Strategy is an essential ingredient of business success. In this interview, David Bach tells Tom Brown how he came to believe that nonmarket strategy is just as important for future corporate success.
A number of scholars now assert that strategic planning is, in most cases, incomplete. David Bach is one of them. He believes that companies need to give equal weight to how they are managing relationships with governments, regulators, nongovernment organizations, the media and society at large. Bach has been researching nonmarket strategy for a number of years and teaches the subject at IE Business School in Madrid. Bach grew up in Germany, studied in the US and has worked with McKinsey and the Global Business Network as well as with Political Intelligence, an international lobbying consulting firm.
You are one of a handful of people in the world studying nonmarket strategy. Why does this field interest you?
I see it as a very under-studied field. More than that, people in both academe and business seem to determine competitive advantage as a function of market matters per se – products, customers, market share and the like. But a number of us around the world are trying to elevate the importance of nonmarket strategy. Increasingly, competitive advantage can be built or lost outside of markets. That means there are huge opportunities for companies here but also immense dangers to anyone focused purely on the market side.
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