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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Strategic Management

Strategists at Work

ISBN 9781137035448
Publication Date December 2014
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

Strategic Management: Strategists at Work provides a practical and simple approach to developing a comprehensive strategic plan, as the authors share what they have learned through two decades of strategy work with a myriad of organisations. Focusing on the practicalities of developing strategy and presenting cutting edge theory in an accessible manner, this book delivers key insights into the strategist's role.

Key benefits:
• Provides a comprehensive range of templates that have been road-tested with over 400 senior managers
• Includes extensive case material and interviews
• Lecture slides, tutorials, and multiple choice questions available on the companion website

Robert MacIntosh is Professor of Strategy at the University of Glasgow.  He trained as an engineer and has researched strategy development and strategic change for twenty years in a range of public, private, large and small organizations.  He has published extensively in top rank journals including Strategic Management Journal, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies as well as in a range of more practitioner-oriented outlets including Journal of Business Strategy.  He has also published 'Managing Change as Enquiry and Action' with Cambridge University Press (2012).  

Donald MacLean is a senior research fellow in the Business School at the University of Glasgow. His interests lie in the development of innovative approaches to strategy, leadership, and management within and between organizations. He has published extensively in top international journals including The Strategic Management Journal, The British Journal of Management, Organization Studies, Human Relations and Journal of Management Studies. He is a member of the director development faculty of the Institute of Directors in Scotland and, in addition to his academic work, has extensive experience of industry and management through pervious industrial posts, numerous action-research projects and ongoing strategic management coaching and consultancy.

Together, Professors MacIntosh and MacLean have delivered strategy related courses at Glasgow, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Paris (Sciences Po).  They have also undertaken executive development work with private sector organizations including the BP, Scottish and Southern Energy, Babcock International Group, Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and public sector organizations including the NHS, HMRC and Local Government.  

1. Introduction
2. A Brief History of Strategy and Strategists
3. The Running Cases
4. Diagnosis
5. Strategic Intent
6. Trends and Opportunities
7. Resources and Capabilities
8. Strategic Options
9. Evaluating Strategy
10. Building a Comprehensive Strategy
11. The Strategy Cycle
12. From Logic to Action
13. Strategy's History Revisited, Strategic Management ReframedCase
1: AppleCase
2: NokiaCase
3: ABBCase
4: Nine Dragons
Appendix 1: The Strategy Cycle Templates
Appendix 2: Writing a Business PlanAppendix
3: Writing a Strategy Assignment.


A tour d'force. Strategists at Work is a practical, step-by-step guide to creating strategies and then shifting them when they hit real-life. A blend of practical insights and deep wisdom from the best of traditional and contemporary thinking about strategy, MacIntosh and MacLean provide a compelling view of how smart strategy happens.' – Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Stanford University, USA
'Robert MacIntosh and Donald MacLean have written an absolutely marvelous book. It should be read by students and seasoned practitioners alike. Their intent to put strategy and strategists together by focusing on the actual human beings who do strategy is nothing short of strategic brilliance.' – Ian I. Mitroff, Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California, USA
'This book offers useful respite from the conventional and rather stale strategy textbook structure. Offering fresh, applied and relevant thinking on a number of areas, accompanied by engaging examples, it will be a valuable addition to the reading lists of MBA students, executive education participants, management consultants and practicing strategists.' – Loizos Heracleous, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK
'This is an illuminating study of the crucial importance of strategic thinking in organisational management. It provides a historical perspective on the origins of strategy and a comprehensive account of theoretical frameworks. And with critical consideration of a variety of real-world case studies it is also an eminently practical resource for strategists and managers concerned to optimise organisational effectiveness.'– Irene McAra-McWilliam, The Glasgow School of Art, UK
'MacLean and MacIntosh eloquently engage us in a clear view of the contemporary world of strategy through excellent practical stories both from business and public sector coupled with a concise view of key theories. In addition, they offer a significant new take on the practice of strategy, in revealing critical characteristics for strategist of the 21st century; a refreshingly simple and cutting edge approach to a new form of strategic action as creative, Bardic - as an art form.' – Joe Lockwood, The Glasgow School of Art, UK
'In this marvelous book, Robert MacIntosh and Donald MacLean let us glimpse the complex relationship between plans and actions over time and show how sophisticated strategists coherently orchestrate collective action. They insightfully combine evidence-based strategy insights with pragmatic concerns. You will find here state-of-the-art research, a practical orientation, rich case studies, and an enjoyable narrative!' – Haridimos Tsoukas, University of Cyprus and University of Warwick, UK
'MacIntosh and MacLean debunk the myth that strategic planning is a black art. Using a combination of historical context and modern case study, together with current theory and extensive action research, this text gives a straightforward and ordered account of the planning process to guide any business owner, executive or manager towards a realistic and workable plan.' -Nigel Scott, Institute of Directors – Scotland, UK
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