Skip to main content Accessibility help
The Poverty of Strategy
  • Coming soon
  • Robin Holt, University of Bristol Business School, Mike Zundel, University of Liverpool Management School
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: June 2023
  • Print publication year: 2023
  • Online ISBN: 9781316577141
  • Export citation
  • Buy a print copy
  • Recommend to librarian

Book description

At least since the ancient Greeks, strategists have sought to direct and distinguish organized activity through planned, rational decision-making, through the imaginative creation of vision, or through the assertion of will. In all cases, argue Holt and Zundel, strategy impoverishes, not because it only ever offers limited view of organized life, but because it is dedicated to concealing these limits behind grand generalities. The situation is exacerbated when machines and algorithms, not humans, organize. Holt and Zundel draw on philosophy, literature, media theory, art, mathematics, computing and military thinking in an attempt to rescue strategy by isolating what, they argue, remains its essence: strategy is a continual organizational struggle towards authenticity. This, too, is a condition of poverty, but one that sets in place an unhomely condition of questionability as opposed to one of distinctive settlement. It is, argue Holt and Zundel, the sole gift of strategy to thoughtfully refuse rather than impose, organizational imperatives.


‘This is a fascinating and important book, beautifully literate, very imaginative, stimulating, and challenging, especially for those under the illusion that ‘strategy’ is a straightforward term. The metaphor of the poverty of strategy, which essentially turns poverty on its head, is brilliant. For anyone who wants to see paradox enacted in practice, here is the place to look. This book is a gift to us all.’

Jean M. Bartunek - Professor of Management and Organization, Boston College

‘Combining Nietzschean gaiety with the political sobriety of Hannah Arendt, The Poverty of Strategy rewrites the theory of organisational strategy as an open-ended response to Alan Turing’s implied question: Who am I? From the ruins of the ancient polis to artificial intelligence, Holt and Zundel deftly turn managerial reason inside out to discover irreverent, unfixed life lurking in the shadows of modernity’s most hermetic machines.’

Reinhold Martin - Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.