Sole Survivors: How Exceptional Companies Survive and Thrive at the Edge (Oak Tree, 1999)

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PDF copy
(no cost)

Sole Survivors is now reissued in PDF Format at no cost to the reader. This is because organisational survival has become an important topic in these difficult economic times.

The book is based on a study of nine European companies who have survived very difficult competitive pressures. The back cover of the book makes the following points:

Some companies seem born to fail, while others manage to survive in the face of great adversity.

What are the secrets of the survivors?

Sole Survivors puts nine companies under the microscope to discover what sets them apart from their less-successful competitors, what makes them ‘exceptional’.

But these nine are neither blue-chip multinationals nor high-tech operators. They are small medium sized European companies in a traditional sector that has been decimated in recent times – footwear manufacturing.

This book tells the stories of the survivors, from their historical development to their business strategies and from their organisational structures to their work processes. But the analysis doesn’t just consider the cold facts and figures. By going deeply into each company, by understanding the issues and concerns of the people who work there, Sole Survivors gets to the very heart of the organisations.

The stories in Sole Survivors are well told and engaging, and the overall analysis is concise and sharp. The book concludes with a unique framework that links different management disciplines to provide a fresh understanding of how businesses operate. Above all, the survival stories will inspire and enlighten anyone interested in what really happens inside exceptional companies.

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