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In WHAT MEANING of HISTORY of MANAGEMENT Review of the book: V.S. Katkalo. Evolution of the theory of strategic management. SPb.: St.Petersburg State University publishing house, 2006. 548 pages.

rossiysky magazine of management Volume 5, No. 4, 2007. Page 101-104



Review of the book: V.S. Katkalo. Evolution of the theory of strategic management. SPb.: St.Petersburg State University publishing house, 2006. 548 pages


The state university — Higher School of Economics /

Formation of any area of human knowledge is connected with resolution of several problems. One of them is a formation of a conceptual framework and methods, typical for concrete area. The second — determination of identity of the respective area. The third concerns the prospects of its development. In essence, process of consideration of these problems is also history of this field of knowledge.

In principle it is clear that studying history of any field of knowledge is of interest. However in relation to different areas the value of their history can change. In physics, for example, knowledge of the background undoubtedly broadens the researcher's horizons, but it is possible to solve a specific physical objective, and without knowing the history of its emergence. In social sciences which management adjoins the situation is more difficult. Here history is in many respects inseparable from the object of research as evolution of theoretical representations is substantially caused by change of a subject

researches. Therefore in social sciences the known statement that "without the background there is no theory of a question" gains special sense.

In the light of these reasons emergence of the book of V.S. Katkalo "Evolution of the theory of strategic management" is represented exclusively relevant.

Strategic management became the major element as practical activities of heads of the companies long ago, and an important component of formation of professional management. At the same time the complex nature of strategic management as areas of a research and first of all its cross-disciplinary nature complicate creation of the complete theory. In particular, the fragmentation of many textbooks on strategic management is explained by it. The attempt to systematize the saved-up material, the undertaken V.S. Katkalo, deserves in this regard special attention.

In literature two essentially various approaches to statement meet

© G.N. Konstantinov, S.R. Filonovich, 2007

stories. The first — the most widespread — comes down to the chronological description of events, i.e. formal statement of when any given idea was formulated, the concrete method is offered or the important concept is introduced into circulation. It is quite boring to read such works, to tell the truth, as the separate facts and events are not connected among themselves by the general idea.

The different approach to history is connected with conceptualization of development of concrete area. The works written within this tradition are explained why the idea, the method or a concept appeared in certain time and as they fitted into the corresponding historical context. Such works, of course, are more subjective as they reflect views of their authors, however at the same time they also are significantly more useful: even in case when reading there is a divergence with the author's position, then it in itself is constructive because forces to look at a problem from different sides. The monograph by V.S. Katkalo — work of this kind, and in it consists its major advantage. It very accurately gives an idea of transformation of "strategy as art" in "strategy as scientific discipline".

It is one of rare books where formation of the theory of strategic management of firm is very in details proved. As the author fairly notes, one of conditions of success of new scientific discipline and its features is "the balanced perfection" in accumulation of "basic" scientific knowledge at simultaneous compliance to inquiries of practice of management. The author is not limited to the declaration of interdisciplinarity of the theory of strategic management, he in detail analyzes "intellectual roots" of the new theory. It allows to approach more thoroughly characteristic of subject domain of researches in strategic management. V.S. Katkalo managed to be identified distinctly and

to present to the reader a circle of problems, methodology and evolution of the theory of strategic management. The author's concept of evolution formed a structural basis of all book and gave it strict academic character.

The periodization of researches undertaken by V.S. Katkalo in the field of strategy allows to look at evolution of the theory of strategic management of a new view and to prepare bases for the wording of the author's concept of evolution of the new theory. The criterion of degree of a maturity of the theory estimated through a prism of a system paradigm is the cornerstone of a periodization. This approach is stated in the first two chapters of the book. In the subsequent four chapters the fundamental analysis of each of stages is given.

The first — doanalitichesky — stage of researches of strategy of firms covers the period since the beginning of the 1960th and to the middle of the 1970th. At this stage initial concepts of strategic management which laid the foundation for formation of "a conceptual kernel" of the theory were created. The author managed to allocate a quintessence and to show value for formation of the theory of works of A. Chand-ler, K. Andrews, I. Ansoff, the Item Drake-ra, J. Steiner, R. Akoff, J. Ar-zhenti, etc., including developments of the consulting firms characteristic of this period.

The second stage of evolution of the theory of strategic management covers the period from the second half of the 1970th until the end of the 1980th. At this stage there is a formation of strategic management as scientific discipline. As the author fairly notes, during this period there was an institutional framework of new scientific discipline — professional communities, the reviewed magazines and a postgraduate study in the field of strategic management. In the book by V.S. Katkalo the convincing picture of formation of conceptual structure of the theory is given and the role of the leading scientists — M. Por - is shown

In what the meaning of history of management?


Terra, P. Draker, G. Mintsberg, D. Shen business and K. Hattena, R. Ramelta, J. Ku-inna, A. Pettigrew, R. Miles, Ch. Snow and many others. At this time the cross-disciplinary platform of modern researches of strategic management was formed. In the mid-eighties by R. Ramelt accurately raised a question of need of creation of the strategic theory of firm which would unite the economic theory, the theory of the organization and already saved up results of a research of strategy of firms.

The third stage — development of the theory on own basis — began in the 1990th. At this stage the resource concept which shifted focus of researches from the theory of the industry organization towards firm as the main object gained development. It assumes the shift of empirical researches in firm. Identification and a research of the unique organizational abilities allowing the organization to create competitive advantages "from within" puts before researchers in the field of strategic management a number of new tasks. Special sounding accepts a method of the profound cases opening "anatomy of organizational abilities" of successful firm. "The main thesis of the resource concept is that heterogeneity inherent in firms can be steady in view of possession them of unique resources and organizational abilities which, being sources of economic rents, determine competitive advantages of concrete firms" (page 331). The major role in development of this stage belongs to K. Prakhaladu, G. Hummel, D. Tis, J. Barney, B. Ver-nerfeltu, S. Uinter, the Russian scientists V.L. Tambovtsev, G.B. Kleyner and V.S. Katkalo. At this stage it was proved that ensuring uniqueness of the business model relying on organizational abilities of firm leads to long-term prosperity. The author for -

klyuchat that change of a mentality on the basis of resource approach is connected with two major differences — "a priority of creation of value, but not minimization of costs" and "accent of efforts not on suppression at any cost of the rival in the market competition, and on creation of own, hardly copied by other firms competences as guarantee of leadership in business" (page 387). In the word "leadership" the essence of deep changes in thinking is. Organizational efforts are focused not on suppression of the competitor, and on aspiration to leadership, ability "to lead" partners and clients. Author's statement of the resource concept brings clarity and understanding of internal mechanisms of development of the theory of strategic management in the 1990th. All this creates the solid base to formulate the main lines of further evolution of the theory.

Now the fourth stage of development of the theory of strategic management is formed. Formation of the dynamic concept of strategy of firms which cornerstone ideas of dynamic abilities are can serve as a harbinger of changes in approaches. Concepts of "oprezhayushchy strategy", "blasting" technologies bring to the forefront a problem of innovations and a new role of knowledge. Characterizing this stage, V.S. Katkalo offers the reader extensive material for thoughts and statement of new tasks, stimulating with that researchers in the field of strategy to search of a new paradigm. The author writes: "Scale and variety "вызовов" put before the theory of strategic management of fast development of innovative, global and information economy, forced some prominent experts to claim that "today the scientific discipline of strategic management is on распутье" as it was in its stories at the time of landmark Pittsburgh once

conferences of 1977" (page 391). V.S. Kat-kalo fairly emphasizes that changes are much deeper. It is about new paradigm shift. According to the author, the concept of dynamic abilities according to which the firm is understood as the institute designing competences and abilities by internal processes of training in the form of evolutionary experimenting" (page 393) has good chances to become "a prototype of a new paradigm. Positioning of the organization in space of competences becomes primary task in relation to positioning in the market. The question of search of the most effective architecture of competences becomes a strategy kernel. The second important aspect is connected with formation of networks. In this regard the author fixes a new circle of interesting problems. The research of "relational rents" can be an example: "Determinants of relational rents yavlya-

assets, specific to concrete interrelations, procedures of sharing of knowledge, complementary resources and abilities, effective management of intercompany interactions" yutsyatsya (page 459). Describing contours of the fourth stage in development of the theory of strategic management, V.S. Katkalo sets a large number of new research tasks and it is clear "draws" a vector of modern development of the theory.

In an age of the increasing speed of changes the formation of the theory begins to lag behind practice inquiries, it becomes more difficult to keep in line with relevant applied tasks, without having lost conceptual integrity of the theory. Formation of new knowledge and development of the theory in the real mode of time becomes a new intellectual call for researchers. The book by V.S. Katkalo as well as possible trains the reader for the solution of this difficult task.

Martin Miller
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