How did BMW recover from the verge of bankruptcy to become one of Europe’s strongest companies? Why did Saatchi and Saatchi’s global strategy bring the company to its knees? Why has Philips’ outstanding record in innovation not been translated into success in the market? What can be learned from the marriage contract about the conduct of commercial negotiations? Drawing on his own business experience and concepts in economics, legal theory, and sociology, John Kay presents a fresh approach to questions of business strategy. He rejects the military analogy that underpins much strategic thinking, in which success depends on size and share, on vision and leadership, on shifting patterns of mergers and alliances. Kay argues that outstanding businesses derive their strength from a distinctive structure of relationships with employees, customers, and suppliers, and explains why continuity and stability in these relationships is essential for a flexible and co-operative response to change. By integrating organizational and financial perspectives on the performance of the firm, the book not only offers insights into the creation of effective business strategies, but also sheds lights on the success, and failure of national economies. Now that the single market is upon us, this lively, perceptive book is probably the most important European contribution to strategic thinking for many years.