Summary of Competitive Advantage

Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance

Free Press,
First Edition: 1985 more...

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Competitive Advantage book summary
Whether you compete on cost, differentiation or focus, you can win in your industry. Just pick a strategy you can sustain.


10 Overall

10 Applicability

10 Innovation

9 Style


This classic work on competition is indicative of the importance of Michael Porter’s pivotal contributions to management literature. The book seems as fresh and relevant today as when it was first published more than a quarter-century ago. Porter, a professor at the Harvard Business School, is the author of 16 books, and a leading authority on competitive strategy and economic development. His ideas have guided economic policy worldwide, which may account for his nine honorary degrees and numerous awards. This book demonstrates the reasons for his influence. He provides a clear, deftly written, very accessible guide to developing and implementing competitive strategy. He covers the fundamentals of value chains, costs, differentiation, technology, substitution, synergies and more. getAbstract assumes that they told you in business school to reread this frequently as a management touchstone.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What competitive strategy is; and
  • What factors affect your organization’s competitive strategy.


Types of Strategy
A company conducts activities that incur costs in hopes of generating value. Competitive advantage and profit depend on these linked activities in the value chain. Close attention to the value chain enables managers to identify the products or services that customers...
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About the Author

Michael E. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor in the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Harvard Business School, and an international authority on strategy and economic development. He has published 16 books and more than 100 articles.

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