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Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors [Paperback]

Michael E. Porter
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
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Book Description

19 Jan 2004
Electrifying in its simplicity - like all great breakthroughs - COMPETITIVE STRATEGY captures the complexity of industry competition in five underlying forces. Author Michael Porter introduces one of the most powerful competitive tools yet developed: his three generic strategies - lowest cost, differentiation, and focus - which bring structure to the task of strategic positioning. He shows how competitive advantage can be defined in terms of relative cost and relative prices, thus linking it directly to profitability, and presents a whole new perspective on how profit is created and divided. More than a million managers in both large and small companies, investment analysts, consultants, students, and scholars throughout the world have internalised Porter's ideas and applied them to assess industries, understand competitors and choose competitive positions. COMPETITIVE STRATEGY has filled a void in management thinking. It provides an enduring foundation and grounding point on which all subsequent work can be built. Porter's rich frameworks and deep insights comprise a sophisticated view of competition unsurpassed in the last quarter-century.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; New edition edition (19 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743260880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743260886
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"The New York Times" American executives are grasping for a logic to global competition. Mr. Porter...has given them one.

About the Author

Michael E. Porter, one of the world's leading authorities on competitive strategy and international competitiveness, is Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is the author of fourteen books, among them COMPETITIVE STRATEGY, THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF NATIONS, and CASES IN COMPETITIVE STRATEGY.

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First Sentence
The essence of formulating competitive strategy is relating a company to its environment. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starting point for business strategy 29 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Michael Porter is a Harvard Business School professor and a leading authority on competition and strategy. This book is a landmark in the field of strategy/strategic management, which later has become known as the positioning school. The book provides a great framework.
The book consists of three parts - General Analytical Techniques, Generic Industry Environments, and Strategic Decisions. In addition, the two appendices - Portfolio Techniques in Competitor Analysis, and How to Conduct an Industry Analysis - should also be mentioned as they are very useful.
In Part I, Porter discussess the structural analysis of industries (with the world-famous five forces), the three generic competitive strategies (overall cost leadership, focus, and differentiation), an excellent framework for competitor analysis, competitive moves, strategy toward buyers and suppliers, structural analysis within industries (strategic groups, strategic mapping, mobility barriers), and industry evolution (life cycle, evolutionary processes).
In Part II, Porter discusses competitive strategy within various generic industry environments, such as fragmented industries (with no real market leader), emerging industries (e-commerce and Internet are excellent examples, although not mentioned in this book as it was written in 1980), mature industries, declining industries, and global industries.
In Part III, Porter discusses strategic decisions which businesses/firms can take, such as vertical integration (forward, backward, partnerships), capacity expansion, and entry into new industries/businesses.
Even after 20 years, most of this book still stands strong, although some people will argue this. It is a MUST for MBA-students and all other people interested in strategy/strategic management. The book is good to read (simple US-English) and thus does not become a struggle.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Anyone would agree that this book is the best overview of competitive strategy analysis ever written. The strength of the book is a solid outline of subjects and questions to improve your thinking, and get to be a step ahead of the competition. In highly-competitive, commodity businesses, that's usually what strategies focus on.
On the other hand, the rapid advances of knowledge and technology mean that the relevant benchmark is perfection, not the competitor, in defining an ideal best practice. In that world, this book has serious limitations, because the competitive dimension is often less important than the customer and user dimension these days.
Any business arena begins, as Peter Drucker so aptly put it, with the task "to create a customer." That reminder is especially relevant today when they are so many new ways to serve a customer's needs that no one has ever considered before. The strategic point of 'Blown to Bits' for example is that almost every business will see its vertical value chain (moving from resources through to the customer) broken apart into tiny segments each served by specialists. If you did not begin with that perspective in analyzing the impact of electronically-based business practices, you could easily focus on the wrong tasks using this book to create an over-broad strategy focus, rather than concentrating on just a few areas.
I suspect that the applications of Moore's Law and Metcalfe's Law need to be explicitly considered as part of the analysis that Professor Porter is recommending.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware, this is not a new book 19 Nov 2007
By M. Eden
Format:Paperback
I am very much looking forward to getting stuck into this book, but I personally feel misled by the publication date showing on Amazon and wanted to bring this to the attention of others.

I purchased this book because I was looking for something 'recent' on the topic of strategy. Whilst 2004 is not that recent, I have great respect for M Porter and so was happy that it was recent enough for my purposes.

Unfortunately, upon opening the book, I find that it is a 1980 book on strategy with a 2004 preface.

The content is still good but it kind of defeats the purpose if you are looking for some modern thoughts on and techniques relating to strategy.
Was this review helpful to you?
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starting point for business strategy 31 Oct 2002
Format:Hardcover
Michael E. Porter is a Harvard Business School professor and a leading authority on competition and strategy. This book is a landmark in the field of strategy/strategic management, and Porter's view has later become known as the positioning school. The book provides a great framework.
The book consists of three parts - General Analytical Techniques, Generic Industry Environments, and Strategic Decisions. In addition, the two appendices - Portfolio Techniques in Competitor Analysis, and How to Conduct an Industry Analysis - should also be mentioned as they are very useful.
In Part I, Porter discussess the structural analysis of industries (with the world-famous five forces), the three generic competitive strategies (overall cost leadership, focus, and differentiation), an excellent framework for competitor analysis, competitive moves, strategy toward buyers and suppliers, structural analysis within industries (strategic groups, strategic mapping, mobility barriers), and industry evolution (life cycle, evolutionary processes).
In Part II, Porter discusses competitive strategy within various generic industry environments, such as fragmented industries (with no real market leader), emerging industries (e-commerce and Internet are excellent examples, although not mentioned in this book as it was written in 1980), mature industries, declining industries, and global industries.
In Part III, Porter discusses strategic decisions which businesses/firms can take, such as vertical integration (forward, backward, partnerships), capacity expansion, and entry into new industries/businesses.
Even after 20 years, most of this book still stands strong, although some people will argue this. It is a MUST for MBA-students and all other people interested in strategy/strategic management. The book is good to read (simple US-English) and thus does not become a struggle.
Comment | 
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Competitive Strategy by M.Porter
A very good book that helped with all the information I needed for my research project on competition in industries. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Harriet
5.0 out of 5 stars All time classic.
An all-time classic book that every business manager has to have in his bookshelf collection. Strongly recommended for MBA students.
Published 15 months ago by Ilias
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for management student
Nice book For those seeking MBA in management or strategic management give you clear view on all the industry .
Published 16 months ago by syed zair abbas zaidi
4.0 out of 5 stars Where are the new ideas in Business Strategy
This book is the foundation that positioning theory has been built on, but it's about time that this thinking was developed. Read more
Published 16 months ago by stuart
5.0 out of 5 stars MBA Student Must Have
If you're doing or are thinking of doing an MBA, then this book is seminal - simply a must read.
Published on 19 Dec 2009 by Mr. A. Heesom
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Everything Mr. Porter Writes
Mr. Porter is an expert on competition. As a professional investor, I evaluate competitive strengths and weaknesses of companies on everyday basis. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2009 by Mariusz Skonieczny
5.0 out of 5 stars fundamentally important concepts
Seriously useful for anyone who runs their own business and finds themselves squeezed between the tectonic plates of bigger competitors or external factors that they hadn't... Read more
Published on 4 July 2009 by Tim Hobbs
4.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive and good useful
For someone who is a novice in the field of management I found this book very useful. It gave me a useful framework to look at future of my own organisation and I hope this to be a... Read more
Published on 22 April 2009 by Saied
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed With Knowledge!
This seminal book is a classic and ought to be read by anyone in business. Michael E. Porter's ideas on competitiveness have lost little relevance despite the fact that he first... Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2004 by Rolf Dobelli
3.0 out of 5 stars Figure out why you buy before you buy
This is emphatically not a work of strategy and and not a book about strategic analysis. I can't see how this would be practical or useful in a real "hands-on" business... Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2004 by ZDDQ140770
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