Influence of Sun Tzu on Management Strategy

Topics: Strategic management, The Art of War, Management Pages: 4 (1464 words) Published: July 29, 2011
The Influence of Sun Tzu- “The Art of War” on Current Business Strategy Management and Tactics MGT 4335

Management struggles constantly day in and day out in order to meet the rigorous demands of their organization. Meeting after meeting, they try to stay ahead of the competition and look for any competitive advantage that they may have to control the market share. The current strategies of top management teams today have been derived from many influential leaders of ancient warfare. One of the most significant leaders to impact strategic management is the ancient Chinese General Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu was believed to be born around 544 B.C. and left a lasting impression on military strategy that is seen to be beneficial in both warfare and business strategic management still today.

Upon examining Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”, many business leaders are able to employ his strategic tactics in order to grow and become profitable. Business activities resemble warfare in the sense that your competitor is your enemy, which must be ultimately defeated. The “territory” that is being fought for in warfare is seen as the market segment that you are ultimately trying to control. Your “weapons” in battle resemble the marketing mix of product, price, promotion, and place that company’s use to gain a competitive advantage. A victory can be achieved by the organization that is able to use their weapons wisely in order to control the territory. Sun Tzu established precise rules that, if followed correctly, make defeat impossible and victory flawless in every battle, whether it is warfare or business.

The first rule Sun Tzu employs is to know your enemy. In many businesses, leaders launch head-on attacks against the strongest point of their competitors which is costly to all parties and can lead to defeat. Instead, Sun Tzu explains that you should attack your competitor’s weaknesses, for they will be unprepared for what is to come. He says, “ Hence that general is...

Bibliography: 1) Tzu, S. (2006) The Art of War. Translated by Lionel Giles. Filiguarian Publishing.
2) McNeilly, M. (1996) Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers. New York: Oxford University Press.
3) Feinberg, A. (1987) Sun Tzu on Wall Street. The New York Times, 7, p.30.
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