Michael Porter

(b. 1947)

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Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS). An influential business guru in the field of how firms compete in industries and how they gain competitive advantage. Porter joined the HBS faculty in 1973 after earning his doctorate in business economics at Harvard, and he soon became one of the school's youngest tenured professors. A prolific scholar, he has written 16 books and more than 75 articles. His 1980 seminal work, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, has been translated into 19 languages and is considered the pioneering treatise on corporate competition and strategy. He has also worked on the competitive advantage of nations and why some cities, states, or nations can be more competitive or prosperous than others (The Competitive Advantage of Nations, 1990), and on how competitive thinking can be applied to social problems. His various models have become cornerstones of market strategy and analysis. In his own words, he has defined his groundbreaking work: ‘From the start, my goal was to integrate what we knew about the economics of markets and industrial organization and what we knew about companies and business strategy. These two fields had never really intersected before. In addition to scholars, I wanted to reach practitioners, offering them a systematic framework for developing an overall strategy for competing in an industry.’ See also competitive advantage; five forces model.

Subjects: Marketing — Management and Management Techniques.

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