This chapter explores the idea that the diversification of the firm proceeds according to certain design rules or principles, particularly in relation to the establishment of consistency or balance within the pattern of links exploited by the firm. The idea of consistency of pattern in strategy is implicit in the notion of coherence of strategies. The chapter begins by exploring the notion of coherence and pattern in corporate strategy. There are four major categories that could display coherence: specialized, related-constrained, related-linked, and conglomerate strategies. The implications for design of corporate strategy are also examined and compared with actual patterns of diversification.
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