Business Strategy: Planning the Firm’s Future

  • Randel S. Carlock
  • John L. Ward
Part of the A Family Business Publication book series (AFBP)


A few years ago “Anheuser-Busch acquires Interbrew” would have been the expected headline announcing the consolidation of the global beer industry. Anheuser-Busch, the world’s most powerful brewer, was well positioned to lead an industry consolidation with its strong stock price, 50 percent share of the US market, and the industry’s most recognized brand. So how did Interbrew (now InBev), a small European brewer operating in a country of 10 million people, become the industry leader and eventually acquire its much larger US competitor? There are no simple explanations for InBev’s success, but there are useful lessons about the power of strategic thinking and business planning. The story provides an opportunity to compare how two family-led businesses did their planning — to create two very different futures.1


Family Firm Family Business Business Strategy Family Owner Market Leadership 
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  1. 5.
    Porter, M. Competitive Strategy (New York: Free Press, 1980).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Randel S. Carlock and John L. Ward 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randel S. Carlock
    • 1
  • John L. Ward
    • 2
  1. 1.Wendel International Centre for Family EnterpriseINSEADFrance
  2. 2.Center for Family Enterprises, Kellogg School of ManagementNorthwestern UniversityUSA

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