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Though the cases in Cases in Competitive Strategy may be informative when studied on their own, they are designed to be read and analyzed in combination with the companion volume, Competitive Strategy. The conceptual materials and the cases are designed to reinforce each other, showing the connection between the theory and the practice of competitive strategy formulation.
Now nearing its sixtieth printing in English and translated into nineteen languages, Michael E. Porter's Competitive Strategy has transformed the theory, practice, and teaching of business strategy throughout the world. Electrifying in its simplicity—like all great breakthroughs—Porter’s analysis of industries captures the complexity of industry competition in five underlying forces. 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. In the almost two decades since publication, Porter's framework for predicting competitor behavior has transformed the way in which companies look at their rivals and has given rise to the new discipline of competitor assessment. More than a million managers in both large and small companies, investment analysts, consultants, students, and scholars throughout the world have internalized Porter's ideas and applied them to assess industries, understand competitors, and choose competitive positions. The ideas in the book address the underlying fundamentals of competition in a way that is independent of the specifics of the ways companies go about competing. 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. By bringing a disciplined structure to the question of how firms achieve superior profitability, Porter’s rich frameworks and deep insights comprise a sophisticated view of competition unsurpassed in the last quarter-century.
Now beyond its eleventh printing and translated into twelve languages, Michael Porter’s The Competitive Advantage of Nations has changed completely our conception of how prosperity is created and sustained in the modern global economy. Porter’s groundbreaking study of international competitiveness has shaped national policy in countries around the world. It has also transformed thinking and action in states, cities, companies, and even entire regions such as Central America. Based on research in ten leading trading nations, The Competitive Advantage of Nations offers the first theory of competitiveness based on the causes of the productivity with which companies compete. Porter shows how traditional comparative advantages such as natural resources and pools of labor have been superseded as sources of prosperity, and how broad macroeconomic accounts of competitiveness are insufficient. The book introduces Porter’s “diamond,” a whole new way to understand the competitive position of a nation (or other locations) in global competition that is now an integral part of international business thinking. Porter's concept of “clusters,” or groups of interconnected firms, suppliers, related industries, and institutions that arise in particular locations, has become a new way for companies and governments to think about economies, assess the competitive advantage of locations, and set public policy. Even before publication of the book, Porter’s theory had guided national reassessments in New Zealand and elsewhere. His ideas and personal involvement have shaped strategy in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, Portugal, Taiwan, Costa Rica, and India, and regions such as Massachusetts, California, and the Basque country. Hundreds of cluster initiatives have flourished throughout the world. In an era of intensifying global competition, this pathbreaking book on the new wealth of nations has become the standard by which all future work must be measured.
This book offers a practical, fact-based approach to explain how enterprises deliver performance over time. Rigorous methods explain how to quantify the growth, decline and interdependence within the organisation's resources and capabilities as well as the continuous interactions with competitors and other external factors. These methods create clear and practical pictures of the strategic architecture driving earnings and other performance outcomes, not just for commercial firms, but for non-profit cases too. Management is then well-equipped to answer three crucial questions in their strategy development : why has the business performed as it has to date? where is performance headed in the future if we carry on as now? and how can we alter this future for the better? The book provides the basis for an entire course on the time-based perspective on competitive strategy, connecting strongly to established static frameworks. Alternatively it offers a vital missing component for existing courses in strategy and general management, as well as a key reference text for professionals in corporate development, consulting and business analysis.
For the past two decades, Michael Porter's work has towered over the field of competitive strategy. On Competition, Updated and Expanded Edition brings together more than a dozen of Porter's landmark articles from the Harvard Business Review. Five are new to this edition, including the 2008 update to his classic "The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy," as well as new work on health care, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and CEO leadership. This collection captures Porter's unique ability to bridge theory and practice. Each of the articles has not only shaped thinking, but also redefined the work of practitioners in its respective field. In an insightful new introduction, Porter relates each article to the whole of his thinking about competition and value creation, and traces how that thinking has deepened over time. This collection is organized by topic, allowing the reader easy access to the wide range of Porter's work. Parts I and II present the frameworks for which Porter is best known--frameworks that address how companies, as well as nations and regions, gain and sustain competitive advantage. Part III shows how strategic thinking can address society's most pressing challenges, from environmental sustainability to improving health-care delivery. Part IV explores how both nonprofits and corporations can create value for society more effectively by applying strategy principles to philanthropy. Part V explores the link between strategy and leadership.
Competitive Advantage introduces a tool that may be used to diagnose and enhance competitive advantage: the value chain. Value-chain analysis allows the manager to separate the underlying activities a firm performs in designing, producing, marketing, and distributing its product or service. It is these activities from which competitive advantage ultimately stems. By showing how all the firm's activities can be examined in this integrated way, Porter provides a practical perspective on competitive strategy.
There is a moral to this book, a bit of Confucian wisdom often ignored in social network analysis: "Worry not that no one knows you, seek to be worth knowing." This advice is contrary to the usual social network emphasis on securing relations with well-connected people. Neighbor Networks examines the cases of analysts, bankers, and managers, and finds that rewards, in fact, do go to people with well-connected colleagues. Look around your organization. The individuals doing well tend to be affiliated with well-connected colleagues. However, the advantage obvious to the naked eye is misleading. It disappears when an individual's own characteristics are held constant. Well-connected people do not have to affiliate with people who have nothing to offer. This book shows that affiliation with well-connected people adds stability but no advantage to a person's own connections. Advantage is concentrated in people who are themselves well connected. This book is a trail of argument and evidence that leads to the conclusion that individuals make a lot of their own network advantage. The social psychology of networks moves to center stage and personal responsibility emerges as a key theme. In the end, the social is affirmed, but with an emphasis on individual agency and the social psychology of networks. The research gives new emphasis to Coleman's initial image of social capital as a forcing function for human capital. This book is for academics and researchers of organizational and network studies interested in a new angle on familiar data, and as a supplemental reading in graduate courses on social networks, stratification, or organizations. A variety of research settings are studied, and diverse theoretical perspectives are taken. The book's argument and evidence are supported by ample appendices for readers interested in background details.

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