The Strategic Manager

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 9 March 2015



(2015), "The Strategic Manager", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 23 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The Strategic Manager

Article Type: Suggested reading From: Human Resource Management International Digest, Volume 23, Issue 2

Harry Sminia, 2014, Routledge, ISBN: 9781138778825

Harry Sminia’s The Strategic Manager provides students and managers with a solid understanding of the strategic-management theories along with the tools needed to apply them and contribute toward successful organizations. It starts from how strategy is realized in the business world and applies the key theories to provide a rounded understanding.

The author reveals that he has written the book out of frustration. He found what is available in strategic-management textbooks to be less and less relevant. Contemporary case studies are provided to help readers to visualize the application of strategic thinking and so open a window to the real world of strategic management.

The author puts forward the view that an organization’s existence makes sense only if it is worthwhile in the eyes of its stakeholders. The strategist in charge of an organization should know the extent of the match or mismatch between the organization, its environment and its strategy and have ideas about how these three should match.

If a firm is able to combine exploration with exploitation, it is said to be ambidextrous. This is not easy to do because the requirements of exploitation – doing the same thing over and over again – contradict exploration, which involved actively looking for things to change.

As there is a static resource-based view and a dynamic resource-based view, there are two ways to go. The resource-based view is more of an add-on to marketing-based strategic thinking or the industrial-organization approach.

Opportunities have a positive ring, and threats are perceived as negative. When somebody labels issues positively or negatively, it reveals his or her way of thinking.

There is a constant struggle between challengers and incumbents, and sometimes a new order will replace the old one. This process features power, politics, ambiguity, conflict and controversy.

The notion of organizational culture is closely related to the concepts of vision and visionary leadership. The visionary leader articulates where he or she would like the organization to be in the future and is expected to inspire others to follow him or her.

The book is written in a conversational tone. The author articulates his ideas effectively and clearly justifies his concepts and arguments. He has written a thought-provoking book, ideal for executive education, which contains the latest models and theories with updated tools and techniques about strategy.

Reviewed by Professor M.S. Rao, available at:,

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