Summary of The Competitive Advantage of Nations

Palgrave Macmillan,
First Edition: 1990 more...

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The Competitive Advantage of Nations  book summary
Nations build economic advantages by encouraging industries to resist complacency and pursue innovation.


9 Overall

9 Importance

10 Innovation

7 Style


The causes of national advantage include much more than a country’s reserve of affordable workers and raw materials. This in-depth study of 10 nations from the post-World War II period through the 1980s provides a useful framework for fully assessing national economic prowess and momentum. Although Michael Porter’s research covers a limited time period, the seminal author and Harvard Business School professor has developed a clear method for distinguishing economic cause from effect and for demystifying complex global trends. His four-point “diamond”-shaped analysis of national advantage in the world economy remains apt and applicable. Porter, a pioneer, says some readers may prefer “shorter paths through the book,” a nearly 900-page tome. To that end, he organizes the content into self-contained, thematic sections of selective readings. getAbstract recommends his enlightened explanation of why certain industries, and their home nations, either grow or shrivel in the heat of world competition.

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About the Author

Michael E. Porter is a professor at the Harvard Business School and the author of Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage. He served on President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness.

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