Aligning for Advantage: Competitive Strategies for the Political and Social Arenas

ISBN : 9780199604753

Thomas C. Lawton; Jonathan P. Doh; Tazeeb Rajwani
256 Pages
163 x 235 mm
Pub date
Feb 2014
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In today's multipolar world economy, strategic alignment is a key determinant of competitive advantage. Coca-Cola, Danone, Diageo, DuPont, Lufthansa and Tata are some of the companies that strive for a pragmatic approach to balancing competitive strategies with political and social obligations. Aligning for Advantage argues that to build and sustain corporate success, companies must synchronize business objectives and market positions with political and regulatory activism and social and environmental engagement. Moreover, to be credible and realizable, these external market and nonmarket strategies need to be equally attuned with corporate vision, values, and culture. The book advances a managerial process and conceptual framework for aligning corporate strategy. In some cases alignment may mean deep, strategically embedded partnerships with governments, NGOs, or other stakeholders. In others, alignment may take the form of looser, temporary collaborations with outside organizations. No matter the approach, the relationship between nonmarket and market strategies should be deliberate and genuine, not accidental or artificial. Truly aligned strategies should reconcile and modulate sometimes conflicting external demands in a way that is appropriate for the corporation's geographic and market positions. In the end, companies must leverage their overall nonmarket strategy as a source of competitive advantage.


1. Establishing Alignment
2. Origins of Engagement
3. Rationalizing Complexity
4. Responding to Uncertainty
5. Individual versus Collective Action
6. Designing Nonmarket Architecture
7. Sensing to Incubate Interest
8. Shaping Information Value
9. Aligning with Stakeholders
10. Ensuring Balance
11. Embracing New Frontiers
12. Leading for Advantage

About the author: 

Thomas C. Lawton is Professor of Strategy and International Management and Director of the Centre for International Management Practice at the Open University Business School and Visiting Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is the author or co-author of more than 40 referred articles and book chapters and author or editor of 8 books. His most recent books are Breakout Strategy: Meeting the Challenge of Double-Digit Growth (with Sydney Finkelstein and Charles Harvey, McGraw-Hill) and The Routledge Companion to Non-Market Strategy (with Tazeeb Rajwani, Routledge). ; Jonathan P. Doh holds the Rammrath Chair in International Business, serves as Faculty Director for the Centre for Global Leadership, and is Professor of Management at Villanova School of Business. He is author or co-author of more than 70 refereed articles, 30 chapters in scholarly edited volumes, more than 80 conference papers, and 8 books. His most recent books are NGOs and Corporations: Conflict and Collaboration (with Michael Yaziji, Cambridge University Press) and International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior (with Fred Luthans, McGraw-Hill Irwin, 9th edition), the best-selling international management text.; Tazeeb Rajwani is a Lecturer in Strategic Management at Cranfield School of Management. Previously he has been a Director of Strategy at a high-tech start-up, where he still holds an advisory position. He has also held a management position at KPMG Corporate Finance, where he was an Innovation Champion and member of the Thought Leadership group at KMPG Europe. He works with corporate clients globally to develop their competitive strategies and corporate political activities. His research focuses mainly on competitive advantage, nonmarket strategy and corporate political activity in global firms. He has published many academic papers, book chapters, reports and white papers on these themes in a variety of reputable outlets. His research has been reported in the commercial press, including the Irish Times, The Times and Financial Times. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London in strategic management.

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