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Strategy Dynamics Essentials

Chapter outline

"Strategy Dynamics Essentials" provides a summarised version of the full Strategy Dynamics textbook: Strategic Management Dynamics. It's more compact format provides a thorough overview of the Strategy Dynamics approach and can be used – in whole or in part – to support workshops, courses or independent study.

The book is concerned with the development and management of key resources in business and not-for-profit organisations. Chapters 1- 4 demonstrate simple frameworks for the development of isolated resources – customers, staff, and so on – before developing progressively more detailed models for how these different resources are developed and sustained.

Anyone involved in marketing and sales, human resources, product development, and operations management will therefore find a collection of frameworks that add important concepts to their knowledge.

The book is also of use to entrepreneurs, as it focuses on the developing, integrating and sustaining basic resources. Using the Strategy Dynamics framework can add considerable confidence to the resulting business plans for new ventures. Indeed, the launches of many such ventures have been substantially revised and enhanced as a result of this scrutiny, whilst others that do not promise a viable future have been abandoned. Chapters 1-4 provide the essential elements for this purpose, whilst a review of the likely rivalry in which a new venture will be involved can be examined with the tools in chapter 7.

Chapter summary with sample graphic from each chapter

Chapter 1: Building Performance Over Time
sample graphic from chapter 1
1.1 A Life-Cycle Example: Blockbuster® Inc.
1.2 Strategic Management: Positioning versus Delivery
1.3 What “Performance” Do We Want To Improve?
1.4 Building Future Performance
1.5 Non-financial Performance Objectives and
Not-for-profit Organizations
1.6 Levels of Strategy
1.7 Example: Low-fare Airline Ryanair

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Chapter 2: How Resources Drive Performance
2.1 Strategy Methods Focusing on External Factors
2.2 Strategy Methods Focusing on Firm-specific Factors
sample graphic from chapter 2 2.3 Limitations of Common Strategy Approaches
2.4 Tangible Resources and Profits
2.5 From Performance to Resources
2.6 Resources and Nonfinancial Performance
2.7 “Stocks” of Resources
2.8 When Resources Themselves Are the Objective
2.9 Specifying and Quantifying Resources

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Chapter 3: Resources Won and Lost
3.1 Quantifying the “Bathtub Behavior” of Resources
sample graphic from chapter 3 3.2 Accumulation over Time
3.3 Consequences of Resource Accumulation
3.4 Resources Won and Lost by Ryanair
3.5 “Accounting” for Resources
3.6 Control over the Building and
Retaining of Resources
3.7 Generic Behaviors and Their Drivers

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Chapter 4: Interdependence and the Strategic Architecture
sample graphic from chapter 4
4.1 Competition and Other External Factors
4.2 Existing Resources Drive Gains and Losses
4.3 How Resources Drive Their Own Growth and Loss
4.4 The Role of Potential Resources
4.5 The Strategic Architecture
4.6 Functional Issues and Other Objectives

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Chapter 5: Resource Quality
sample graphic from chapter 5
5.1 Size Is Not the Same as Quality
5.2 Attributes of Other Resources
5.3 When Resources Bring Access to Others
5.4 Using the Quality Curve to Beat Competitors
5.5 Other Uses for the Quality Curve and Resource Attributes

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Chapter 6: Developing Resources
sample graphic from chapter 6
6.1 Developing Staff
6.2 The Customer Choice Pipeline
6.3 Product Development
6.4 Deteriorating Resources
6.5 How Resources Develop in
Noncommercial Cases
6.6 Boundaries of the Firm

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Chapter 7: Competitive Rivalry
sample graphic from chapter 7
7.1 Type-1 Rivalry
7.2 Type-2 Rivalry
7.3 Type-3 Rivalry
7.4 Further Issues in the Three Types of Rivalry
7.5 Competing with Intermediaries
7.6 Competing for Other Resources
7.7 Rivalry in Noncommercial Cases
7.8 Dealing with Multiple Competitors

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Chapter 8: Steering Strategy and Performance
sample graphic from chapter 8
8.1 The Difference between Good
and Poor Strategies
8.2 Steering Strategy and Performance
8.3 Policy to Guide Decisions
8.4 Controlling Indirect Decisions and Interference
8.5 Conflicting Objectives
8.6 Goals and Policy in Noncommercial Cases


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Chapter 9: Intangible Resources
sample graphic from chapter 9
9.1 State-of-Mind Intangibles
9.2 Information-based Intangible Resources
9.3 Quality-based Intangibles

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Chapter 10: Capabilities
sample graphic from chapter 10
10.1 Dimensions of Capability
10.2 Learning Develops Capability
10.3 Capabilities Not Linked to Resource-building
10.4 The Balanced Scorecard
10.5 Capabilities in Public Sector and Voluntary Organizations

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Conclusions and Further Steps
Appendix: Technical Specification

Ryanair 2009 update

The textbook Strategic Management Dynamics developed over several chapters a dynamics analysis of Europe’s low-fare airline Ryanair, from 1995 to 2006. Strategy Dynamics Essentials updates this analysis to 2009. The data and models for this update are provided in Ryanair 2009 Update Files (Zip), which includes:
  • A spreadsheet of reported performance and other data for Ryanair from 1995 to 2009, and illustrative projections to 2014.
  • A series of small simulation models that run in mystrategy, including a full model of the airline, matching the spreadsheet data.
  • A document explaining how these models relate to the dynamics analysis of Ryanair that develops through chapters 1 to 5 of Strategy Dynamics Essentials.
It is not necessary to have Strategy Dynamics Essentials to make use of these materials.
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