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Final Lecture · Brief look at Porters Five Forces Model (Basically an overview of the course) · Assignments and Exam.

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Presentation on theme: "Final Lecture · Brief look at Porters Five Forces Model (Basically an overview of the course) · Assignments and Exam."— Presentation transcript:

1 Final Lecture · Brief look at Porters Five Forces Model (Basically an overview of the course) · Assignments and Exam

2 Porters 5 Forces Model Aim: To develop a framework within which we can understand how economics helps businessmen understand their environment and aid their strategic-decision making In particular, we want to answer questions: 1). How do I tell how profitable a particular industry is? 2). What are the key factors affecting profitability? 3). How might projected changes in the business environment affect firm performance?

3 Business Unit Strategy: The choice of strategy at the level of individual business units Focus lies in making appropriate strategic decisions given the market environment faced by the business unit Decisions like Pricing, Advertising, Product Characteristics/Features are generally made by firms on a market by market basis

4 Corporate Strategy: The choice of strategy at the level of the Corporation Decisions relating to the set of business units which make up the corporation (These decisions affect all the corporations business units) The decision to Diversify, Vertically Integrate, engage in International Business Broad strategic decisions relating to HR policy and practices, culture etc KEY POINT: We're going to concentrate on Business Unit Strategy

5 Average Industry Profitability for 29 UK manufacturing industries. (Averages for incl.)

6 Average Firm Profitability for some large UK listed firms for

7 Our data provide some support for three important empirical stylized facts: Some industries are inherently more profitable than others Some firms are consistently more profitable than others because they operate in these favourable environments Firms with similar activities have widely different rates of profit

8 These empirical "facts" are a key part of the genesis of the discipline of Business Strategy They imply that: -A firm's operating environment is important -At the corporate strategic level firms should try to be involved in "good games -At the business unit level firms should try to alter those fundamental characteristics - try to improve their "game -There is still scope for firms to do well in relatively poor environments if they have a good enough strategy to out perform their rivals - Firms should try to choose a strategy that is best given their operating environment

9 Porter's framework relates directly to these empirical observations His framework consists of two parts: Industry Analysis - develop a tool that helps us determine what makes a market tick Generic Strategy Formulation - offers strategic prescriptions that are based on industry analysis

10 Some basic issues for industry analysis: Arriving at a sensible definition of the market/industry is a precursor to conducting industry analysis This can be quite difficult! By defining the market you define a set of competing products, a geographical area, a set of competitors etc


12 Using a number of alternative definitions of a market can be a useful way of generating a range of strategic options and perspectives What characteristics of a market significantly affect the performance potential of the firms operating within them?

13 Fundamentally market (and hence firm) performance is hypothesised to be a function of the strength of 5 forces Note the two hypotheses implicit in this view of the world: -Market performance is a relatively simple function of a set of underlying market characteristics -Firm performance is primarily determined by the inherent profitability of their environment

14 The degree of threat from Substitute Products Threat of exercise of buyer power The Size of Barriers to Entry The extent and nature of Industry Rivalry Threat of exercise of supplier power Porters 5 Forces

15 Barriers to Entry Provide incumbents with advantages over entrants (which affect market structure) Sources of Entry Barriers: High capital requirements, brand loyalty, economies of scale, control of inputs or distribution channels, and strategic actions from incumbents Where any of these are significant the threat of entry is reduced and the prosperity of the market is enhanced

16 Threat of Substitutes Substitutes do the same job as the industry's product - they are "functionally equivalent" (to some degree) Falls in the prices of existing substitutes or the introduction of new substitute goods threaten the profitability of the industry E.g. the introduction of pay-per-view technology has had a big impact upon the market for home video rental

17 Bargaining Power of Suppliers & Customers If strong suppliers can bid up their prices then the industry's costs rise and it's profitability falls E.g. Strong unions threaten the profitability of labour intensive businesses, oil price rises threaten the profitability of distributors If powerful buyers can force down the industry's price then industry profits fall E.g. Supermarkets power over many agricultural markets Power is enhanced if there are few substitutes or if switching buyer or supplier is costly

18 Intensity and Form of Industry Rivalry Intense rivalry (especially when concentrated on price rivalry) reduces industry profitability Often rivalry is intense when: - The market is mature/ the business cycle is recessionary - firms fight for a larger piece of a shrinking/static pie Fixed costs are large - then firms must sell high volumes to cover costs and hence reduce prices

19 Now we want to move on to looking at what makes some firms in a market more profitable than others Porter argues that this is due to differences in their business unit strategy Furthermore he identifies two fundamental routes to gaining a long term competitive advantage A Low Cost Strategy A Differentiation Strategy

20 The Generic Strategy Framework Porter suggests that there are two fundamental routes to gaining long run competitive advantage: The Differentiation Strategy The Cost Leadership Strategy KEY POINT: Firms should only try to pursue one of these strategies - otherwise they "get stuck in the middle

21 The Differentiation Strategy Pursuing a differentiation strategy involves making your product different from rivals That might involve providing extra benefits to the product For example: Airlines might differentiate themselves from one another by offering more legroom, better in-flight entertainment or food Pharmaceutical companies might seek to offer new drugs that offer new therapeutic benefits Soap Companies differentiate themselves by adding different moisturising ingredients, scents, antibacterial agents, deodorising ingredients etc KEY POINT: Differentiation often (always?) involves incurring extra costs

22 Differentiation confers improved profitability relative to average performing rivals if: Consumers are willing to pay a price that more than compensates for the higher costs of achieving differentiation:

23 The Low Cost Strategy A firm pursuing a low cost strategy tries to improve profitability by reducing costs to the minimum They typically offer a basic product that meets the needs of some consumers but without the frills of some differentiated goods For Example: Many supermarket own branded goods offer fundamental product attributes to consumers in basic packaging Hotel chains like Travellodge who avoid costs of having swimming pools, gyms, and just offer a basic hotel service Budget Airlines offer basic economy air travel without fancy in flight meals, extra space, or entertainment Key Point: Reducing costs almost certainly involves reducing the quality of the product relative to differentiated goods

24 Low cost firms usually undercut other firms in the market (sometimes selling volume is key to the low cost strategy if there are economies of scale) They make higher margins by reducing costs by more than the price reduction Implementing a low cost strategy involves making cost reduction a part of the corporate culture

25 Q: How do we decide which generic strategy we should choose? A: By understanding the drivers in our environment (Understanding the market we are in!)

26 Critical perspectives on Porter's framework Things to note about Porter: It's an "externally oriented", "market driven" or "Outside-In" perspective on strategy formation Firms analyse their environments and position them selves with respect to the important competitive threats As such, it relegates the importance of firm specific resources, capabilities, competencies etc

27 Other problems: Are generic strategies really a route to competitive advantage? Generic = Standard / General / Available to all Is being "stuck in the middle" so bad? There's plenty of evidence to show that: Firms can successfully pursue strategies involving both cost reduction and elements of differentiation (E.g. Nissan - low cost and emphasis on reliability) Firms that single mindedly focus on a particular generic strategy can fail (E.g. Caterpillar - endeavoured to make the best earth moving equipment in the world (highly differentiated) but the costs of doing so meant that they were vulnerable to attack by cheaper imports) Such Hybrid strategies are commonly accepted as being viable

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