The Strategy Oven: A Book Review

4 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2010

Date Written: March 6, 2010


Q. Why are there so many books about strategy? A. Because it is a subject we know so little about. There is an element of truth in this old joke. Strategy is both amorphous and important. Unlike most other subjects in business and management, it has no agreed beginning and certainly no end. It is difficult even to determine when "business policy" became "strategy", or whether strategy is the superset of organizational behaviour, human resources, marketing, operations, information systems, finance, accounting, and leadership, or a subset of each. Selecting an approach – and a textbook – involves a baffling array of choices. We can choose from a huge assortment of cookbooks, too numerous to mention, offering recipes like 200g of PEST, 350g of SWOT, Five Forces, three (or four) Generic Strategies, and a sprinkling of Value Chain. What students remember is often just the shopping list, because they leave our kitchens before the warm and enticing smells start to waft from the strategy oven. This review explores the issues in selecting a strategy text.

Keywords: Strategy, Textbooks

JEL Classification: L1, M1

Suggested Citation

Nordberg, Donald, The Strategy Oven: A Book Review (March 6, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Donald Nordberg (Contact Author)

Bournemouth University ( email )

Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road,
Bournemouth, BH8 8EB
United Kingdom


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