distinguished Professor, Joe B. Foster '56 Chair in Business Leadership Department of Management Mays Business School Texas A&M University

"Many books discuss competitive strategy, but make the subject complex and inaccessible. Katsu Shimizu’s book promotes sound strategic thinking. With simple, jargon-free writing, he gives readers a systematic way to think strategically about what they are doing. The book is especially useful for managers who must cascade corporate strategies to the level of a business, department, or project, because it integrates strategy-making at different levels of an organization. By using concrete examples from many different geographies, Shimizu helps executives at all levels and in any location comprehend their strategy, explain it clearly to others, and implement it through leadership and effective execution." - Philip Anderson, INSEAD Alumni Fund Chaired Professor of Entrepreneurship

"The Cores of Strategic Management is written in a down-to-earth style, and offers a lot of useful advice for business practices. The book covers all important issues on strategic management, and is a good resource for business practitioners, undergraduate or MBA students, and anyone who is interested in learning about core ideas about strategic management." - Shige Makino, Department of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

"This is an excellent introduction to the subject of the process of strategic thinking and strategic action. The cases included were appropriate and informative." - Dennis L. Payette, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, USA