Book Launch: Corporate Strategy in the Age of Responsibility


By Peter McManners, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK

As the era of ever expanding markets and ample resources ends, governments and business will have to behave differently. The world is facing weak economic growth, limits to affordable resources and increasing concerns about environmental consequences. During the boom times, governments championed de-regulation and business responded by adopting an anything-goes attitude. In these straitened times, strategic analysis has to engage with the challenges that society faces to create resilient corporations fit for the 21st century.

book on csrIn Corporate Strategy in the Age of Responsibility, Peter McManners, who has for nine years run strategy workshops on the Henley MBA focusing on the global business environment, sets about providing a strategic framework for navigating the new economic environment. Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) now exist, but they struggle to find the strategic rationale for the improvements they champion. The author argues that their good intentions often lack traction, partly because others in management don’t get it, but also because they are not ambitious enough.

The book is not about preaching semi-charitable behaviour or how to enhance the reputation of the corporation instead it is about surviving and thriving in a challenging and changing environment.

A corporate audience familiar with strategy books will relate to this book, but will find it steers them towards radically new strategic thinking suitable for a turbulent period of transition.

Contents: Foreword; Preface; Introduction. Part I A Changing World: Society needs business; Twenty-first-century opportunities; Beyond globalization; Changing economic priorities; The purpose of the corporation. Part II Strategic Appraisal: Scenario analysis; External analysis; Industry analysis; Internal analysis; Stakeholder analysis. Part III Strategic Options: Define the corporate footprint; Core strategy selection; Markets and locations; Resourcing; Analysis of options. Part IV Delivering the Strategy: Portfolio of options; Measuring success; Engage investors; Engage the workforce; Mobilize other stakeholders. Conclusion; References; Index.

About the Author: Peter McManners works as a consultant and author and is a Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School.

Peter’s career as a military engineer, surveyor and mapping expert took him to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was COO of the Oxford Trust, where his focus was on spinning technology out of academia. He has taught all over Northern Europe under the auspices of Henley Business School, Reading University.

He writes a monthly column in Sustainable Business magazine and is the author of the acclaimed book Fly and Be Damned.

Peter is a Life Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Member of the Institute of Directors and of the Green Economics Institute. He has been a speaker at the Institute’s Oxford Conferences for several years.

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