Book Briefs: Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 04-01-2004

Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will

By G. Richard Shell
Crown Business, April 2004
336 pages, $27.50

Here's Wharton School Professor Shell's argument in a nutshell: He who makes the rules wins. And the best way to make the rules is to literally help write the law. In typical discussions of business strategy, it is unusual to hear the law mentioned. That's a mistake, Shell argues. "Law is perhaps the most hidden of competitive strategy tools. Many in business fear getting tangled up with lawyers, lobbyists and bureaucrats, so they keep their distance from legal matters. But it is just this aversion that makes legal knowledge such a rich source of competitive advantage. Someone, after all, is going to make the rules. The only question is who." Whether you are talking about taking advantage of existing laws—or lobbying to create new ones—Shell's central argument makes a lot of sense.