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May 31 , 2009

Corporate Strategy in the Age of Responsibility


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.

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In 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.

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