Book proposal

6-8 pages.

You are to prepare a ‘book proposal’ as if you are an expert on this issue and how firms/managers can address it. That is, you will need to do adequate research to understand the issue and be able to suggest a way (or ways) to address it.

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Your proposal will need to include:

1. Your proposed Title

2. An overview of the topic and why it is important…why would people want to read it?

3. Why did you choose this subject?

4. What are the 3-5 key take-aways that you want readers to receive?

5. An ‘expanded’ Table of Contents – expanded meaning that you should have an outline of chapters and within-chapter subsections with each level briefly described (i.e. what will the reader find here?). If relevant, also note any tables, figures, charts, etc. you would propose to include. *As a book for practicing (or aspiring) managers it will really help it sell if you include real-life examples of firms that have dealt (or are dealing) with this issue (either successfully or not). Make it ‘real’.

6. Bibliography: You need to provide a reference list of your source materials on the content of the issue and solution(s). You need to provide a minimum of 10 references….That’s for MINIMUM quality and grade…to do a good job you’ll need many more than that. These are books, textbooks, articles, websites, or interviews (not Wikipedia)

7. Name three people you would like to review your book for the back jacket and explain why you chose them.

The final document will probably be 5-10 pages.

GRADING will be based on:

Completeness– are all parts of the assignment there

Content– is it valid, reliable, of sufficient depth and breadth?

Coherence– does the structure make sense and flow well and seem to cover all the necessary issues/questions that a reader might have?

and is it

Compelling– this seems like a book people should read!

to be clear:

I am revising the book proposal assignment a bit. My intent is to simplify this down to the core objective of you picking a topic of interest and learning more about it. I’ve removed a few of the tangential aspects to reduce work and I’ve provided an example outline and detail to helpful reduce ambiguity.

Topic – something interesting and meaningful to you and your career. Something new – the point is for you to learn something about a new topic, not to tell me about what you already know.

In the ‘form of a book proposal’:

PAGE 1: Title and your name

PAGE 2: Introduction – what is the book about; why is the topic important and interesting for readers/business people; why did you choose it.

  • This is 1-2 brief paragraphs

PAGE 3- ?4,5: Expanded outline – just outline form, but with enough words to describe the content

Look at a textbook…usually a good example.   Consider a hypothetical Strategic Management textbook

Chapter 1: What is strategy and why is it important?

  • What strategy is: Gaining and sustaining competitive advantage
    • What is competitive advantage
    • What is strategy
    • Strategy as a theory of how to compete
    • Industry vs Firm effects in determining performance
    • What strategy is not
  • Formulating strategy across levels:
    • Corporate strategy: driving the multi-business firm
    • Business strategy: Gaining advantage over rivals in a product-market
    • Functional strategy: Achieving disciplinary objectives to support the organization
  • Business models: Putting strategy into action
    • What is a business model and how is it different from strategy?
    • Models of choices and actions for delivering and transacting the value exchange
    • Models for choices and action making money

2: The strategic management process

  • Vision, mission, and values
  • Winning through strategic intent
  • Mission statements and competitive advantage
  • Strategizing for competitive advantage: How is strategy ‘made’?

Several other fundamental Chapters 3…4….

Chapter 8. Business Strategy: Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship

  • Competition driven by innovation
  • Innovation and the industry life cycle
  • Strategic Entrepreneurship: Innovation and risk-taking in established firms
  • Types of innovation
    • Degree and nature of innovation: Incremental, Evolutionary, Revolutionary, and Radical
    • Subject of innovation: Product, Process, and Business Model innovation
  • Discontinuities: Periods of paradigm change
  • Creating an innovative organization: structure, processes, and leadership
  • Sustaining competitive advantages from innovation
    • Erosion due to imitation: patents, secrecy, and causal ambiguity as defense mechanisms
    • Erosion due to rivals’ innovations: Competing in rapidly changing, highly innovative fields

The point is you need to do enough research to be aware of and grasp the major elements within the topic. You don’t have to write the chapter, just show that you know the key points/major issues (chapters) and key dimension, consideration, variations, etc. that are relevant to understanding that topic. {Another way you might think about this… if you want to become an expert in this topic, what is the outline of a quality ‘study guide’…what are all the things you would need to know about to be an expert on this subject. }

Try to distill it down to major topic for chapters, that is, narrow your topic enough that you don’t need 18 chapters (like many Strategic Management textbooks! )…. The more you can narrow your topic the more likely you can capture it very well with 5-8 chapters.

FINAL PAGE: Bibliography (references):

A minimum of ten is still pretty easy. I want to see that you have reliable, valid sources in your research.

  • Reference textbooks or other business books on the topic/related topics
  • Reference articles from business publications such as Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Harvard Business Review, etc.
  • Reference websites that report about business topics (e.g. Kauffman.org regarding entrepreneurship; HBR.org (Harvard Business School); Sloanreview.mit.edu; This big consulting firms may have a lot Delloite, McKinsey, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)….use Google search for your topic (varying your keywords) – you will find plenty of good sources.

No more section on 3-5 key take-aways; No section of who you want on the back cover

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