Hedgehog Concept - Definition
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What is the Hedgehog Concept?
The Hedgehog Concept calls on companies to identify their core value proposition (or the primary thing that they do well) and focus on that. The concept says that scattering ones interests and objective causes a lack of focus, competency, and efficiency. Thus, it results in getting little done. Focusing on the thing that a company does well is the best method of achieving the objectives of that activity.
A Little More on What is the Hedgehog Concept
The concept originates from an old Greek parable, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Basically, the fox is a smart predator that can gain a meal by any number of methods.
The hedgehog knows just one method of surviving a Foxs attack. While the fox has numerous abilities, the hedgehog only has one. When the fox attacks the hedgehog, the hedgehog is always successful in defending itself no matter what the fox tries.
This idea was expanded upon by Isaiah Berlin, a philosopher, in his 1953 essay, "The Hedgehog and the Fox." Berlins essay divide individuals into foxes and hedgehogs. People who pursue too many diverse goals and interests accomplish little. Those who focus on accomplishing one thing are generally more likely to do so.
The Hedgehog Concept was applied to business by Jim Collins, researcher and author, in his book, Good to Great. He argues that a company is more likely to be successful if it focuses upon doing one thing very well. Again, diversifying business offerings can sacrifice ones competitiveness in a single field. Companies should therefor seek to identify its hedgehog concept and invest all available resources in that thing. This long-term competitive strategy will weather competition and allow the company to survive.
Applying the Hedgehog Concept
Applying the hedgehog concept requires identifying three attributes of your company:
- Step 1: Where do your passions lie?
- Step 2: What are your skills (and which ones are you best at)?
- Step 3: Do the activities related to your passion and skills allow for a sustainable business model?
- Step 4: Are there any overlaps between your passion and skills?
- Step 5: Assess this against your current strategy and adjust accordingly. You will need to communicate your new strategic position throughout your organization.
Academic Research on Hedgehog Concept
- " Good to Great" Policing: Application ofBusinessManagement Principles in the Public Sector, Wexler, C., Wycoff, M. A., & Fischer, C. (2007, June). " Good to Great" Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector. Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum.
- Five ways to transform abusiness, Bjelland, O. M., & Chapman Wood, R. (2008). Five ways to transform a business.Strategy & Leadership,36(3), 4-14. This paper explores the traditional model used for transforming organizations. This model involves unfreezing them, developing a clear picture of the future, managing to make the picture a reality, and then changing systems to support the new ways. The paper suggests four alternatives to this model.
- Proactive mentality forbusinessdevelopment in Romania, Radu, R. I. (2010). Proactive mentality for business development in Romania.Financial and Monetary Stability in Emerging Countries, 830. This paper explores Robert Kiyosaki's view, which states that an employee must be a good worker and a good investor, and states that early in career, individuals should be aware that there are four situations in which making money ie: employee, self employed, owner and investor.
- Developing leadership systems inside university using Jim Collins method [good to great]: People management development to face ASEAN economic, Pratikna, R. N., & Gamayanto, I. (2017). Developing leadership systems inside university using Jim Collins method [good to great]: People management development to face ASEAN economic community in Indonesia.Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research,6(3), 45.
- Extending the marketing myopia concept to promote strategic agility, Johnston, K. (2009). Extending the marketing myopia concept to promote strategic agility.Journal of Strategic Marketing,17(2), 139-148. This paper proposes that many firms suffer from self-concept specificity. Recognising that this concept resonates with Levitt's seminal Marketing Myopia concept, the paper draws on Resource-based View and Network Organisations literature to add two further dimensions, Capability Myopia and Boundary Myopia respectively. The paper then explores insights that systems thinking and organisational learning literature may provide to help firms to escape the paradox of adaptation in which conflicting imperatives drive both specialisation and variety.
- Core competencies for business excellence, Gupta, R. K. (2013). Core competencies for business excellence.Advances in Management,6(10), 11. This paper reports a part of the research conducted in sample of selected listed Indian companies under doctoral research work on "Factors determining excellence in Business-A study of selected listed companies in India". The paper aims to show that right bundle of core competencies do act as factor for business excellence.
- From good to great to, Resnick, B. G., & Smunt, T. L. (2008). From good to great to.Academy of Management Perspectives,22(4), 6-12.
- The extensionhedgehog, McGrath, D. M., Conway, F. D., & Johnson, S. (2007). The extension hedgehog.Journal of Extension,45(2). This paper defines Extension as a competition for money, attention, and a place in the future of higher education. The paper sugests that Extension identify its education niche, specialties, and the value that only Extension adds to learning. It also suggests that Extension should be at the forefront of the modern outreach and engagement movement.
- Differentiating your practice: Enhancing fulfillment, performance, and profitability, McBride, K. (2007). Differentiating your practice: Enhancing fulfillment, performance, and profitability.Advanced Esthetics and Interdisciplinary Dentistry,3, 1-3.
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... And Others Don't, Bambocci, A. (2003). Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... And Others Don't.Journal of Small Business Strategy,14(2), 129-140.