Reviews in the press

This book develops a holistic framework for firms’ various growth choices, which is highly valuable not only to scholars interested in this central first-order theoretical question in corporate strategy, but also to practitioners who are con- stantly faced with the strategic challenge of how best to grow their firm. Read the full Review.

Brian Wu, University of Michigan Professor

Many articles and books have been written about the high failure rate of acquisitions, focusing on the challenges of integrating newly acquired companies and functions. In Build, Borrow or Buy, however, INSEAD professor Laurence Capron and co-author Will Mitchell of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management ask a more fundamental question: Is buying a company the best choice for acquiring the resources you need?

Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Capron and Mitchell, authors of Build, Borrow, or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma, have spent decades developing a framework to answer this question. Their insightful book is the new bible of business growth; a go-to place to analyze and understand business decision-making and forecast business growth.

Derek G. Hennecke, Drug Development & Delivery
Derek G. Hennecke is a Founding Member, CEO, and President of Xcelience

The logic is impeccable and very informative, evidencing the key points with real examples and models. The case studies and references from Cisco, Apple, Tesla Motors, Daimler, Merck and others are compelling in supporting the identified approaches to optimal growth.

Stephen Ashcroft, Supply Management

This is not just another compilation of tips and tricks about how to manage the growth of your company. Its framework, the ‘resource pathways’, raises the exact questions you need to ask yourself when faced with strategic choices. The book contains the perfect balance between up-to-date examples and cogent analyses based on in-depth studies. It’s a must-read before committing your firm to major investments, alliances, or acquisitions.

Rodolphe Durand, Professor HEC Paris, The Independent

There are plenty of management books out there explaining how to identify opportunities and threats, following up with how to implement your response. There are useful books on how to manage product innovation, how to make strategic alliances work or how to manage post-merger integration. But what is so interesting about ‘Build, Borrow or Buy’ is that while it identifies the problems facing a company approaching a growth phase it also offers strategic solutions based on a combination of approaches. The book says that essentially it is getting the mix right that has empowered companies of the calibre of Johnson & Johnson, Essilor, ResMed and Cisco more than anything else.

Nick Smith, Engineering & Technology Magazine

In the 13 quarters after January 2009, economic growth in the United States averaged a mere 1.4 percent.  In such an environment, companies must field the right resources … if they are to have any chance of generating consistent, healthy levels of growth. That’s why Build, Borrow, or Buy, by professors Laurence Capron, of INSEAD, and Will Mitchell, of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, is such a timely book….. Confident decisions about what strategy to adopt and what capabilities to develop are highly dependent on knowing how to obtain the required resources. For these reasons, reading Build, Borrow, or Buy could help you enhance your company’s strategy as well as its execution.

Ken Favaro, strategy + business

The question is how to expand and where. The authors offer an enormous number of examples of firms that got it right or wrong and explain why in this deeply learned book. The detail is its great strength, providing so many examples that just about everybody who has ever struggled for a strategy to grow a business will find some that resonate. This range of ideas is important because Capron and Mitchell make it clear that no single strategy will deliver specific outcomes and that the firms that survive and prosper create their own mix.

Stephen Matchett, The Australian

The book offers a series of more tactical questions and tips to help you as you probe more deeply into the build-borrow-buy possibilities… the keen insights stir the mind and offer many

Harvey Schachter, The Globe and Mail

Excellent case studies back up the authors’ contention that sustainable growth comes when leaders make active choices across the full portfolio of growth options. A highly recommended read for all would-be strategists.

Richard Cree, Economia Book Review

Drawing from a host of research insights and case studies, Capron and Mitchell help leaders ponder the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and arrive at plan of action. In this way, the Build, Borrow, or Buy serves as an outstanding resource for senior leaders and anyone working or interested in organizational growth and development.

David Burkus, LDRLB

Excellent…This book is essential reading for anyone involved in the growth of their company, and in the end, that’s all of us.

Tom Otley, Business Traveller

There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all” is one of Peter Drucker’s better-known maxims. Or, as Will Mitchell paraphrases it to CFO, “You can royally mess yourself up if you try to do the wrong thing really well.” Either way, that nugget of wisdom lies at the core of an original new book on strategy and growth by Mitchell and Laurence Capron, Build, Borrow, or Buy. Much recent thinking on strategy emphasizes execution, but Capron and Mitchell’s research shows that companies can excel at execution and still fail, because they choose the wrong “resource pathway.

Edward Teach, CFO Magazine

They’ve come up with a helpful framework that reflects the practices of a variety of successful global organizations, to determine which path is best for yours.

Savita Gautam, The Hindu India

According to Capron and Mitchell, firms using a robust “build-borrow-buy framework” to gain new resources have a significantly greater five-year survival rate than those using only one of the approaches… The book is liberally laced with case studies of companies that have either got these strategies right or have got them wrong… The core message is that those who learn to select the right pathways to growth gain competitive advantage.

Irish Times

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