Thompson, John L. (1998) Competence and strategic paradox. Management decision, 36 (4). pp. 274-284. ISSN 0025-1747

Looking at organizational decision and choices in the 1990s, it is tempting to conclude that we live in an era of focus and downsizing. The time of the conglomerate has passed. Downsizing can always be justified to improve efficiency, but only if it is really rightsizing to prepare a strong base for renewed growth. Focus, however, is a reflection of the way many organizations are choosing to deal with a series of issues they face, for which there are no black and white, right and wrong answers, and all of which interact with each other systematically. Moreover, focus is fashionable and diversity is not. This paper uses these often paradoxical issues to examine the complexity of strategy and explain why the search for winning strategic positions comprises a series of inter-dependent choices.