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Kenneth R. Andrews

Business scholar

Kenneth Richmond (Ken) Andrews (May 24, 1916 – September 4, 2005) was an American academic who, along with H. Igor Ansoff and Alfred D. Chandler, was credited with the foundational role in introducing and popularizing the concept of business strategy.

QuoteEdit

  • The Functions of the Executive remains today, as it has been since its publication, the most thought-provoking book on organization and management ever written by a practicing executive.
    • Kenneth Andrews (1968: xxi), cited in: Mahoney, Joseph T., and Paul Godfrey. The Functions of the Executive'at 75: An Invitation to Reconsider a Timeless Classic. No. 14-0100. 2014. Online at illinois.edu.
  • My career as a teacher, researcher, and consultant has been focused on the education of practicing executives to direct their attention to the need for defining the purposes of their own lives and those of their organizations, and to the fact that such purposes should be worth pursuing in terms of profit outcomes and social responsibility.
    • Kenneth Andrews, quoted in: Harper W. Moulton. "Profiles in executive education: Ken Andrews." Business Horizons, Vol. 38, Issue 5, Sept.–Oct. 1995, pp. 75-78

The Concept of Strategy, 1971Edit

Kenneth R. Andrews (1971), The concept of corporate strategy, Richard D. Irwin, Homewood.

  • [Practicing executives] unevenly qualified by education and experience but uniformly burdened by the same kind of responsibility, is made elite not by inheritance or schooling; but by its assigned duties. Its members have responsibility for leading the organizations that develop material wealth in our society and thereby make possible all the other kinds of wealth that constitute our civilization and make life worthwhile.
    • p. vii
  • [It was Andrew's intention to supply a] conceptual framework for thinking about the problems that confront the general manager, breaking his problems down into more manageable units, and proposing a sequence in which they might be reasonably ranked and considered.
    • p. 2
  • Corporate strategy is the pattern of major objectives, purposes, or goals and essential policies and plans for achieving those goals stated in such a way as to define what business the company is in or is to be in and the kind of company it is or is to be. In a changing world it is a way of expressing a persistent concept of the business so as to exclude some possible new activities and suggest entry into others.
    • p. 28
  • It is important only to remember that the 'choice of goals and the formulation of policy cannot in any case be separate decisions.
    • p. 30
  • The personality of firms like Polaroid, Xerox, Control Data, IBM, ITT, LTV and General Motors clearly reflects aspects of company and management intent that are manifested only partially in such activities as research expenditures, choice of product line and recruitment and development of organization members.
    • p. 30
  • The determination of strategy also requires consideration of what alternative is preferred by the chief executive and perhaps by his immediate associates as well, quite apart from economic considerations. Personal values, aspirations, and ideals do, and in our judgement quite properly should, influence the final choice of purposes. Thus, what the executives of the company want to do must be brought into the strategic decision.
    • p. 30
  • There is no way to divorce the decision determining the most sensible economic strategy from the personal values of those who make the choice.
    • p. 34
  • The determination of strategy also requires consideration of what alternative is preferred by the chief executive and perhaps by his immediate associates as well, quite apart from economic considerations. Personal values, aspirations, and ideals do, and in our judgment quite properly should, influence the final choice of purposes. Thus, what the executives of a company want to do must be brought into the strategic decision.
Finally, strategic choice has an ethical aspect—a fact much more dramatically illustrated in some industries than in others. Just as alternatives may be ordered in terms of the degree of risk that they entail, so may they be examined against the standards of responsibility that the strategist elects. Some alternatives may seem to the executive considering them more attractive than others when the public good or service to society is considered. What a company should do thus appears as a fourth element of the fateful decision we have called strategic
  • p. 38, cited in: Gastón de los Reyes, Jr. "Introduction (as presented) to The Concept of Strategy 40 Years Later." August 15, 2011, at lgst.wharton.upenn.edu.
  • We must acknowledge at this point that there is no way to divorce the decision determining the most sensible economic strategy for a company from the personal values of those who make the choice.
    • p. 53
  • We now move to what they ought to do — from the viewpoint of various leaders and segments of society and their own standards of right and wrong. Ethics, like preference, may be considered a product of values.
    • p. 88 (in 1980 edition)

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