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Everybody’s business

The notion of “industry” boundaries has become irrelevant, which means it’s time to poke your nose into anyone’s business, Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy at Cambridge Judge, writes in The Conversation.

Everybody's business

Kamal Munir

Kamal Munir

Managers asked to list their top competitors often write down names of other similar companies that make the same product, but the real threat may in fact come from firms that are currently in entirely different sectors, Cambridge Judge faculty member Kamal Munir writes in his article entitled “The end of industry barriers means it’s time to poke your nose into anyone’s business” in The Conversation.

Many people in the television industry scoffed when video distributor Netflix went into original content production, but Netflix then scored a huge hit by streaming the new series House of Cards. The music and newspaper industries have also been upended by new competition that few foresaw.

“All this has enormous implications for managers,” Munir says.

Anyone who still thinks in terms of ‘industry’ and traditional ‘expertise’ is doomed. It is an illusion, nothing more.

There are implications for business schools as well. “Students pursuing banking need to know as much about high tech, and vice versa,” Munir writes. “Everybody needs to be learning about industries and capabilities other than their own.”