Improve Your Competitive Strategy

Zuckerman, Alan M.
February 2010
Improve Your Competitive Strategy - Business Book Summaries;2010, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book Summary
62 pp. Health Administration Press 200 2 Until the early 1990s competition in the healthcare industry was friendly and almost completely harmless. Healthcare firms struggled to meet demand, and most markets required multiple entities to keep up with patient needs. Since then, hospitals have become larger, more efficient, and capable of dominating entire communities. This has created a "survival of the fittest" mentality among healthcare organizations, where businesses must fight for every patient and experienced physician. Alan M. Zuckerman's Improve Your Competitive Strategy is a review of the six basic approaches used by healthcare firms to address the problem of fierce, rapidly growing competition. These strategies include: vertical integration, horizontal integration, diversification, niching, cost leadership, and differentiation. Zuckerman explains the advantages and pitfalls of each strategy, and examines case studies both inside and outside the healthcare industry. Vertical integration, horizontal integration, and diversification all have significant theoretical advantages, but these advantages are seldom delivered in the real world. Niching, cost leadership, and differentiation are the most appropriate strategies for U.S. healthcare firms today. Niching is the most powerful strategy for small startup firms, while most other businesses will benefit most from differentiation. In differentiating themselves, most healthcare organizations choose to emphasize either quality of care or new technology and procedures. Zuckerman asserts that businesses who choose to emphasize customer service will most likely find a strong position in any market. It is important to recognize that the healthcare industry is a dynamic business environment. In order to survive, executives must anticipate competitors' actions, formulate dynamic strategies, and understand the advantages of a changing business landscape. The healthcare industry will soon operate at the pace of other...


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