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The Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors Paperback – 19 Jan 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Export edition (19 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743260880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743260886
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Fortune Three overarching game plans that work in one industry after another explain how thousands of real-world competitors come out on top.

Philip Kotler author of Principles of Marketing Porter's books on competitive strategy are the seminal works in the field.

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

Choice Few books warrant the too-common publisher's blurb "landmark." This one does. Highest recommendation.

Strategic Management Journal Represents a quantum leap...may well be one of the most important contributions to the discipline of strategic management.

Journal of Business Strategy Any manager who studies and uses the material in this book should be able to devise more successful strategies.

About the Author

Michael E. Porter is the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. The author of fourteen books and recipient of the Wells Prize in Economics, he lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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