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    Aligning for Advantage: Competitive Strategies for the Political and Social Arenas

    By: Jonathan P. Doh

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    In today's multipolar world economy, strategic alignment is a key determinant of competitive advantage. Coca-Cola, Danone, Diageo, DuPont, Lufthansa and Tata are some of the companies that strive for a pragmatic approach to balancing competitive strategies with political and social obligations. Aligning for Advantage argues that to build and sustain corporate success, companies must synchronize business objectives and market positions with political andregulatory activism and social and environmental engagement. Moreover, to be credible and realizable, these external market and nonmarket strategies need to be equally attuned with corporate vision, values, and culture. The book advances a managerial process and conceptual framework for aligning corporatestrategy. In some cases alignment may mean deep, strategically embedded partnerships with governments, NGOs, or other stakeholders. In others, alignment may take the form of looser, temporary collaborations with outside organizations. No matter the approach, the relationship between nonmarket and market strategies should be deliberate and genuine, not accidental or artificial. Truly aligned strategies should reconcile and modulate sometimes conflicting external demands in a way that isappropriate for the corporation's geographic and market positions. In the end, companies must leverage their overall nonmarket strategy as a source of competitive advantage.

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