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A Porter's 5 Forces on Industries

In: Business and Management

Submitted By blaine
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Structural analysis of an industry is a valuable tool that can be used as a primary determinant of a firm's long-term profitability. Understanding the dynamics of competitive forces can provide insight into the attractiveness of an industry and the potential for returns on capital. Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor, has developed a framework for understanding an industry's structure. Porter's analysis is widely taught in business schools and commonly used by analysts. Porter's book, Competitive Strategy, provides an excellent, readable resource for understanding the impact of competitive forces on an industry. According to Porter, the five competitive forces affecting an industry are: threat of entry, competitive rivalry, bargaining power of suppliers, threat of substitutes, and the bargaining power of buyers. Let's use the airline industry as an example of how an analyst may interpret the competitive forces that affect an industry.

Threat of Entry
The threat of new entrants presents the possibility that new firms will enter the industry and diminish industry returns by passing along value to buyers in the form of lower prices and raising the cost of competition. Factors that determine the threat of entry include capital requirements, economies of scale, switching costs, and brand value. In the airline industry, access to capital is plentiful. Banks extend credit to airline carriers, and the debt and equity markets provide alternatives for raising funds. Because it's relatively easy for weaker airlines to obtain credit, the industry has become saturated.
Brand identity is important in the airline industry, and benefits larger airlines. Major carriers allocate considerable resources to marketing efforts. Frequent flier programs and other incentives have been successful in enticing travelers to fly with certain carriers. The frequent flyer...

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