Book Review: Managing Strategic Innovation and Change: A Collection of Readings
By: Michael L. Tushman and Philip Anderson. New York: Oxford University Press , 2004 . 635+xvi pages. Review by: Robert R. Rothberg
JPIM does not normally review anthologies, much less second editions of reading collections. However, I found the first edition very useful (see review in JPIM, January 1999) and am delighted to be able to recommend this second version of the book just as highly.
This edition retains the strong sense of focus and perspective of the first one. As the authors aver, it is designed for M.B.A. and professional courses that focus on technological innovation and change. The 40-odd articles are drawn from a variety of appropriate sources, including excerpts from professional books (10) and articles from leading management journals, such as California Management Review (8), Harvard Business Review (4), and Strategic Management Journal (3). About three fourths of the entries in this second edition are new. All of the articles include extensive references, and the whole collection includes a comprehensive index.
Michael Tushman, now at Harvard Business School, and Philip Anderson, now at INSEAD, did more than simply replace older essays with newer ones. They also added new sections of readings. To be sure, important older sections remain, including the Overview (Part I), Innovation over Time (Part II), Historical Context (Part III), Organizational Architecture (Part IV), Managing Linkages (Part VI), and Executive Leadership (Part VII). However, substantially new here are major sections devoted to innovation and business strategy (Part IV) and, above all, to knowledge, learning, and intellectual capital (Part V).
With respect to Part V, the editors define this intellectual capital not just in terms of patents and technological know-how but in terms of general systems and procedures as well. They stress the need for managing the acquisition, transfer, and application of knowledge because of its cumulative effects and its importance in defining long-term competitive advantage. This section is typical of this book. It includes a short but excellent prefatory note and four articles: two conceptual in tone and two detailed case illustrations of the challenges involved. The first case deals with Hyundai Motor's long-term knowledge of acquisitions strategy and the second with collaborative learning from networks and alliances in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors.
Make no mistake about the book. This is not a “how to” offering in the sense of templates or checklists for routine problem-solving in the new product development sector. It is rather a collection of stimulating conceptually oriented essays and detailed case analyses, solidly grounded in research that should stimulate the thinking of the thoughtful manager, whether a tyro or a grizzled professional. A bonus is that the extensive references and index facilitate pursuing particular ideas or thoughts.
Any book, of course, can be criticized because of what it does not contain. For example, there is very little on the identification or assessment of markets or on the design and execution of business or marketing plans. However, other quality books address these more applied issues.
This anthology, as its title implies, is strategic in orientation. It is not tactical or programmatic in character. The publisher advises that the authors' first edition was a best-seller. I see no reason why this second edition should be no less well received by scholarly and professional audiences. Critically speaking, it is a winner!