Top critical review
A New Safari is Needed
March 2, 2016
I teach Strategic Management and have used it in a capstone seminar for fourth year undergrads.
The idea of breaking up the literature into 10 schools is a novel way of learning about the field. That said, the extent of its reviews of the literature is more suited to a course for doctoral students than for undergrads. Readers may find the abundant use of animal metaphors, poems, cartoons, and complicated conceptual diagrams cute and helpful or they may find it over-the-top.
My major complaint is that the book is getting out of date. The chapter on the planning school doesn't take into account or even mention the influence of Big Data about customers that businesses (for example Amazon and Netflix) can gather from customers online activity. The chapter about the entrepreneurial model is stuck back in the 50s in the Duddy Kravitz school of entrepreneurship in which Mintzberg writes about Jewish entrepreneurs in Montreal in businesses like groceries and women's undergarments. An up-to-date chapter about entrepreneurship would obviously write about web startups.
Mintzberg, at his stage in life, is unlikely to want to do a major rewrite and I doubt whether his co-authors will. Which is too bad.
For a complete review, see my blog post of March 22, 2012 on sandfordborins.com.