Understanding the Dynamics of the Value Chain
In his book Competitive Advantage, published in 1985, Michael Porter introduced the concept of the value chain, "a systematic way of examining all activities a firm performs and how they interact, (necessary) for analyzing the sources of competitive advantage." Thinking of a firm as a series of horizontal and vertical linkages forced from out of the shadows the silo mentality within which firms operated and to which business schools subscribed. Unfortunately value chain thinking is still not as pervasive as it needs to be and a silo mentality continues to permeate much of contemporary business culture. Moreover there is a dearth of contemporary literature available on value chains to combat the "silo approach" to business management. The purpose of this book is to help fill that void. The book will include material drawn from the literature on change and systems thinking and organizational design. It will offer perspectives on the global economy, and address issues of sustainability, corporate social responsibility and the link between effective value chain management, competitiveness and profitability.