Why <i>Competitive Strategy</i> succeeds – and with whom<sup>1</sup>

J.-C. Spender and Jeroen Kraaijenbrink

in Competition, Competitive Advantage, and Clusters

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199578030
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724923 | DOI:
Why Competitive Strategy succeeds – and with whom1

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This chapter poses the question why the book Competitive Strategy had such a huge impact and was so widely embraced by managers, policy makers, consultants, and strategy teachers, although at the same time was often criticized for its apparent shortcomings by strategy theorists. The chapter considers the intellectual context and sources behind the book and probe explanations of its impact. It gets into the history of the industrial organization (IO) movement and its associated methodological issues and disputes. Through an examination of IO's relationship to contemporary business, it is shown that Competitive Strategy's appeal to practitioners has little to do with the narrow logic of homo economicus or positivist notions of theoretical rigor. It is a framework to help strategists know what they should take into account as constraints on their options, so as to arrive at the ‘managerial choices’ their situation calls for.

Keywords: Michael Porter; competitive strategy; industrial organization

Chapter.  10406 words. 

Subjects: Business Strategy

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