Aligning for Advantage Competitive Strategies for the Political and Social Arenas

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-04-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Aligning for Advantage argues that to build and sustain business success, companies must synchronize competitive strategies with extant strategies for social engagement and political and regulatory activism. Moreover, to be credible and realizable, these external market and nonmarket strategies need to be equally attuned with, and informed by, the internal corporate vision, values, and culture. The ability to align with and across both the market and the nonmarket is a key determinant of competitive advantage in a multipolar world economy.

The book advances a managerial process and conceptual framework for aligning a company's business objectives and market positions with its political requirements and social obligations. Strategic alignment is a pragmatic and proactive approach for modern enterprises to engage with the forces and events that impact on their business choices and actions, both at home and abroad. Companies must strive for a balanced and mutually reinforcing approach to corporate strategy, political activity, and social responsibility. In some cases alignment may mean deep, strategically embedded partnerships with governments, NGOs, or other stakeholders. In others, alignment may take the form of looser, more ad hoc collaborations with outside organizations and institutions. No matter what the approach, however, the relationship between nonmarket and market strategies should be conscious and deliberate, not accidental nor artificially constructed. Truly aligned strategies seek to reconcile and modulate the sometimes conflicting external demands that a company encounters. This is done in a way that is appropriate for the firm's geographic and market positions while at the same time leveraging the overall nonmarket strategy as a source of competitive advantage.

Author Biography

Thomas C. Lawton, Professor of Strategy and International Management, Open University Business School, UK,Jonathan P. Doh, Rammrath Chair in International Business, Villanova School of Business, USA,Tazeeb Rajwani, Lecturer in Strategic Management, Cranfield School of Management, UK

Thomas C. Lawton is Professor of Strategy and International Management and Director of the Center for International Management Practice at the Open University Business School in the UK and Visiting Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in the USA. He is also an Affiliate Professor of Strategy and International Business at EMLYON Business School in China and France. He is the author or co-author of more than 40 papers and book chapters and author or editor of 6 books. His most recent books are Breakout Strategy: Meeting the Challenge of Double-Digit Growth (with Sydney Finkelstein and Charles Harvey, McGraw-Hill) and Strategic Management in Aviation: Critical Essays (Ashgate).

Jonathan P. Doh holds the Rammrath Chair in International Business, serves as Faculty Director for the Center for Global Leadership, and is Professor of Management at Villanova School of Business. He is also an occasional executive instructor for the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of Business where he works with clients on the challenges of globalization, developing corporate strategy, understanding emerging markets, and implementing strategic corporate responsibility. He is author or co-author of more than 60 refereed articles, 30 chapters in scholarly edited volumes, and more than 75 conference papers. His most recent books are NGOs and Corporations: Conflict and Collaboration (with Michael Yaziji, Cambridge University Press, 2009) and International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior (8th edition), with Fred Luthans, the best-selling international management text.

Tazeeb Rajwani is a Lecturer in Strategic Management at Cranfield School of Management. Previously he has been a Director of Strategy at a high-tech start-up, where he still holds an advisory position. He has also held a management position at KPMG Corporate Finance, where he was an Innovation Champion and member of the Thought Leadership group at KMPG Europe. He works with corporate clients globally to develop their competitive strategies and corporate political activities. His research focuses mainly on competitive advantage, nonmarket strategy and corporate political activity in global firms. He has published many academic papers, book chapters, reports and white papers on these themes in a variety of reputable outlets. His research has been reported in the commercial press, including the Irish Times, The Times and Financial Times. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London in strategic management.

Table of Contents

Section I:Foundations Of Alignment
1: Establishing Alignment
2: Origins of Engagement
3: Rationalizing Complexity

Section II: Pathways To Influence
4: Responding to Uncertainty
5: Individual versus Collective Action
6: Designing Nonmarket Architecture

Section III: Creating Aligned Strategy
7: Sensing to Incubate Interest
8: Shaping Information Value
9: Aligning with Stakeholders

Section IV: Delivering With Impact
10: Ensuring Balance
11: Embracing New Frontiers
12: Leading for Advantage
Section I:Foundations Of Alignment
1. Establishing Alignment
2. Origins of Engagement
3. Rationalizing Complexity
Section II: Pathways To Influence
4. Responding to Uncertainty
5. Individual versus Collective Action
6. Designing Nonmarket Architecture
Section III: Creating Aligned Strategy
7. Sensing to Incubate Interest
8. Shaping Information Value
9. Aligning with Stakeholders
Section IV: Delivering With Impact
10. Ensuring Balance
11. Embracing New Frontiers
12. Leading for Advantage

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