Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy [NOOK Book]

Overview

Competitive advantage. The value chain. Five forces. Industry structure. Differentiation. Relative cost. If you want to understand how companies achieve and sustain competitive success, Michael Porter’s frameworks are the foundation. But while everyone in business may know Porter’s name, many managers misunderstand and misuse his concepts.

Understanding Michael Porter sets the record straight, providing the first concise, accessible summary of...
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Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy

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Overview

Competitive advantage. The value chain. Five forces. Industry structure. Differentiation. Relative cost. If you want to understand how companies achieve and sustain competitive success, Michael Porter’s frameworks are the foundation. But while everyone in business may know Porter’s name, many managers misunderstand and misuse his concepts.

Understanding Michael Porter sets the record straight, providing the first concise, accessible summary of Porter’s revolutionary thinking. Written with Porter’s full cooperation by Joan Magretta, his former editor at Harvard Business Review, this new book delivers fresh, clear examples to illustrate and update Porter’s ideas.

Magretta uses her wide business experience to translate Porter’s powerful insights into practice and to correct the most common misconceptions about them—for instance, that competition is about being unique, not being the best; that it is a contest over profits, not a battle between rivals; that strategy is about choosing to make some customers unhappy, not being all things to all customers.

An added feature is an original Q&A with Porter himself, which includes answers to managers’ FAQs.

Eminently readable, this book will enable every manager in your organization to grasp Porter’s ideas—and swiftly deploy them to drive your company’s success.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A book on understanding Porter is worthwhile because he's often misunderstood. He is widely and rightly regarded as the all-time greatest strategy guru, but that view gets the emphasis wrong.” — Fortune magazine

“If you have always intended to read Michael Porter's groundbreaking management classics, but have never quite got around to doing so, Joan Magretta's Understanding Michael Porter does the hard work for you” – Financial Mail (South Africa)

“Magretta’s book is a timely reminder that serves to put Porter’s thinking and concepts before us again—ideas that all firms and strategy practitioners would be well-advised to study and learn from…an excellent read.” — Quality Digest

“Summing Up: Highly recommended” — CHOICE

“Joan Magretta lays out Porter’s ideas on competition in a concise, easy-to-read volume.” — Business Day (South Africa)

“The book is a great read even for those who are looking to get initiated into the Michael Porter way of thinking” — The Economic Times (India)

“Magretta adds value through fresh case studies showing how companies such as Zara, Ikea and In-N-Out Burger deploy Porter’s ideas. Written in a very accessible style, this is a book for managers rather than academics.” — The Irish Times

“Ms. Magretta does a superb job of clearly and logically explaining Prof. Porter’s concepts, with lots of helpful examples. This is a distillation, but it never feels sparse, with ample time for the reader to learn a concept and sufficient reinforcement of the ideas as you are guided through the Porter oeuvre. Reading it brings you up-to-date on his ideas and, more importantly, helps you to understand your own business and the strategic elements you may have missed.” — The Globe & Mail

“200 pages of simple, non-faddish common sense for business.” — Anna Farmery, TheEngagingBrand.com

“Book of the Month. This book will become the strategy bible for today’s busy managers.” — Business Executive

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422142295
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 402,949
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Joan Magretta has worked with Michael Porter for almost two decades; she is a Senior Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, a McKinsey Award winner, and author of What Management Is, a top pick of its year by The Economist. She was a Bain partner and strategy editor of the Harvard Business Review.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 What Is Competition?

1 Competition: The Right Mind-Set 19

2 The Five Forces: Competing for Profits 35

3 Competitive Advantage: The Value Chain and YourP&L 63

Part 2 What Is Strategy?

4 Creating Value: The Core 95

5 Trade-offs: The Linchpin 121

6 Fit: The Amplifier 141

7 Continuity: The Enabler 159

Epilogue: A Short List of Implications 183

FAQs: An Interview with Michael Porter 187

A Porter Glossary: Key Concepts 211

Chapter Notes and Sources 223

Index 229

About the Author 237

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2014

    I learned of this book from an article in Fortune Magazine a cou

    I learned of this book from an article in Fortune Magazine a couple of years back - an article about Michael Porter.  I had not previousy taken the opportunity to learn of him and his work.  After reading Magretta's book through the first time, I found the best way (for me at least) to introduce it to a business colleague was to have them read the introduction, then go to the back and read the FAQ's (Magretta's interview with Michael Porter), then digest the middle.  I have truly appreciated the insights and principles of Porters theory explored in the book.  I have since bought perhaps 20 or 30 copies for business colleagues just because I found answers in the book to current business problems we face in our companies.  I think any serious business manager, product manager, or brand manager is playing with a short deck if they don't have a copy of Magretta's book handy for reference, and for use in convincing someone else of a needed change.  I endorse the book!

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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