Gunther, Robert E. 1960-
GUNTHER, Robert E. 1960-
Born 1960. Education: Princeton University, B.A. (with honors).
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Free Press, 866 Third Ave., New York, NY 10022.
Author, journalist, and consultant. Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia, PA, former director of communications; Gunther Communications, founder; formerly worked as a journalist.
Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy, John Wiley and Sons (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Richard A. D'Aveni) Hypercompetition: Managing the Dynamics of Strategic Maneuvering, Free Press (New York, NY), 1994.
(Editor with George S. Day and Paul J. H. Schoemaker) Wharton on Managing Emerging Technologies, John Wiley and Sons (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Stephen J. Hoch and Howard C. Kunreuther) Wharton on Making Decisions, John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY) 2001.
(With Richard D'Aveni and Joni Cole) Strategic Supremacy: How Industry Leaders Create Growth, Wealth, and Power through Spheres of Influence, Free Press (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Rick Rickertson) Buyout: The Insider's Guide to Buying Your Own Company, AMACOM (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Paul J. H. Schoemaker) Profiting from Uncertainty: Strategies for Succeeding No Matter What the Future Brings, Free Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including Investor's Business Daily, American Heritage, and Philadelphia Inquirer.
Robert E. Gunther specializes in communicating new ideas in business. A former journalist and communications director at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Gunther is co-author of leading edge books on management theory with such well-known management consultants as Richard D'Aveni and Rick Rickertson.
Strategic Supremacy: How Industry Leaders Create Growth, Wealth, and Power through Spheres of Influence, written with D'Aveni and Joni Cole, defines strategic supremacy as "the ability to continually create, use, share, distribute, redistribute, preserve, stabilize, counter, circumvent and direct the pattern of power in [an] industry," and warn that if a company does not gain strategic supremacy in its market, another company will.
As Cindy Tursman noted in a Business Credit review of Hypercompetition: Managing the Dynamics of Strategic Maneuvering, also co-written with D'Aveni, the authors' prescriptions are harsh: they advocate "disrupting opponents so they experience constant psychological defeats, performance declines, and paralysis or bankruptcy, it means 'that chivalry is dead' and cooperation is out." Hypercompetition examines four arena of competition: price-quality, timing and know-how, stronghold creation-invasion and "deep pockets." In each of these areas, the authors contend, there can be a steady escalation of competitive strategies, as well as crossover between the arenas. Therefore, hypercompetitive companies can successfully disrupt these advantages with speed, surprise, shifting the rules and other similar blitzkrieg type strategies. While a Publishers Weekly contributor questioned whether "tiny firms could follow this strategy, but they will be hard-pressed to learn how" due to the authors' "abstract, academic approach." J. C. Thompson commented in Choice that Hypercompetition "deserves serious attention to its striking revelations about both problems and responses to the fast-paced changes in the business world."
Gunther has also co-edited several books on the Wharton style of management theory, including Wharton on Managing Emerging Technologies, Wharton on Making Decisions and Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy. Of the last volume, Thompson noted in Choice that, "While each chapter specializes, the whole is remarkably concerted in pursuing the theme of strategy and interactions with competitors' responses over time. approaches range from the practical and well-known … to the more sophisticated and esoteric.… The breadth permits not only check lists for practical inquiries but also citation to recent academic journal literature."
Gunther teamed up with Rick Rickertson to write Buyout: The Insider's Guide to Buying Your Own Company. According to the authors, successful management buyouts, or MBO's, have become the pinnacle of business success and a great way to earn an ever-increasing stake in the American dream. Buyout explores the entire process of a buyout and provides managers and executives with the necessary tools and strategies for leading a company or division buyout. The book also includes true accounts of people who engineered buyouts and became rich beyond their wildest expectations.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Business Ethics Quarterly, April, 1996, Noreen Dornenburg, review of Hypercompetition: Managing the Dynamics of Strategic Maneuvering, p. 233.
Choice, February, 1998, J.C. Thompson, review of Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy, p. 1037.
Houston Business Journal, April 20, 2001, review of Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy. p. 23.
HRMagazine, August, 2001, review of Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy, p. 1037.
Journal of Organizational Excellence, spring, 2001, LaRoi Lawton, review of Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy. p. 48.
Library Journal, December, 2001, Susan C. Awe, review of Strategic Supremacy: How Industry Leaders Create Growth, Wealth, and Power through Spheres of Influence, p. 140.
National Productivity Review, autumn, 1994, James W. Marcum, review of Hypercompetition, p. 611.
Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2001, review of Strategic Supremacy, p. 55.
Research-Technology Management, September, 2000, review of Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy, p. 81.
Washington Business Journal, May 11, 2001, review of Buyout: The Insider's Guide to Buying Your Own Company, p. 42.*