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Hypercompetition (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 28. März 1994

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George B. Taylor Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, The Wharton School A matchless contribution, so timely, so relevant, so close to the reality of today's competition that no manager can ignore it.

David J. Ravenscraft Professor of Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Once every decade or two, a book identifies the path to the next generation of thinking. This is such a book.

Robert C. Purcell, Jr. Executive in Charge, Corporate Strategy Development, General Motors Corporation D'Aveni has clearly broken some new ground with this book. He has effectively challenged many of the 'accepted truths' in the world of competitive strategy.

Donald C. Hambrick Samuel Bronfman Professor of Democratic Business Enterprise, Columbia University D'Aveni advances strategic thinking to the dynamic, give-and-take world that actually confronts company executives.

Paul N. Clark President, Pharmaceutical Products Division, Abbott Laboratories As a participant in an industry that is changing very rapidly, I enjoyed the numerous examples of how others are coping with fast-paced change.

Kenji Wada General Manager, Human Resources, Sony Corporation I found his discussion of the organization refreshing. Hyper-competitionis filled with suggestions invaluable in redesigning a company.

William F. Achtmeyer Managing Director, The Parthenon Group D'Aveni has captured the essence of strategy for the 1990s and the new millennia.


A thoughtful analysis of the ultra-competitive business environment of the 1990s explains how competition is altering the corporate world and argues that companies must shift their strategic focus to survive.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Did you ever see that amusing little sitcom, Get Smart? In "Hypercompetition", Dr. D'Aveni's approach suggests that he was stuck in a management science "cone of silence" from the mid-50s until 1981 and from 1982 until 1994. He has almost completely omitted from discussion a major stream of research that identifies potential sources of competitive advantage such as resource heterogeneity and resource mobility (the resource-based view, Wernerfelt, 1984; Barney, 1986, 1991). He has also omitted developments in systems dynamics dating back to the 1950s (Forrester, 195x, Maruyama, 1962, Weick, 1968). No reasons are given for such omissions.
What are the consequences of the omissions for the reader? In terms of sources of competitive advantage, he has narrowed this book's coverage of the domain substantially. Moreover, within his chosen domain, Dr. D'Aveni has somehow managed to focus his discussion of limitations almost exclusively on one aspect of the Porter work--static vs. dynamic competitive processes. You know, I would swear that more than this one aspect of Porter's work could be made dynamic. Also, that there are other criticisms of Porter's work prior to 1994. However, Max (oops, I mean Dr. D'Aveni) doesn't let you in on them.
In "Hypercompetition", D'Aveni also dutifully outlines processes that resemble the complex feedback networks suggested by systems dynamics. However, he never quite makes the connection to this body of literature. By not doing so, he deprives the reader of systems dynamics theory regarding how to intervene in such feedback networks before they become too complex.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Although this book offers a useful compilation of tools, they are hardly original. D'Aveni simply draws--if not plagiarizes--most of his insights from many other books and cases on strategy that have been out there for decades. Many of the passages in D'Aveni's book seem to have been copied from Michael Porter's infamous triology on Competitive Strategy. For example, when D'Aveni lists the strongholds that a company can establish, he lists the very same Entry Barriers that Michael Porter listed in his book over a decade ago. Furthermore, most of the examples that are listed in the book are examples of companies that D'Aveni found in HBS cases--and not his own original case studies.
D'Aveni argues in his book that the environment in which companies compete has transformed into a hypercompetitive environment that breaks all the traditional rules of competition. This hypercompetitive environment has made it more difficult for companies to compete in the marketplace. He also argues that traditional frameworks (e.g., Porter's 5 Forces) of analysis are inadequate and that he has developed a new revolutionary set of analytical tools. However, there are two major flaws in D'Aveni's reasoning:
1. The nature of competition has always been this way. Granted, companies have become more sophisticated and faster when it comes to implementation, but this is simply an evolution and not a revolution.
2. Traditional tools of analysis are not static instruments that only look at a static competitive environment. They are only static, if you use them in such a way, e.g., Porter's 5 forces analysis can be used to evaluate multi-period competitive responses...
Finally, D'Aveni tries to develop his own analytical framework, which he calls the new 7 S's.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Having seen or listened to hundreds of people describe their strategies, I am always struck that most strategies are built around taking the current conditions and assuming they will continue in similar fashion. A key weakness of this thinking is the assumption that the competitor will keep moving in the same direction.
By emphasizing that competition is dynamic (the world is changing, the competitors are changing, trends are changing, and so forth), the author leaves one with a sense that a strategy had better be based on an enormous superiority of concept and performance, against a back-drop of unpredictable changes in the industry. Using overkill (a large hammer to strike at an ant, perhaps) may make strategies more difficult to conceive and execute, but they also leave a company with less risk that the whole thing will turn out terribly wrong.
Intel's strategy is used as an example in this book, and you can think about this as the theoretical underpinnings for Dr. Grove's, ONLY THE PARANOID SURVIVE.
I do not think this work is original enough to be an alternative to Michael Porter, but it is a useful reminder that in highly competitive situations it is very easy to underestimate the size of the task. This book could be good for a company that has tended to develop strategies that were too timid or mild to be effective in light of what the competitors are doing, as a way of changing the mind-set in the company.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
D'Aveni manages to convey and explain the current competitive environment. Why nobody has defined it so easily before, I don't understand (everything is simple after you've had it explained to you).
The great thing about D'Aveni, is that he in principle challenges the Porter's and Ansoff's of this world, and explains that competition today is intense, not very well-ordered and competitive advantages is fleeting and has to be constantly renewed. In short, this is the first book in Strategy that I've read and immediately felt at home with. You can't loose, buy it, read it and contemplate it. If you don't agree with its main theme, you're probably of a dying breed of managers, otherwise you need this book to make sense of the competitive landscape of today.
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