GLOCOM Platform
debates Media Reviews Tech Reviews Special Topics Books and Journals
Summary Page
Search with Google
Home > Books & Journals > Book Review Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Book Review #13: August 20, 2001

"From Battlefield To Boardroom" by Dennis Laurie

Title: From Battlefield To Boardroom
Author: Dennis Laurie
Publisher: Palgrave
Date/Time: August, 2001
Pages: English text 264 pages (Hardcover)

RealVideo: Intreview to Dennis Laurie (approx. 25sec)

Download RealPlayerNote: To view RealVideo, you need to have RealPlayer G2 or later installed in your computer. You can download the free RealPlayer here.


It is often said that Japan lost World War II, but won the economic war to become a superpower in the world economy, if not politics. The war mentality of typical Japanese companies and businessmen in competing among themselves and with foreign companies has been well documented in the literature.

In comparison, there have been very few studies of military strategies as applied to global businesses in general. Dennis Laurie, a student of Peter Drucker and the author of a best seller, "Yankee Samurai" (1992), did just that. After carefully studying various military strategies from Ancient Greece and Desert Storm, the author shows how those strategies can be applied in the context of global business competition.

For example, Japan's strategic attacks against the U.S. and its allies in the early years of WWII, including the Pearl Harbor attack, are considered to have followed a Japanese military maxim, "to capture the baby tiger you have to go into the mother tiger's lair." This attack-strength strategy has been employed, according to the author, by such companies as Starbucks and Nordstrom. But the most illuminating case may be Lexus, which took on Cadillac and Lincoln in the luxury car market, a stronghold in the U.S. domestic economy.

At the same time, the author correctly points out that a certain strategy may be effective given a fitting set of prevailing circumstances. If those circumstances change, then an entirely different strategy could become most effective. In fact, the "attack-weakness" strategy is also discussed as an equally important one under certain circumstances. Other strategies include concentration of forces, controlling a choke point, bringing change to a failing company, alliances, containment, combat-readiness, patience and relentless attack.

This book is full of good analogies and examples, giving insight into how to win global competition with the right strategies that have been tested in the battlefield in the past. Since Dr. Laurie is a very dynamic speaker, he might consider publication of an audio version of the book, narrated by himself of course.

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications