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Art of War Critique

By | March 2011
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Critique: The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The concepts presented in the treatise by Sun Tzu in order to win battles originally intended for ancient China is so encompassing that it can be used in business and even in life today. Last night, i had an discussion with my friend regarding the similarities of war and of business. She told me that one her favorite books is The Art of War, so i asked her if she agreed that business is like war. She told me, "yeah". She told me that according to Sun Tzu, engaging in war in order to win battles involves tremendous amount of strategies. It involves knowing yourself and knowing your enemy. This knowing involves identifying your not only your strengths and weakness but also your enemy's. You should always use your strengths and focus it on the enemy's weaknesses. Also important is that you take advantage on the opportunities and avoid threats.

Hearing all of this, it reminds me of the strategic management model of Fred R. David. Fred R. David's model empahsizes the use of external and internal audit so as to identify the external opportunities and threats as well as the company's internal strengths and weaknesses. So, did Fred R. David got his inspiration from The Art of War written about 2500 years ago?

It is obvious that Sun Tzu's objectives in war is to win it. However in business, there's not much difference. All businesses except the non profit ones are always engaging with its competitors in order to get a bigger slice of the market or market share. It is a daily battle for business with it rival firms, a battle against new competition, new productor service substitute. It should always prowl for information in order to gain competitive advantage.

Sun tzu also highlighted the need for quick response to ever changing environment. Is this idea ever different from the business environment we are having today? Not at all. Also, he highlighted the minimum but smart use of resources in battle. Is this not related to...

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