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Competing on the Edge

Brown, Shona L. and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt (1998). Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

A new way of looking at strategy in fast-moving environments, when Porter's static models do no good, from a McKinsey & Co. consultant and a Stanford professor. Available from www.amazon.com for $19.57.


D'Aveni, Richard (1994, 1995), Hypercompetition (hardcover) or Hypercompetitive Rivalries (paperback), Free Press, New York.

A look at the changing landscape of competition in the 80s and 90s by a Dartmouth professor. Source of 4 Arena Analysis and the new 7-S. Covered in most top MBA programs. Available from www.amazon.com for $24.50 (hardcover) or $25.00 (paperback).


Drucker, Peter F. (1954). The Practice of Management, Harper & Row, New York.

Oldie but goodie. Most managers over 50 (including almost every CEO) have read this classic. Will seem dated, but you will learn how older managers think (so you can figure out how to convince them otherwise). Available from www.amazon.com for $13.60.


Fine, Charles H. (1998). Clockspeed: Winning Industry Control in the Age of Temporary Advantage, Perseus Books, Reading, MA.

MIT professor looks at industry structure and competitive advantage from an operational perspective and also shows how you can leverage knowledge from industries with fast product cycle times. Available from www.amazon.com for $18.90.


Grove, Andrew S. (1996). Only the Paranoid Survive, Currency/Doubleday, New York.

The man who turned Intel into the juggernaut it is today tells his story, with plenty of advice for those who want to emulate him. Available from www.amazon.com for $19.25.

Competing for the Future

Hamel, Gary and Prahalad, C. K. (1994). Competing for the Future, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

A new classic, based on the old idea of distinctive competencies and the newer idea of the resource-based view of the firm. Covered in almost all top MBA programs in the world. Available from www.amazon.com for $11.96.

Balanced Scorecard

Kaplan, Robert S. and David P. Norton (1996). The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

New thinking from Harvard Business School on ways to motivate and track managers using multiple measures. Available from www.amazon.com for $20.97.


Kawasaki, Guy (1995). How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Hyperion, New York.

A practical guide to market disruption of the type proposed by D'Aveni in Hypercompetition, from Apple Fellow and Forbes columnist Kawasaki. Funny, easy to read, and useful. Available from www.amazon.com for $9.06.


Peters, T. J. and Waterman, R. H. (1982). In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies, Harper & Row, New York.

Every executive in the 1980s read this book. Most interesting now because many of the profiled companies (such as IBM) fell on hard times shortly thereafter (which is why you should also read D'Aveni on hypercompetition). Available from www.amazon.com for $12.79

Competitive Strategy

Porter, Michael E. (1980). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, The Free Press, New York.

The original. Basis of Harvard Business School policy course for almost 20 years. Source of the 5 Forces Model and the generic business-level strategies (cost leadership and differentiation). Available from www.amazon.com for $26.25.

Competitive Advantage

Porter, Michael (1985). Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, The Free Press, New York.

The second book. Basis of the rest of the Harvard Business School policy course for almost 20 years. Source of the Value Chain Model and scenario analysis. Every U.S. MBA knows this material, and you should, too. Available from www.amazon.com for $26.25.


Utterback, James M. (1994). Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

Subtitled "How Companies Can Seize Opportunities in the Face of Technological Change," what this Harvard professor really shows is all the companies who failed to seize opportunities. Fascinating reading. Available from www.amazon.com for $12.76.

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