En kritik af Blue Ocean Strategy som vejledning til kreativ forretningsudvikling

Uffe Arnesen Gade & Morten Amstrup

Student thesis: Master thesis


There is constant pressure on managers to keep their business at the forefront of developments in the market space. This produces a demand for guidance in tomorrow’s direction, which is addressed in Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim & Mauborgne (2005). The two authors present the idea of leading companies from red oceans with intense competition to uncontested blue oceans with larger growth potential, suggesting a strategic path different to what conventional industry specific logic might advise. In doing so they offer the reader a framework in which the company, through the right strategic orientation, is capable of creating and managing its own business environment. By analyzing the processes suggested for developing the business, the framework is discussed and criticized using different theories of creativity. We find that the authors, with their abstract perspective on business development provide tools that may be valuable in bringing creativity into the strategic planning process. However, the overall strategic framework presented by Kim & Mauborgne is flawed in ways that have consequences for the practical application of the theory and its value as a starting point for further research. The problems regarding practical application of the strategy appears when we deduce a step-by-step method for implementing it. Due to a lack of separation between business strategy and product development, the authors fail to provide a feasible strategy for action. Furthermore, the book offers insufficient guidance for managing the creative development of new business ideas. Finally, the Blue Ocean Strategy perspective is grounded in naïve and unrealistic expectations to the company’s influence on market dynamics and ability to understand and respond to customer needs. Blue Ocean Strategy’s value as a theoretical platform for further research is reduced by the authors’ apparent assumption of a direct causal relationship between the suggested strategic orientation and the success claimed to follow. This assumption is not backed by convincing evidence which leads to a fundamental questioning of the framework’s value all together. Furthermore, despite explicitly stating an ambition to develop the theoretical perspective as science, Kim & Mauborgne offer very little detailed insight into their research methods, hampering further research based on their work.

EducationsMSc in Psychology, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages120