Strategy for the Corporate Level: Where to Invest, What to Cut Back and How to Grow Organisations with Multiple Divisions, 2nd Edition
June 2014, Jossey-Bass
This book covers strategy for organisations that operate more than one business, a situation commonly referred to as group-level or corporate-level strategy. Corporate-level strategy addresses four types of decisions that only corporate-level managers can make: which businesses or markets to enter, how much to invest in each business, how to select and guide the managers of these businesses, and which activities to centralise at the corporate level. This book gives managers and executive students all the tools they need to make and review effective corporate strategy across a range of organisations.
PART I – INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY 1
Chapter 1 Strategy for the Corporate Level: Summary of the Main Messages 3
Chapter 2 Some History: From Boston Box to Three Logics that Drive Corporate Action 31
PART II – PORTFOLIO STRATEGY: WHERE TO INVEST AND WHAT TO AVOID 73
Chapter 3 How to Find Good Businesses and Avoid Bad Businesses 75
The Business Attractiveness matrix 83
Chapter 4 How to Make Businesses More Successful 99
The Heartland matrix 104
Chapter 5 How to Buy Low and Sell High 117
Fair Value matrix 133
Chapter 6 Making Decisions about Where to Invest and What to Avoid 139
PART III – WAYS OF ADDING AND SUBTRACTING VALUE FROM CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS 157
Chapter 7 Ten Sources of Value from Direct Influence 159
Chapter 8 Nine Sources of Value from Coordinating across Business Divisions 181
Chapter 9 Eight Ways Headquarters can Destroy Value 199
Chapter 10 How to Identify Sources of Added Value for Your Company 219
PART IV – MANAGEMENT STRATEGY: HOW TO STRUCTURE, HOW MUCH TO CENTRALISE AND HOW TO GROW THE BUSINESS DIVISIONS 237
Chapter 11 Structuring the Organisation into Businesses and Divisions 239
Chapter 12 Corporate-level Strategy in Integrated Companies – The Apple Example 259
Chapter 13 How Much to Centralise: Designing Corporate Headquarters 279
Chapter 14 Developing New Capabilities at Corporate Headquarters 303
Chapter 15 Encouraging Synergy and Cooperation across Business Divisions 321
PART V – RETROSPECTIVE 331
Chapter 16 Lessons from 20 Years of Consulting Experience 333
Appendix The Links between International Strategy and Corporate-level Strategy 347
Andrew Campbell, BA, MA, MBA, is a Director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre. He is programme director of Group Level Strategy, Making Successful Acquisitions, Advanced Organisation Design and Designing Operating Models. Before joining Ashridge, Andrew was a Fellow of the Centre for Business Strategy at London Business School. Prior to that, he spent six years with McKinsey & Co. Andrew has published numerous articles with the Harvard Business Review and authored many books including Corporate Level Strategy (Wiley, 1994) and Designing Effective Organizations (Jossey-Bass, 2002).
Marcus Alexander, MA, MBA, is a Director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre. Marcus has taught on a wide range of open and tailored programmes over the last 23 years at Ashridge. Prior to that, he had worked in Investment Banking, in strategy consulting, at the Boston Consulting Group in several countries, and as co-founder of a business that he subsequently sold to an Advertising group. His publications include Corporate-Level Strategy (Wiley, 1994) as well as many articles in the Harvard Business Review, California Management Review and Long Range Planning.
Michael Goold, BPhil, MA, MBA, is a founding Director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre. His research and consulting interests and expertise are concerned with corporate strategy and structure, especially in multi-business companies. Prior to establishing the Centre in 1987, he was a Senior Fellow at the London Business School. Michael has extensive consulting experience with senior management. From 1971 to 1983 he was a member of the Boston Consulting Group, and in 1978 was elected a Vice President and Director of the firm.
Jo Whitehead, MA, MBA, PhD, is a Director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre. Before joining Ashridge, Jo was a Vice President and Director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and acted as BCG’s Director of Energy Research and Marketing. Jo also worked as an Assistant Professor at London Business School, where he taught primarily on Executive Education programmes. Jo co-authored the book Think Again, with Andrew Campbell and Sydney Finkelstein (Harvard Business Press, 2009). His most recent book is What You Need to Know about Strategy (Capstone, 2011).
Strategy for the Corporate Level focuses on strategy for complex organisations that operate multiple business divisions. It is the definitive guide for executives with responsibilities at corporate headquarters, especially where those responsibilities are for more than one line of business or geography or technology. The book addresses two elements of strategy that can only be managed at the headquarters level:
- Portfolio Strategy: which businesses or markets or products to invest in and how much to commit to each
- Management Strategy: what activities to centralise at the corporate level, what to decentralise to divisions and how to select and guide the managers of these divisions
The book uses three logics to guide managers through these decisions: business logic assesses the attractiveness of each market or business, added value logic examines the ability of the headquarters to add value to the divisions, and capital markets logic looks at the valuations of relevant assets in stock markets.
These frameworks help mangers with tough acquisition decisions, like Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp or Microsoft’s decision to buy Nokia. They also help with divestment decisions, like Google’s decision to sell parts of Motorola. Finally they help managers with decisions about internal management: which functions to centralise, what targets to set, where to look for synergies and how much to empower the heads of divisions?
Strategy for the Corporate Levelis for managers in both diversified companies, like GE, and focussed companies, like Apple. It is also relevant to public sector organisations. It gives insights to those working at headquarters and those working in divisions; it is required reading for consultants and MBA students.
Strategy for the Corporate Level: Where to Invest, What to Cut Back and How to Grow Organisations with Multiple Divisions is available wherever books and e-books are sold.
Notes to editors:
- Review copies and jacket images are available on request