Crafting a Strategy
Crafting a Strategy

Crafting a Strategy

Lead Author(s): Sam Holloway, Mark Meckler

Student Price: Contact us to learn more

Crafting a Strategy’s Strategic Management textbook is a result of ten years interviewing business owners about how business schools failed to teach students strategic thinking. Our industry of choice is the craft beer industry, which has seen incredible growth as consumers flock to small and independent craft breweries. By listening to what craft beer business owners wanted, we realized existing strategic management textbooks were not working.

What is a Top Hat Textbook?

Top Hat has reimagined the textbook – one that is designed to improve student readership through interactivity, is updated by a community of collaborating professors with the newest information, and accessed online from anywhere, at anytime.


  • Top Hat Textbooks are built full of embedded videos, interactive timelines, charts, graphs, and video lessons from the authors themselves
  • High-quality and affordable, at a significant fraction in cost vs traditional publisher textbooks
 

Key features in this textbook

Crafting A Strategy is a revolutionary way to teach strategic management due to its deep dive into one industry for the entire semester.
Homework and additional questions for every chapter, great for tests, self-learning and other applications!
Full set of slide decks aligned to each chapter of the book; ready to use in class, with Top Hat questions.

Comparison of Crafting a Strategy textbooks

Consider adding Top Hat’s Crafting A Strategy to your upcoming course. We’ve put together a textbook comparison to make it easy for you in your upcoming evaluation.

Top Hat

Meckler and Holloway – “Crafting A Strategy”

Pearson

Barney and Hesterly –”Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage”

Cengage

Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson–”Strategic Management: Concepts, Competitiveness & Globalization”

Cengage

Hill, Schilling, & Jones–”Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach”

Pricing

Average price of textbook across most common format

Up to 40-60% more affordable

Lifetime access on any device

$282.20

Hardcover print text only

$119.99

Paperback print text only

$199

Hardcover print text only

$119.95

eText

$420.95

Hard copy

$252.95

eText

Always up-to-date content, constantly revised by community of professors

Content meets standard for Strategic Management. Constantly revised and updated by a community of professors with the latest content.

In-Book Interactivity

Includes embedded multi-media files and integrated software to enhance visual presentation of concepts directly in textbook.

Available only with supplementary resources at additional cost

Available only with supplementary resources at additional cost

Available only with supplementary resources at additional cost

Customizable

Ability to revise, adjust and adapt content to meet needs of course and instructor

BUILT-IN INTERACTIVE ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

Assessment questions with feedback embedded throughout textbook

All-in-one Platform

Access to additional questions, test banks, and slides available within one platform

Pricing

Average price of textbook across most common format

Top Hat

Meckler and Holloway – “Crafting A Strategy”

Up to 40-60% more affordable

Lifetime access on any device

Pearson

Barney and Hesterly –”Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage”

$282.20

Hardcover print text only

$119.99

Paperback print text only

Cengage

Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson–”Strategic Management: Concepts, Competitiveness & Globalization”

$199

Hardcover print text only

$119.95

eText

Cengage

Hill, Schilling, & Jones–”Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach”

$420.95

Hard copy

$252.95

eText

Always up-to-date content, constantly revised by community of professors

Content meets standard for Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology course, and is updated with the latest content

Top Hat

Meckler and Holloway – “Crafting A Strategy”

Pearson

Barney and Hesterly –”Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage”

Cengage

Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson–”Strategic Management: Concepts, Competitiveness & Globalization”

Cengage

Hill, Schilling, & Jones–”Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach”

In-book Interactivity

Includes embedded multi-media files and integrated software to enhance visual presentation of concepts directly in textbook

Top Hat

Meckler and Holloway – “Crafting A Strategy”

Pearson

Barney and Hesterly –”Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage”

Cengage

Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson–”Strategic Management: Concepts, Competitiveness & Globalization”

Cengage

Hill, Schilling, & Jones–”Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach”

Customizable

Ability to revise, adjust and adapt content to meet needs of course and instructor

Top Hat

Meckler and Holloway – “Crafting A Strategy”

Pearson

Barney and Hesterly –”Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage”

Cengage

Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson–”Strategic Management: Concepts, Competitiveness & Globalization”

Cengage

Hill, Schilling, & Jones–”Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach”

All-in-one Platform

Access to additional questions, test banks, and slides available within one platform

Top Hat

Meckler and Holloway – “Crafting A Strategy”

Pearson

Barney and Hesterly –”Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage”

Cengage

Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson–”Strategic Management: Concepts, Competitiveness & Globalization”

Cengage

Hill, Schilling, & Jones–”Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach”

About this textbook

Lead Authors

Mark Meckler, PhDFlorida Atlantic University

Dr. Meckler holds a PhD from Florida Atlantic University in Management and MBA in hospitality management from Michigan State University. He is a regularly featured speaker in national level online learning conferences on innovative pedagogical practices.

Sam Holloway, PhDUniversity of Oregon

Dr. Holloway holds a PhD from University of Oregon in Management. He is also co-founder and President of CraftingAStrategy.com, a global online learning platform for practitioners in the global beer industry. Through CraftingAStrategy.com, advises on beer business and strategy to brewery clients in 15 countries on four continents.

What you will learn

In this textbook, you will learn advanced strategic thinking developed for capstone management decisions and policy or strategic management courses. You will find short, single industry focused lessons using multiple media including podcasts, video lessons, case studies, white papers and more. As well as fully integrated assessments in each module including multiple choice questions, click on target, group response, plus an additional test bank for easy test creation.

Each module comes with instructor notes, suggested activities, learning goals and outcomes. Makes topics understandable and lucid to the learner, aids the instructor in their tasks: succinctly, accurately and in an interesting way.

Explore this textbook

Read the fully unlocked textbook below, and if you’re interested in learning more, get in touch to see how you can use this textbook in your course today.

About Crafting a Strategy

Crafting A Strategy’s Strategic Management textbook is a result of ten years interviewing business owners about how business schools failed to teach students strategic thinking. Our industry of choice is the craft beer industry, which has seen incredible growth as consumers flock to small and independent craft breweries. By listening to what craft beer business owners wanted, we realized that existing strategic management textbooks were not working. By listening to brewery owners tell us what students should know to be successful, we realized these success factors applied to any industry that any student might want to enter. By learning about the crowded marketplace these entrepreneurs operate in and the daily challenges they must overcome, we learned that the traditional strategic management theories still applied – in fact, they were incredibly robust! However, the way we were teaching strategic management did not prepare students to the level that industry leaders required.

Strategic management may be the hardest topic to teach in business schools. There are two primary reasons that professors and students struggle with the concepts. First, students generally take a strategic management course at the end of their degree program – it is often positioned as a ‘capstone’ experience. Students enter these courses with a focused major (Accounting, Finance, Operations, Marketing, etc.), and they have spend 1-2 years immersed in their favorite major at a very deep level. By going deep into the world of accountancy, for example, an accounting student learns that there is a lot of art in the science of accounting. They learn how to strategically plan the books and how to position a firm not only within acceptable accounting practices, but also favorably against their rivals. These students innately know strategic thinking, and they expect the same level of rigor, planning, advising, and impact to come from their study of strategic management. However, their strategic management course is a broad overview of all business disciplines and not a deep dive into any one particular area. This frustrates students who are hungry to show what they have learned and apply their knowledge in a rich and impactful way. This brings us to the second major problem with typical strategic management courses.

The second major issue that holds strategic management teaching back is a focus on multiple industries. As mentioned above, students enter your course yearning for a deep understanding of strategy, similar to the deep understanding from their primary major. However, typical strategic management courses use a different industry each week, often basing this practice on the ‘case method’ developed at Harvard Business School. In fact, the case method has become so widely accepted in the industry that very few pedagogical innovations have occurred in teaching strategic management in the last 100 years (Jain 2005). There is a fundamental mismatch between students who seek deep knowledge in a specific and focused nature and the accepted pedagogy of multiple industries in the ‘normal’ capstone approach. Thus, students struggle to apply the teachings from a multiple industry approach and the course devolves into a memorization exercise about unfamiliar concepts. Our interactive textbook resolves these challenges and gives students the depth of understanding they seek, while simultaneously synthesizing the strategic aspects of all traditional business majors. By going deep into the craft beer industry and writing every single lesson from the perspective of a brewery business, we give students a chance to dive deep and apply their expertise in familiar and exciting ways. Further, our approach integrates innovation, creativity, leadership, and culture. Why did we choose to add these pieces into strategic management thinking? Because the job market demands that students know how to think on their feet, pivot ideas, and contribute immediate value to their companies and to each other.                       

Finally, we would like to promote one more critical aspect of focusing on the craft beer industry as a means to inspire students and increase learning outcomes. A major challenge with traditional strategic management theories and teaching is that traditional strategy assumes that small companies are simply smaller versions of large companies. This is unfortunate because smaller companies lack economic power, economies of scale, and the resources needed to ‘fit’ with the major theories typically taught in strategic management. Students tire of talking only about big companies because most have not, nor ever will, work for a huge company. Many of the theories that work for large companies simply don’t fit for small businesses. Heck, many business schools have even developed specific courses in Small Business Management to account for these fundamental differences and gaps in implementing theories into small companies. Take it from us: due to the heavy regulation and oversight of the beverage manufacturing industry, small and large breweries face the same challenges all over the world. This makes all of the traditional theories more real and easier to understand, while selecting among and between each theory (regardless of firm size) becomes an exciting puzzle for you to solve throughout the course. And you don’t have to simply take our word for it  — check out this thoughtful piece by a couple professors who have inspired us to create a better way to think about and learn strategic management.

Let's get started! But first, one important question....

What is your go-to beer type?

A

Ales

B

Lager

C

Stouts and Porters

D

Malts

E

Other