Porter’s thinking on strategy and the five force model has been supported by precision research into industries and companies and has remained consistent as well as developmental. This paper outlines a few strengths and weaknesses that this strategy and the five force model entail. In his five force model, Porter has concentrated on different aspects at different times, spinning the threads together with a logic that is irrefutable. Before Competitive Strategy, most strategic thinking focused either on the organization of a company’s internal resources and their adaptation to meet particular circumstances in the marketplace or on increasing an organization’s competitiveness by lowering prices to increase market share. In Competitive Strategy, Porter managed to reconcile these approaches, providing management with a fresh way of looking at strategy from the point of view of industry itself rather than just from the point of view of markets, or of organizational capabilities.
Porter describes two different types of business activity – primary and secondary. Primary activities are principally concerned with transforming inputs (raw materials) into outputs (products), and delivery and after-sales support. These usual line management activities include Inbound Logistics (materials handling, warehousing), Operations (turning raw materials into finished products), Outbound Logistics (order processing, and distribution), Marketing and Sales (communication and pricing), and Service (installation and after-sales service). Secondary activities support the primary and include Procurement (purchasing and supply), Technology Development (know-how, procedures, and skills), Human Resource Management (recruitment, promotion, appraisal, reward, and development), and Firm Infrastructure (general and quality management, finance, planning).
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