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Friday, January 04, 2008
I am a big Michael Porter fan. Porter returns to reaffirm and extend this classic work of strategy formulation, which includes new sections showing how to put his analysis into practice. In the last few years, Michael Porter has brought economic rigor to the study of competitive strategy for corporations, regions, nations, and, more recently, health care and philanthropy. “Porter’s five forces” have shaped a generation of academic research and business practice. Porter contends, if the competitive forces are intense, as they are in such industries as airlines, textiles, and hotels, almost no company earns attractive returns on investment. If the forces are benign, as they are in industries such as software, soft drinks, and toiletries, many companies are profitable. How else do we explain the fact that some fast-growth businesses, such as personal computers, have been among the least profitable industries in recent years. A narrow focus on growth is one of the major causes of bad strategy decisions.
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