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Copycats by Oded Shenkar Web-Ready Jacket Image 72dpi

Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge


Author: Oded Shenkar


Publication Date: June 15, 2009


Description: In the business world, imitation gets a bad rap. We see imitating firms as 'me too' players, forced to copy because they have nothing original to offer. We pity their fate: a life of picking up crumbs discarded by innovators striding a path paved with fame and profit. In Copycats, Oded Shenkar challenges this viewpoint. He reveals how imitation - the exact or broad-brushed copying of an innovation - is as critical to prosperity as innovation. Shenkar shows how savvy imitators generate huge profits. They save not only on R&D costs but also on marketing and advertising investments made by first movers. And they avoid costly errors by observing and learning from others' trials. "Copycats" presents suggestions for making imitation a core element in your competitive strategy and pairing it powerfully with innovation, including: How to select the right model to imitate? How to avoid oversimplification of a model? Which imitation strategy to use? And how to prepare and execute an implementation plan? Engaging, practical, and rich in company examples, "Copycats" unveils how to add imitation to your competitive arsenal.


Author Bio:

Oded Shenkar is the Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management and Professor of Management at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, where he heads the international business area. A top scholar in international strategy, he is also a prolific author, and his work has been cited in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Economist.


Other works by Oded:

The Chinese Century

HBR Article



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Taken on March 17, 2010