Go and Chess as prognosis instruments for understanding competitive positions


Strategic Change

2003, vol. 12, n°8, pp.435-442

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Asians play Go and Europeans play Chess. These two games reflect the strategic thinking which is often typical of the Asian and the European manager. Whoever understands and masters the games will be better able to understand the competitive behaviour of their international competitors and secure competitive advantage. This paper deals primarily with the explanatory power of both board games for international business strategies of Japanese and European companies. While a strategy of sequential market entry is typical for many Japanese companies, European firms often prefer quick market entry by company takeovers. Many elements of strategy in the game of Go can be found again in Japanese firms: the strong position on the domestic market, the strategy of exercising restraint, the readiness to make strategic sacrifices, the development of a sense for the direction as well as strategic flexibility. In contrast, European firms often court market entry by acquisition. This strategy is also reflected in the game of Chess: the objective of destruction of the opponent requires an offensive strategy in the opposing sphere of influence, tactical skills and distinctive analytical skills