discuss situations in which it is best to not adapt one’s company culture
cooperative arrangements with other firms and the factors that influence the choice among these options.
∙ Chapter 7 explains two important areas in which culture can play a key role in managing organizations across national boundaries. First, we discuss situations in which it is best to not adapt one’s company culture—even if it conflicts with the culture country in which the firm operates. We provide the example of Google’s human resource policy of providing employees with lots of positive feedback during performance reviews. Why? Google feels that this is a key reason for its outstanding success in product innovation. Second, we address some of the challenges that managers encounter when they negotiate contracts across national boundaries. We discuss research that identifies several elements of negotiating behaviors that help to identify cultural differences.
∙ Chapter 8 identifies factors investors can examine when evaluating the risk of crowdfunded ventures. When firms raise funds through crowdfunding, they often have limited business and financial histories and haven’t yet built up a clear reputation. This raises the risks investors face. We identify some factors investors can look into to clarify the worthiness and risk of firms who are raising financial resources through crowdfunding.
∙ Chapter 9 discusses the increasingly important role that activist investors have in the corporate governance of publicly-traded firms. Activist investors are investors who take small but significant ownership stakes in large firms, typically 5 to 10 percent ownership, and push for major strategic changes in the firm. These activist investors are often successful, winning 70 percent of the shareholder votes they champion and have forced the exit of leaders of several large firms. Additionally, we discuss a corner of Wall Street where women dominate, as corporate governance heads at major institutional investors. These institutional investors hold large blocks of stock in all major corporations. As a result, these female leaders are in a position to push for governance changes in these corporations to make them more responsive to the concerns of investors, such as increasing opportunities for female corporate leaders.
∙ Chapter 10 discusses how firms can organize to improve their innovativeness. Often managers look to outside partners to learn new skills and access new knowledge to improve their innovative performance. We discuss research that suggests that efforts to look to create novel combinations of knowledge within the firm offer greater potential to generate stronger innovation performance. The key advantage of internal knowledge is that it is proprietary and potentially more applicable to the firm’s innovation efforts.
∙ Chapter 11 includes discussions of multiple firms that have changed their leadership and control systems to respond to challenges they’ve faced. This includes Marvin Ellison’s efforts to revive JC Penney after prior bad leadership, Target’s efforts to change its supply chain system to meet changing customer demands, and the decision procedures JC Johnson Inc. has put in place to improve its ability to lead its industry in sustainability efforts.
∙ Chapter 12 highlights the potential to learn from innovation failures. Too often, firms become risk averse in their behavior in order to avoid failure. We discuss how this can result in missing truly innovative opportunities. Drawing off research by Julian Birkinshaw, we discuss the need for firms to get their employees to take bold innovation actions and steps firms can take to learn from failed innovation efforts to be more effective in future innovation efforts. We also discuss research on the consequences of losing star innovation employees. Firms worry about the loss of key innovation personnel, but research shows that while there are costs associated with the loss of star
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innovators, there are also potential benefits. Firms that lose key innovators typically experience a loss in exploitation-oriented innovation, but they also often see an increase in exploration-oriented innovation.
∙ Chapter 13 provides an example of how the College of Business Administration at Towson University successfully introduced a “live” business case completion across all of it strategic management sections. The “description” and the “case completion checklist” includes many of the elements of the analysis-decision-action cycle in case analysis that we address in the chapter.
∙ Chapter 13 updates our Appendix: Sources of Company and Industry Information. Here, we owe a big debt to Ruthie Brock and Carol Byrne, library professionals at the University of Texas at Arlington. These ladies have provided us with comprehensive and updated information for the Ninth Edition that is organized in a range of issues. These include competitive intelligence, annual report collections, company rankings, business websites, and strategic and competitive analysis. Such information is invaluable in analyzing companies and industries. We are always amazed by the diligence, competence—and good cheer—that Ruthie and Carol demonstrate when we impose on them every two years!
∙ We have worked hard to further enhance our excellent case package with a major focus on fresh and current cases on familiar firms. ∙ More than half of our cases are author-written (much more than the competition). ∙ We have updated our users favorite cases, creating fresh stories about familiar
companies to minimize instructor preparation time and “maximize freshness” of he content.
∙ We have added several exciting new cases to the lineup including Blackberry and Ascena (the successor company to Ann Talyor).
∙ We have also extensively updated 28 familiar cases with the latest news. ∙ Our cases are familiar yet fresh with new data and problems to solve.
WHAT REMAINS THE SAME: KEY FEATURES OF EARLIER EDITIONS Let’s now briefly address some of the exciting features that remain from the earlier editions.
∙ Traditional organizing framework with three other chapters on timely topics. Crisply written chapters cover all of the strategy bases and address contemporary topics. First, the chapters are divided logically into the traditional sequence: strategy analysis, strategy formulation, and strategy implementation. Second, we include three chapters on such timely topics as intellectual capital/knowledge management, entrepreneurial strategy and competitive dynamics, and fostering corporate entrepreneurship and new ventures.
∙ “Learning from Mistakes” chapter-opening cases. To enhance student interest, we begin each chapter with a case that depicts an organization that has suffered a dramatic performance drop, or outright failure, by failing to adhere to sound strategic management concepts and principles. We believe that this feature serves to underpin the value of the concepts in the course and that it is a preferred teaching approach to merely providing examples of outstanding companies that always seem to get it right. After all, isn’t it better (and more challenging) to diagnose problems than admire perfection? As Dartmouth’s Sydney Finkelstein, author of Why Smart Executives Fail,
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