The evolution and eclecticism of Porter's thinking

Nicolai J. Foss

in Competition, Competitive Advantage, and Clusters

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199578030
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724923 | DOI:
The evolution and eclecticism of Porter's thinking

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The chapter highlights the substantial changes have taken place in Porter's thinking from his Ph.D. dissertation to his work on the role of location. While the doctrinal antecedents of the Porter industry analysis approach are clear and unambiguous, namely IO economics in the Bain/Mason tradition, Porter has brought essentially resource-based insights into the frameworks of his later contributions, Competitive Advantage and The Competitive Advantage of Nations. Foss argues that this is not just a matter of Porter successively directing his attention to different analytical objects, it is also a matter of his attempting to approach different phenomena without applying the outgrowths of fundamental theory. The chapter argues that the developments in Porter's thinking show that different theoretical alternatives are brought together in loose frameworks with no serious attempt to confront them and examine their logical relations, i.e., in terms of whether they are consistent, complementary, or mutually exclusive.

Keywords: Michael Porter; industrial organization; competitive advantage

Chapter.  7033 words. 

Subjects: Business Strategy

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