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growth, and also whether good governance would ensure suitable institutional and political arrangements that acknowledges the public interest. While the acclaimed decentralization efforts of the government of India give vent to India’s drive for good governance, China has had difficulty in implementing an effective governance structure, simply because of the dense top-down officialdom. However, the communist nation has attempted to strike a delicate balance between pleasing party cadres and the population through community-based institutions. This will help to control corruption and bring in regulatory efficiency. Since the book had trodden a familiar path, it should not be reasoned out that Dancing with Giants does not contribute to the prevailing discourse in India and China. Through the use of modeling exercises that permit extrapolations, the book has highlighted the need for the Giants, as well as other nations, to make appropriate adjustments, to gain a vantage position, and avoid getting exterminated in the ensuing competitions. In this way, this book can claim a place in the analytical litera-
ture dealing with inter-country economic and trade effects. It should be noted with a sense of relief that the book has not attempted to push the two nations into rhetorical categories like dragon and elephant, which is vital in the sense that in almost all China-India debates, these animal metaphors take precedence in drawing attention to the nations’ strengths and weaknesses, while the intrinsic value of the nations’ ideology, politics, and people power remain obscure. Researchers looking for analytical studies on India and China will find the essays of assistance. As expectant as one will be on reading the title, it would not be off-track to expect ‘lessons’ that other nations could imbibe. Here, the book disappoints, though there is an indication of how the Giants will advance in the future. This then can be a conspicuous message for other nations, and a motivation to envision their future moves, resonating Robert Burton’s presentiment: A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself. G Narasimha Raghavan Lecturer, Economics Jansons School of Business, Coimbator e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Age of Innovation: Driving Co-Created Value through Global Network
C K Prahalad and M S Krishnan New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publications, 2008, pp 265, INR 695 n today’s hypercompetitive environment, which is marked by a large number of players serving a lim ited number of highly demanding customers, managers are seeking strategic options which will enable their firms to sneak ahead of the competition. Concepts such as Generic Strategies, Diversification (both by Porter), and Core Competency (Prahlad) have been proposed, from time to time, by various researchers in this regard. This book is an extension of earlier books, viz., Competing for the Future, by Prahalad and Hamel and The Future of Competition by Prahalad and Ramaswamy in which the authors set forth their arguments about the role of co-creation of value by both firms and their customers. However, the former discussed only the need for co-creation of value by them whereas the latter reVIKALPA • VOLUME 34 • NO 1 • JANUARY - MARCH 2009
vealed unprecedented opportunities for value creation and innovation. The above-mentioned books focused on the prospective competitive scenario and argued as to what the companies should do in order to remain competitive. The New Age of Innovation: Driving Co-Created Value through Global Networks by Prahalad and Krishnan not only discusses the concept of co-creation of value uniquely for each customer, presented in the earlier books, but also throws light upon the use of information technology in achieving it. It is based on the premise that unique values can be created for every customer by using (not owning) resources spread across the globe and exploring countries, like India and China, as a source
has not been taken into account while writing this book. This is a progression from the much talked about concepts of customer segmentation and outsourcing. The first part (chapters 1-4) deals with the “What” and “Why” aspect of value creation (innovation) landscape whereas the second part (chapter 5-8) focuses on an approach to the transformation of organizations from their current positions towards attaining the N=1 and R=G equilibrium. It establishes the link between managerial mindsets.. oil.. business models. The book also emphasizes the mediating role played in balancing the above-mentioned concepts. To conclude. The book is found wanting in this regard. Aviva. illustrate the emergence of analytics as a new source of competitive advantage in this highly competitive environment. ING group. like India and China. and authority and the firm’s decision making and technology architecture.of innovation. etc. This is essential for a firm to achieve efficiency and flexibility in building new capabilities in co-creating values along with its customers. ICFAI Business School.. ICFAI Business School. etc. i. recent issues related to the leaking of critical information from firms providing outsourcing services to their clients also presents food for thought to its proponents.. Based on their previous work. as proposed by Porter. Hyderabad e-mail: vaibhav. Apart from the above-given limitations.shekhar@yahoo. the applicability of the N=1 and R=G concept in all the products and services remains to be seen.. shoes. are either of services or products like computers. examples of Indian and Chinese firms help them to better understand the mantra of success as applicable in the developing world. where customization as per the requirements of individual customers is feasible. This may require a substantial change in the business process of a firm. etc. and business operations. real-time configuration of resources. the managerial mindset. the book acts as a guide to improve upon their business processes using technology . The second part discusses the legacy issues in a firm which hinders its working. for FMCG products like soaps. etc. the applicability of the N=1 concept remains to be seen.com and Saptarshi Purkayastha Facuty. In addition.e. Finally. identifies business processes as an operational link between business strategy. where such level of customization is difficult. Hyderabad e-mail: spurkayastha1@gmail. The eight chapters in the book can be categorized into two parts. etc. In such a case. Numerous examples including that of ICICI.particularly analytics.. they change over a period of time. ITC. to ensure dynamic. UPS. Nike. the authors attempt to create an operational link between innovation and value creation using the equations.. which have been cited to be important in buyer-supplier relationships. a mistake committed by any one of the components in this network like the poor quality of rawmaterials or a delay in the supply of the end product may ignite a chain reaction which may lead to failure of the entire system. this is a wellconceived book which can guide a firm towards attaining competitive advantage through co-creation of value using global resources. From the business practitioners’ viewpoint. etc. suppliers. plays a critical role and should be taken into consideration before determining the success of the N=1 and R=G equilibrium. Given the scenario in which most of the business houses are focusing their attention towards emerging markets like India and China. It proposes the equations N=1 and R=G where the former refers to treating every customer as a unique entity whereas the latter refers to access to global resources. customers’ preferences are dynamic. and technical systems thereby eroding its capability to innovate and create value. skills. Most of the examples used by the authors like ICICI. FedEx. Similarly. Moreover. Vaibhav Shekhar Research Scholar. However. the effect of the bargaining power of buyers. demonstrates the pivotal role played by analytics in identifying trends and opportunities requiring managerial intervention and discusses the requirements of information and communication technology (ICT) architecture needed by a firm to build new capabilities for innovation. commitment. This part also identifies the need for assessing new talents available world-wide especially in the developing countries. the applicability of the R=G concept requires a high-level of coordination between various suppliers and the firm. and hence the confidentiality of data needs to be ensured before plunging into the R=G world. However. the book sets up the agenda for managers to facilitate their movement from their current position towards the N=1 and R=G world of competition and value creation. Discussion about behavioural issues like trust. The first part cites the rationale for a firm to achieve N=1 and R=G.com BOOK REVIEWS 126 .
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