: Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Paperback) (): Avinash K. Dixit, Barry J. Nalebuff: Books. Thinking Strategically. The Competitive Edge in Business,. Politics, and Everyday Life. Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff. W. W. Norton & Company. Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life is a non-fiction book by Indian-American economist Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff, a professor.
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News and Reviews – Thinking Strategically: Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff
Dixit and Nalebuff provide the skeleton key. He has taught courses on games of strategy and has done research into strategic behavior in international nalebuf policy. He earned his Ph. He teaches courses on strategy, politics, and decision-making. A frequent contributor on questions of strategy, his work has appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other widely read publications.
A Rhodes Scholar, he earned his doctorate at Oxford University. Dixit and Barry J.
Nalebuff All rights reserved. Cartoon by Charles Schulz. Reprinted with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc. What Is Strategic Behavior? All of us must practice strategic thinking at work as well as at home. Businessmen and corporations naleguff use good competitive strategies to survive. Politicians have to devise campaign strategies to get elected, and legislative strategies to implement their visions. Football coaches plan strategies for the players to execute on the field.
Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life
Parents trying to elicit good behavior from children must become amateur strategists the children are the pros. Good strategic thinking in such numerous diverse contexts remains an art. But its foundations consist of some simple basic principles—an emerging science of strategy.
Our premise in writing this book is that readers from a variety of backgrounds and occupations can become better strategists if they know these principles. The science of strategic thinking is called game theory.
This is a relatively young science—less than fifty years old.
Thinking Strategically – Wikipedia
It has already provided many useful insights for practical strategists. But, like all sciences, it has become shrouded in jargon and mathematics.
These are essential research tools, but they prevent all but the specialists from understanding the basic ideas. We have attempted a translation of many important insights for the intelligent general reader.
We have replaced theoretical arguments with illustrative examples and case studies. We have removed all the mathematics and most of the stdategically. The book should be accessible to all readers who are willing to follow a strategicaally bit of arithmetic, charts, and tables. Many books have already attempted to develop ideas of strategic thinking for particular applications. In fact, Schelling pioneered a lot of game theory in the process of applying it to nuclear conflict. Steven Brams has written several books, the most notable being Game Theory and Politics.
In this book we do not confine the ideas to any particular context. Instead, we offer a very wide range of illustrations for each basic principle. Thus readers from many different backgrounds will all find something familiar here.
They will also see how the same principles bear on strategies in less familiar circumstances; we hope this gives them a new perspective on many events in news as well as history. We also draw on the shared experience of most American readers, with illustrations from, for example, literature, movies, and sports. Serious scientists may think this trivializes strategy, but we believe that familiar examples from movies and sports are a very effective vehicle for conveying the important ideas.
We thank many students from these courses for their enthusiasm and ideas. Takashi Kanno and Yuichi Shimazu undertook the task of translating our words and ideas into Japanese; in the process, they improved the English version.
The idea of writing a book avinnash a more popular level than that of a course text came from Hal Varian of the University of Michigan. He also gave us many useful ideas and comments on earlier drafts. Drake McFeely at W. Norton was an excellent if exacting editor. He made extraordinary efforts to fashion our academic writing into a lively text. If the book still retains some traces of its teaching origins, that is because we did not listen to all of his advice.
Many colleagues and friends read earlier drafts with care and gave us numerous detailed and excellent suggestions for improvement. We also want to give credit to those who have helped us find a title sstrategically this book. Hal Varian started us off with Thinking Strategically.
Yale SOM students gave us many more choices. How should people behave in society?
Our answer does not deal with ethics or etiquette. Nor do we aim to compete with philosophers, preachers, or even Emily Post.
Our theme, although less lofty, affects the lives of all nalebufr us just as much as do morality and manners. This book is about strategic behavior. All of us are strategists, whether we like it or not. It is better to be a good strategist than a bad one, and this book aims to help you improve your skills at discovering and using effective strategies. Work, even social life, is a constant stream of decisions.
What career to follow, how to manage a business, whom to marry, how to bring up children, whether to run for president, are just some examples of stratrgically fateful choices.
The common element in these situations is that you do not act in a vacuum. Instead, you are surrounded by active decision-makers whose choices interact with strategcally. This interaction has an important effect on your thinking and actions. To avinasn the point, think of the difference between the decisions of a lumberjack and those of a general. When the lumberjack decides how to chop wood, he does not expect the wood to fight back; his environment is neutral.
Like the general, you must recognize that your business rivals, prospective spouse, and even your child are intelligent and purposive people.
Their aims often conflict with yours, but they include some potential allies. Your own choice must allow for the conflict, and utilize the cooperation. Such interactive decisions are called strategic, and the plan of action appropriate to them is called nalebhff strategy. This book aims to help you think strategically, and then translate these thoughts into action. The branch of social science that thikning strategic decision-making is called game theory. The games in this theory range from chess to child-rearing, from tennis strwtegically takeovers, and from advertising to arms control.
Playing these games requires many different kinds of skills. Basic skills, such as shooting ability in basketball, knowledge of precedents in law, or a blank face in poker, are one kind; strategic thinking is another. Strategic thinking starts with your basic skills, and considers how best to use them. Knowing the law, you must decide the strategy for defending your client. Knowing how well your football avinawh can pass or run, and how well the other team can defend against each choice, your decision as the coach is whether to pass or to run.
Sometimes, as in the case of superpowers contemplating an adventure that risks nuclear war, strategic thinking also means knowing when not to play. Our aim is to improve your strategy I.
But we have not tried to provide a book of recipes for strategies. We develop the ideas and principles of strategic thinking; to apply nalfbuff to a specific situation you face and to find the right choice there, you will have to do some more work. This is because the specifics of each situation sixit likely to differ in some significant aspects, and any general prescriptions for action we might give could be misleading. Nalehuff each situation, you will have to pull together principles of good strategy we have discussed, and also avinasu principles from other considerations.
You must combine them and, where they conflict with each other, evaluate the relative strengths of the different arguments. We do not promise to solve every question you might have. The science of game theory is far from being complete, and in some ways strategic thinking remains an art. We do provide guidance for translating the ideas into action.
Chapter 1 stategically several examples showing how strategic issues arise in a variety of decisions. We point out some effective strategies, some less effective ones, and even some downright bad ones. The subsequent chapters proceed to build these examples into a system or a framework of thought.
In the later chapters, we take up several broad classes of strategic situations—brinkmanship, voting, incentives, and bargaining—where you can see the principles in action.
The examples range from the familiar, trivial, or amusing— usually drawn from literature, sports, or movies—to the frightening —nuclear confrontation. The former are merely a nice and palatable vehicle for the game-theoretic ideas. As to the latter, at djxit point many nalbeuff would have thought the subject of nuclear war too horrible to permit rational analysis.
But as the cold war winds down and the world is generally perceived to be a safer place, we hope that the game-theoretic aspects of the arms race and the Cuban missile crisis can be examined for their strategic logic in some detachment from their emotional content. The chapters dixif full of examples, but these serve primarily to develop or illustrate the particular principle being discussed, and many other details of reality that pertain to the example are set aside. Each case sets out a particular set of circumstances and invites you to apply dicit principles discussed in that chapter to find the right strategy for that situation.
Some cases are open-ended; but that is also a feature of life. At times there is no clearly correct solution, only imperfect ways to cope with the problem.