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Essentials of Strategic Management: The Quest for Competitive Advantage

© 2013
by John Gamble Arthur Thompson, Jr. Margaret Peteraf

3rd Edition Active, In-Print 560 Pages Softcover
9780078029288 0078029287

Essentials of Strategic Management responds head-on to the growing requests by business faculty for a concisely-written strategic management text that's robust and theory-driven and supported with a compelling collection of cases. This text was written with four objectives in mind:
1) Although relatively brief in length, the text provides students with an up-to-date and thorough understanding of essential strategic management concepts and analytic tools;
2) It simplifies the task of demonstrating student learning through course embedded assessment;
3) The concepts are supported by contemporary, well-written cases involving headline strategic issues; and lastly,
4) The text serves as the theoretical foundation of a teaching approach incorporating a business strategy simulation.
Section A: Introduction and Overview

Chapter 1: What Is Strategy and Why Is It Important?
Chapter 2: Charting a Company's Direction: Vision and Mission, Objectives, and Strategy

Section B: Core Concepts and Analytical Tools
Chapter 3: Evaluating a Company's External Environment
Chapter 4: Evaluating a Company's Resources, Cost Position, and Competitiveness

Section C: Crafting a Strategy
Chapter 5: The Five Generic Competitive Strategies
Chapter 6: Supplementing the Chosen Competitive Strategy " Other Important Strategy Choices
Chapter 7: Strategies for Competing in International Markets
Chapter 8: Corporate Strategy: Diversification and the Multibusiness Company
Chapter 9: Strategy, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility

Section D: Executing the Strategy
Chapter 10: Superior Strategy Execution " Another Path to Competitive Advantage

Section A: Crafting Strategy in Single-Business Companies

Case 1: Mystic Monk Coffee
Case 2: Competition among the North American Warehouse Clubs: Costco Wholesale versus Sam's Club versus BJ's Wholesale
Case 3: Competition in Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks, and Vitamin-Enhanced Beverages
Case 4: Netflix's Business Model and Strategy in Renting Movies and TV Episodes
Case 5: Redbox's Strategy I the Movie Rental Industry
Case 6: Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar
Case 7: Blue Nile Inc. in 2011: Will Its Strategy to Remain Number One in Online Diamond Retailing Work?
Case 8: Panera Bread Company in 2011 " Pursuing Growth in a Difficult Economy
Case 9: Apple Inc. in 2011: Can It Prosper Without Steve Jobs?
Case 10: Google's Strategy in 2011

Section B: Corporate Strategy in Multi-business Companies
Case 11: Sara Lee Corporation in 2011: Has Its Retrenchment Strategy Been Successful?

Section C: Implementing and Executing Strategy
Case 12: Robin Hood
Case 13: Southwest Airlines in 2010: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices
Case 14: Norton Lilly International: Implementing Transformational Change in the Shipping Industry
Case 15: Starbucks? Strategy and Internal Initiatives to Return to Profitable Growth

Section D: Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
Case 16: Cash Connection: Are Its Payday Lender Strategy and Its Business Model Ethical?
New to this Edition

Margie has led a thorough re-examination of every paragraph on every page of the third edition chapters. The overriding objectives were to inject new perspectives and the best academic thinking, strengthen linkages to the latest research findings, modify the coverage and exposition as needed to ensure squarely on-target content, and give every chapter a major facelift.

Complementing the text presentation is a truly appealing lineup of 16 diverse, timely, and thoughtfully crafted cases. All of the cases are tightly linked to the content of the 10 chapters, thus pushing students to apply the concepts and analytical tools they have read about. Eleven of the 16 cases were written by the coauthors to illustrate specific tools of analysis or distinct strategic management theories. The five cases included in the text not written by the coauthors were chosen because of their exceptional linkage to strategic management concepts presented in the text. We are confident you will be impressed with how well each of the 16 cases in the collection will work in the classroom and the amount of student interest they will spark.

At the end of each chapter is a synopsis of the core concepts, analytical tools and other key points discussed in the chapter. These chapter-end synopses, along with the core concept definitions and margin notes scattered throughout each chapter, help students focus on basic strategy principles, digest the messages of each chapter, and prepare for tests.

Each chapter concludes with two sets of exercises. The "Assurance of Learning Exercises? can be used as the basis for class discussion, oral presentation assignments, short written reports, and substitutes for case assignments. The "Exercises for Simulation Participants? are designed expressly for use by adopters who have incorporated use of a simulation and wish to go a step further in tightly and explicitly connecting the chapter content to the simulation company their students are running. The questions in both sets of exercises (along with those Concepts & Connections illustrations that qualify as "mini-cases?) can be used to round out the rest of a 75-minute class period should your lecture on a chapter only last for 50 minutes.

Correlation Guide:


This convenient guide matches the issues in Taking Sides: Management, 4/e with the corresponding chapters in our best-selling McGraw-Hill Organizational Management, Human Resource Management, Strategic Management, Management, and International Business textbooks.

Retained Features

In 10-chapters, this text presents the essential topics thoroughly as expected by the vast majority of faculty teaching undergraduate and MBA strategic management courses. Gamble provides solid explanations and real-world illustrations of strategies keyed to industry positioning, corporate-level strategy, and various strategic management analytical tools without being definition driven.

This text simplifies the task of demonstrating student learning through course embedded assessment. Through their experiences as business faculty and administrators, these authors fully understand the assessment demands on faculty teaching strategic management courses. Hence every chapter contains a number of interesting Assurance of Learning exercises for class discussion or to demonstrate student learning through written assignments and/or team presentations. Instructors can easily pair the Assurance of Learning exercise with instructor-developed scoring rubrics to assess course or program learning outcomes.

The text does not require the use of a simulation, but should meet the needs of simulation users perfectly. The relatively short length of each chapter allows students to devote more time to simulation activities that illustrate the application of chapter concepts. Additionally, Assurance of Learning exercise in every chapter are designed to drive home the linkage between the strategic management concepts presented in the chapter and the decision-making demands of a business simulation.

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