MODELLING "THE ART OF WAR" FOR
The use of military philosophy, including doctrine, strategies and practices in business has become commonplace, with the earliest of all such treatises, namely Sun Tzu's The Art of War, being used by modern businessmen as a basis to gain competitive advantage over their rivals. In an effort to gain insight into the use of military philosophy in business, this study focussed on an analysis of The Art of War in order to determine the historical influences of the period in which the author lived and their influence on the modern use of the treatise. It examined the text in order to determine if Sun Tzu's approach to war was holistic and if it a framework existed within that could be modelled, or if his treatise was simply a compendium of knowledge that should be used aphoristically. The study explored the similarities and differences between business and war in an effort to discern the limitations on the application of military philosophy, including doctrine, strategies, frameworks and practices in business. Finally, subject to the limitations derived from the study on similarities and differences between business and war, the study addressed the issue of adapting war models for use in business. The findings of the research supported the three stated propositions, suggesting that: - The Art of War is based on a holistic strategic framework developed by Sun Tzu that can be modelled. - War and business, although similar, are not identical. The differences could be addressed in terms of adjustments and limitations in the adaptation of military doctrine, philosophy, strategies and practices for business; and - The framework for war can be developed into a model for business application using modern literature and deductive reasoning as a foundation for the model's development, whilst ensuring the differences between the two are accounted for by way of adjustments to the adaptation.
MBA - WBS
Military philosophy, Strategic planning, Competitive advantage, Philosophy, Military