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Pragmatic Strategy
Eastern Wisdom, Global Success

  • Date Published: May 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521173148


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About the Authors
  • Pragmatism is enjoying a renaissance in management studies and the social sciences. Once written off as amoral, relativist and opposed to the ideals of Truth, Reason and Progress, it is now regaining influence in public policy, international relations and business strategy. But what can pragmatism teach us about strategy? How can pragmatic strategies help businesses to succeed? This innovative book presents a pragmatic framework for shaping and solving strategic problems in a practical, creative, ethical and finely balanced manner. To achieve this, the authors draw from Confucian teaching, American pragmatism and Aristotelian practical wisdom, as well as business cases across industries and nations, particularly from emerging economies. With significant theoretical depth, direct practical implication and profound cultural sensitivity, the book is useful for executive managers, public administrators, strategy researchers and advanced students in the search for pragmatic strategies in an interconnected, fast-moving world.

    • Shows how businesses can succeed using pragmatic strategies
    • Draws on pragmatic traditions of both Eastern and Western thinkers
    • Features many case studies and examples of pragmatic strategies at work
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Nonaka and Zhu's remarkable book addresses fundamental issues in strategy. It is philosophical and practical at the same time. I recommend it to everyone who is concerned with business strategy and enterprise development.' David Teece, Hass School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

    'This may be the first book that engages seriously with Eastern philosophy and practices, places them within a global business context and translates them into practical ideas and routines that any good manager can employ. Pragmatic Strategy is a must read for any thoughtful individual with international aspirations.' Stephen Cummings, Victoria Management School, Victoria University of Wellington

    'This lively and challenging book proposes 'Confucian pragmatism' as a response to the current crisis of capitalism. As we grapple with the new 'Asian Century', this is a timely, powerful and practical contribution for strategists everywhere.' Richard Whittington, Saϊd Business School, University of Oxford

    'With its Confucian roots and global outlook, Pragmatic Strategy is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the business strategies behind the (re-) rise of East Asian economies.' Liu Yuanzhang, Chinese Academy of Engineering

    'This lucidly written book invites readers to explore how to generate value efficiently, creatively, ethically. It is a timely contribution to business strategy amid the economic, social and moral challenges of the twenty-first century.' Wang Zhongtuo, Chinese Academy of Engineering

    'Using a wide range of contemporary and real-world examples, Nonaka and Zhu illustrate the power of pragmatic strategy to enhance the well-being of persons, firms, industries, society and Mother Nature. The impact of the book will be felt in the years to come.' Yoshiteru Nakamori, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

    '… this is an important book in the field of strategy because it joins the growing critique of traditional views on strategy and because, much more than most, it give[s] central importance to moral conduct.' Ralph Stacey, University of Hertfordshire

    'Cambridge University Press has done the authors 'proud' in bringing out this handsomely presented volume. They clearly do write as directly and transparently as they can, vis a vis the challenging task of communicating the rather difficult subject-matter involved, without at all sacrificing complexity and depth. The use of Chinese philosophic references is throughout most impressive and the work presents a rich array of informative figures, bibliographic citations and learned notes.' Malcolm Warner, Asia Pacific Business Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521173148
    • length: 540 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.86kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    List of cited classics
    Part I. Why Pragmatism, Why Now?:
    1. Introduction
    2. Spirits of pragmatism
    Part II. What Do Pragmatic Strategies Look Like?:
    3. Strategies in a pragmatic world
    4. Strategy as purposeful emergence
    Part III. What to Do, How to Do It?:
    5. Dealing with wuli-shili-renli
    6. Timely balanced way-making
    7. Orchestrating WSR, orchestrating the firm
    Part IV. Think When We Learn:
    8. Questioning the conventional paradigm
    9. Pragmatism East and West

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Competitive Strategy
  • Authors

    Ikujiro Nonaka, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
    Ikujiro Nonaka is Professor Emeritus of the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University, Xerox Distinguished Faculty Scholar, University of California, Berkeley and also First Distinguished Drucker Scholar in Residence at the Drucker School and Institute, Claremont Graduate University. He received his BA (Political Science) from Waseda University, MBA and PhD (Business Administration) from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Zhichang Zhu, University of Hull
    Zhichang Zhu is currently a Reader in Strategy and Management, teaching Strategy for the MBA programme at the University of Hull Business School. He has held positions as the director of the PhD Program, a visiting research professor in Knowledge Management at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a visiting research professor in Strategy and Management at South China Normal University, a visiting research professor in International Business Management at International East-West University (Honolulu and Los Angeles), a visiting lecturing professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Friedrich Schiller University (Jena, Germany) and East-West Knowledge Leaders Program, Japan-America Institute of Management Science (Hawaii, USA), an external examiner for PhD theses for the Cape Town University (South Africa) and Swinburne University of Technology (Australia).

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