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Almost all companies need a strategy at the corporate level that is in addition to the strategies for products or markets or business divisions. This book is for any manager with responsibilities for multiple business divisions. It is also for any student, advisor or more junior manager who wants to understand the challenges that corporate managers face and how they make decisions. The book will help answer two important questions that can only be addressed at the corporate level:

What businesses or markets to invest in, including decisions about diversifying into adjacent activities, about selling businesses, about entering new geographies or markets and about how much money to commit to each area of business.


How to manage the group of businesses, including how to structure the organisation into divisions or units or subsidiaries, how to guide each division, how to manage the links and synergies between divisions, what activities to centralise or decentralise and how to select and guide the managers of these divisioins.

We will refer to the first as "business" or "portfolio" strategy and the second as "management" or "parenting" strategy. The combination of these two types of strategy makes up corporate-level strategy.

Terms like business division, corporate headquarters or corporate-level strategy may suggest that this book is only relevant to managers running old-fashioned conglomerates. Far from it. This book is just as relevant for focused companies like Apple or Google. It is also relevant for public sector organisations, although much of the language used is commercial.

Read excerpts from the book:


Table of contents

History of thinking

Chapter 1 - Summary of the main messages

Chater 9 - Lessons from twenty years of consulting

Portfolio Decisions

Growing into new business

Tactics for dealing with awkward capital markets

Chapter 16 - Experience

HBR Blog Network: When to Pass on a Great Business Opportunity: by Andrew Campbell

We would be delighted to hear from you. For example:


  • Examples of corporate strategy

  • How to create a corporate strategy, e.g. tools, frameworks, processes, people

  • Examples of how this book has helped you

  • Any other comments or questions related to the website or the book

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