Working on the 2nd edn of the textbook, I want to link to other things folk may find if they look into this subject, and of course Wikipedia is going to be popular. Shame to find, then, that their entry on strategic management ‘needs to be rewritten’ to comply with quality standards. Click on the discussion, and there’s an interesting stream of comment and explanation of why it was withdrawn as a ‘featured’ Wiki article. Amongst this debate I see quite a lot about the problem of abstract and ambiguous concepts that bedevil the field and make it hard to identify anything that could be described as a ‘professional’ perspective.
[ For newcomers to the blog – ‘professional’ implies that two intelligent people, adequately trained, would tackle the same problem in a recongisably similar way, using similar tools, and arrive at similar conclusions and recommendations – as you’d expect from, say, two doctors, lawyers, engineers or accountants. Of course there will be differences of detail or emphasis, and some really tough issues may challenge even the best professionals in the field. But still, most of the work of strategic management should meet basic standards of professionalism. A partner at McKinsey once boasted to me that ‘Our partners are so leading-edge in their thinking that the answer a client gets depends on which partner leads the assignment. I don’t think that stance is representative of the firm’s view, though. ]