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The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Strategy

EARLY 1960S: Harvard professors Ken Andrews and C. Roland Christensen articulate the concept of strategy as a tool to link together the functions of a business and assess a company's strengths and weaknesses against competitors.

EARLY 1960S: General Electric emerges as the pioneer in strategic planning, creating a large, centralized staff of planners to ponder the future. Consultant McKinsey & Co. helps GE view its products in terms of strategic business units, identify competitors for each, and evaluate its position against them.

1963: Under founder Bruce D. Henderson, Boston Consulting Group becomes the first of many strategy boutiques. BCG pioneers a series of concepts that take Corporate America by storm, including the ``experience curve'' and the ``growth and market-share matrix.''

1980: Harvard professor Michael E. Porter's book Competitive Strategy provides a generation of MBA-trained executives with new models to plot strategy based on economic theories.

1983: New GE Chairman Jack Welch slashes the corporate planning group and purges scores of planners from GE's operating units. Numerous companies follow his lead.

EARLY 1980S: Battered by global competition, companies turn away from strategic planning and begin to focus on operational improvement. Executives embrace the Total Quality movement and the teachings of guru Edward Deming.

LATE 1980S: Corporate America begins massive downsizing and reengineering of operations to increase efficiency and productivity. Guru Michael Hammer leads the reengineering revolution.

1994: After 10 years of downsizing, companies begin to focus on how to grow. Academics C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel become the most influential of a new group of strategists with the publication of Competing for the Future.

NOW: A bevy of new books are out from a new group of strategy gurus who are capturing the attention of corporate executives and redefining the process of strategy creation.

DATA: BUSINESS WEEK


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Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.
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