Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance

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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 Porter shows how traditional comparative advantages such as natural resources and pools of labor have been superseded as sources of prosperity, and how broad macroeconomic accounts of competitiveness are insufficient.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.
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About the author

Michael E. Porter, one of the world's leading authorities on competitive strategy and international competitiveness, is the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. In 1983, Professor Porter was appointed to President Reagan's Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, the initiative that triggered the competitiveness debate in America. He serves as an advisor to heads of state, governors, mayors, and CEOs throughout the world. The recipient of the Wells Prize in Economics, the Adam Smith Award, three McKinsey Awards, and honorary doctorates from the Stockholm School of Economics and six other universities, Porter is the author of fourteen books, among them Competitive Strategy, The Competitive Advantage of Nations, and Cases in Competitive Strategy, all published by The Free Press. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jun 30, 2008
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Pages
592
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ISBN
9781416595847
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Industries / General
Business & Economics / Management Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.
In this definitive and revealing history, Henry Mintzberg, the iconoclastic former president of the Strategic Management Society, unmasks the press that has mesmerized so many organizations since 1965: strategic planning. One of our most brilliant and original management thinkers, Mintzberg concludes that the term is an oxymoron -- that strategy cannot be planned because planning is about analysis and strategy is about synthesis. That is why, he asserts, the process has failed so often and so dramatically.
Mintzberg traces the origins and history of strategic planning through its prominence and subsequent fall. He argues that we must reconceive the process by which strategies are created -- by emphasizing informal learning and personal vision -- and the roles that can be played by planners. Mintzberg proposes new and unusual definitions of planning and strategy, and examines in novel and insightful ways the various models of strategic planning and the evidence of why they failed. Reviewing the so-called "pitfalls" of planning, he shows how the process itself can destroy commitment, narrow a company's vision, discourage change, and breed an atmosphere of politics. In a harsh critique of many sacred cows, he describes three basic fallacies of the process -- that discontinuities can be predicted, that strategists can be detached from the operations of the organization, and that the process of strategy-making itself can be formalized.
Mintzberg devotes a substantial section to the new role for planning, plans, and planners, not inside the strategy-making process, but in support of it, providing some of its inputs and sometimes programming its outputs as well as encouraging strategic thinking in general. This book is required reading for anyone in an organization who is influenced by the planning or the strategy-making processes.
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.
"Hidalgo has made a bold attempt to synthesize a large body of cutting-edge work into a readable, slender volume. This is the future of growth theory." --Financial Times
What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But according to MIT's antidisciplinarian César Hidalgo, understanding the nature of economic growth demands transcending the social sciences and including the natural sciences of information, networks, and complexity. To understand the growth of economies, Hidalgo argues, we first need to understand the growth of order.

At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order-or information-disappears. Whispers vanish in the wind just like the beauty of swirling cigarette smoke collapses into disorderly clouds. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Although cities are all pockets where information grows, they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Paris, there are dozens of places with economies that accomplish little more than pulling rocks out of the ground. So, why does the US economy outstrip Brazil's, and Brazil's that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston's Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, firms, and the networks they form make use of information.

Seen from Hidalgo's vantage, economies become distributed computers, made of networks of people, and the problem of economic development becomes the problem of making these computers more powerful. By uncovering the mechanisms that enable the growth of information in nature and society, Why Information Grows lays bear the origins of physical order and economic growth. Situated at the nexus of information theory, physics, sociology, and economics, this book propounds a new theory of how economies can do not just more things, but more interesting things.
A year's worth of management wisdom, all in one place.

We've reviewed the ideas, insights, and best practices from the past year of Harvard Business Review to keep you up-to-date on the most cutting-edge, influential thinking driving business today. With authors from Michael E. Porter to Daniel Kahneman and company examples from P&G to Adobe, this volume brings the most current and important management conversations to your fingertips.

This book will inspire you to:Reconsider what keeps your customers coming backCreate visualizations that send a clear messageAssess how quickly disruptive change is coming to your industryBoost engagement by giving your employees the freedom to break the rulesUnderstand what blockchain is and how it will affect your industryGet your product in customers' hands faster by accelerating your research and development phase

This collection of articles includes "Customer Loyalty Is Overrated," by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin; "Noise: How to Overcome the High, Hidden Cost of Inconsistent Decision Making," by Daniel Kahneman, Andrew M. Rosenfield, Linnea Gandhi, and Tom Blaser; "Visualizations That Really Work," by Scott Berinato; "Right Tech, Wrong Time," by Ron Adner and Rahul Kapoor; "How to Pay for Health Care," by Michael E. Porter and Robert S. Kaplan; "The Performance Management Revolution," by Peter Cappelli and Anna Tavis; "Let Your Workers Rebel," by Francesca Gino; "Why Diversity Programs Fail," by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev; "What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class," by Joan C. Williams; "The Truth About Blockchain," by Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani; and "The Edison of Medicine," by Steven Prokesch.

Is your healthcare organization spending too much time on strategy--with too little to show for it?

If you read nothing else on strategy, read these 10 articles. We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones for healthcare professionals to help you catalyze your organization’s strategy development and execution.

Leading strategy experts, such as Michael E. Porter, Jim Collins, W. Chan Kim, and Renee Mauborgne, provide the insights and advice you need to:Understand how the rules of corporate competition translate to the healthcare sectorCraft a vision for an uncertain futureSegment your market to better serve diverse patient populationsAchieve the best health outcomes--at the lowest costLearn what disruptive innovation means for healthcareUse the Balanced Scorecard to measure your progress

This collection of articles includes "What Is Strategy?" by Michael E. Porter; "The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy," by Michael E. Porter; "Health Care Needs Real Competition," by Leemore S. Dafny and Thomas H. Lee; "Building Your Company's Vision," by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras; "Reinventing Your Business Model," by Mark W. Johnson, Clayton M. Christensen, and Henning Kagermann; "Will Disruptive Innovations Cure Health Care?" by Clayton M. Christensen, Richard Bohmer, and John Kenagy; "Blue Ocean Strategy," by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne; "Rediscovering Market Segmentation," by Daniel Yankelovich and David Meer; "The Office of Strategy Management," by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton; and "The Strategy That Will Fix Health Care," by Michael E. Porter and Thomas H. Lee.

競爭優勢——以低成本提供產品(服務),或是以與眾不同的效益獲得溢價——正是企業成功或失敗的基礎。但是,究竟企業如何達到低成本地位?如何與眾不同?

波特教授在他的另一本著作《競爭策略》中說明了「產業與競爭者分析」的技術。在本書中則進一步解釋「企業如何建立並維持競爭優勢」。詳細說明:企業經理人如何評估本身的競爭地位?如何採取特定行動提升競爭地位?

本書提供企業經理人,藉由成本或差異化創造競爭優勢的重要概念與實用工具。書中所提出的「價值鏈」概念更是強而有力的分析工具。它能夠協助經理人界定並分析研發、生產、行銷、銷售通路等方面,企業藉以形成競爭優勢的各種基本價值活動。

透過價值鏈分析,波特展現出:

‧    如何了解成本特性?如何創造並持續成本優勢?

‧    如何辨別會創造客戶價值的因素?如何成功地採行差異化策略?

‧    如何選擇對企業有益的技術策略,以及技術領導廠商的優缺點?

‧    如何分辨良性與惡性競爭對手?如何藉由競爭對手改善企業的競爭地位?

‧    如何劃分產業區段,並藉以形成持續、有利可圖的焦點化策略?

‧    如何因應未來的不確定性?情境模擬該如何進行?

‧    面對挑戰者時應該如何防禦?何時該進行攻擊性策略?

波特的理論,早已是知名商學院的必修課程。對於想領先群倫、以及想尋找策略規劃指南的經理人而言,《競爭優勢》是不容錯過的經典之作。
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