Strategy is one of the most challenging, muddled and multidimensional concepts in the scope of business. There are diverse approaches to comprehension and actualization of business strategies in the recent course of time, and one of the most influential, relevant and constructive writers within this field is Rumelt. Famous business publication McKinsey Quarterly positions Rumelt as “a giant in the field of strategy” (Lovallo & Mendonca, 2007, p. 1). The book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy:The Difference and Why It Matters by Rumelt is a significant in-depth insight into the concept of strategy in business and other spheres, its potential, and crucial discrepancies between the strategies and business related notions. Thus, a crystalized comprehension of the concept and its practical implementation are presented in the book.
The book by Rumelt is intended for a special target audience only as far as an average reader may be lost with abundance of terms, comparisons and implied background knowledge. The book is an excellent choice for the readers with a relevant academic degree and professional experience. Sufficient background of a reader is a key to profound comprehension and final efficient outcomes of the reading experience.
One more important aspect of the book by Rumelt is that the concept of strategy is regarded in several contextual fields, and not only in the scope of business. For instance, another worthwhile area where the strategy can be applied addressed by the author is politics. The multidimensional essence of the concept is vividly illustrated. Explanations are sufficient only for the readers with considerable background; otherwise, the course of reading may be superficial.
Strategy is often confused with such related notions as ambitiousness, setting financial goals and material targets, vision of the development, etc. One of the most valuable and constructive parts of the whole book by Rumelt is the one dedicated to dispelling such misconceptions. The author provides the readers with numerous credible and clear examples and detailed comparisons.
The most inspiring and defining elements of the discussion of the practical applicability of strategies include examples of the brands known worldwide, as well as events and/or personae of ultimate significance. For instance, while the author dwells on the theory positioning strategy as a surprise, the readers are provided with vivid examples, namely, Apple strategy, David and Goliath strategy, strategy by Marshall and Roche, Schwarzkopf’s strategy, etc. The significance of the Rumelt’s writing style is characterized by his capacity to unite both theory and practice in a vivid and holistic manner. In such a way, the readers see the whole picture, and it tends to eliminate usual miscomprehensions.
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The discussion and analysis of the concept of bad strategy is also a valuable asset to the insight offered by the author. Clear distinction is provided between good and bad strategies. The major notions related to this section include transformational leadership, the issue of choice, and charisma. The core achievement of Rumelt in this book is that all the arguments are provided with sufficient explanations, proofs and examples, so that consistent reading contributes to the overall knowledge of strategic management even though the book sometimes may resemble a puzzle.
It is of ultimate importance that the author in his discussion of the concept of strategy goes beyond the sphere of business. The most controversial and challenging areas of its application are politics and history. Nevertheless, the examples of the aforementioned spheres help comprehend the concept more properly and effectively. Furthermore, the undeniable importance of the strategies provided as examples is one more asset Rumelt uses to illustrate relevance and potential efficiency of his approach.
The major theme of the book is extremely topical in the current course of time, especially taking into consideration the prevailing misconceptions in the sphere and superficial material introduced by the peer researchers. The book by Rumelt is an authentic work based on profound investigations, proactive personal experience, and continuous enhancement in the field of concern. Furthermore, diversity of areas of application makes the course of reading more comprehensive and integral. Unfortunately, there are many other books discussing the same or similar topics that reveal minimal involvement of the author, superficial explanations and conventional examples that have been used for a long period of time by many other researchers.
The book appeals to a reader on both emotional and logical levels, and this aspect is of vital significance. The structure of the book, the discussion of particular arguments and dispelling the myths and misconceptions about the concept of strategy are designed with the utterly logical approach. At the same time, the author employs numerous examples from real life that appeal to readers’ feelings, memories and knowledge, evoking relevant emotions, and the readers not only comprehend, but also feel what Rumelt leads to.
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Thus, the book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy:The Difference and Why It Matters by Rumelt is a significant contribution to the scope of strategic management and efficient business solutions. It provides holistic vision of the concept of strategy, broadens the area of its applicability, and distinguishes between good and bad strategies relying on vivid and worldwide famous examples. The book will be helpful for people with sufficient background in strategic management. The structure of each chapter and overall organization of the book is clearly cut and constructive.