Abstract Numerous models for developing strategy, defining and aligning competitive advantage have been proposed over the years (and even centuries if we consider Arian, Sun Tzu etc.) including probably the most famous of all, the 5 forces model by Porter (P5F). With publications in the field of strategy now in the thousands it is difficult to get an overall picture of how to classify and appreciate strategy tools and models. Mintzberg et al. have developed schools of thought to help alleviate and categorise this problem but this approach lacks a comparison of the models found in industry e.g. BCG, 7S McKinsey, ANSOFF etc. Consequently at academic level (but not only) we see models like P5F, etc. predominate while tools like SWOT, PEST, ARC etc. populate the consultancy arena and operative levels of the organisation. The purpose of this paper is therefore to provide an overview and comparison of selected models used in the development of business strategy together with a brief discussion of schools of strategic thought. Judging by the bibliography searched and, perhaps, the major appeal of this paper, is that a selection of common strategy development models and tools are compared systematically for the first time in one single paper. In fact it was found that models, at least in Italy, are rarely compared and if they are, it is on a one-to-one basis. The intent is to at least start to bridge and compare models and show how new models can be realised. The paper closes with the proposal of a new model, the Ward-Rivani model, which does not claim to be the most universal rather a complementary and perhaps useful platform for future work on strategy. Keywords: Strategy, Models, Porter, Ward-Rivani model
Introduction and Background – The strategic approach to Industry Analysis Companies are often chased internally or externally to examine their strategic position within a given business, marketplace or industry. To this end a multitude of theories and models have been developed (Koch, p. xiii, 2000) with the intent to determine, develop and disseminate systematically competitive advantages for the company. The overall intended outcome is to strengthen the company’s position in industry and help maintain, if not improve, their competitive position within it. In this context, perhaps the most famous of all models has been Michael Porter’s five forces model (Porter, 1980). This model has become a standard of comparison for most (if not all) new theories and models that look at the external environment of a company and therefore the industry in which the company competes. Inspite of this ‘standardisation’ the authors found that new models are rarely compared across a cluster of other models and indeed comparisons are usually limited to ‘look-alikes’ or 1-to1. Moreover, the same authors have found very little (if any) intentional linkage between forces and tools. A good starting point for an overview of models can be found at the Value Based Management website (www.valuebasedmanagement.net). This paper sets out to provide a comparison between 8 models, starting from Porter’s 5F model (P5F) and ending with the SWOT model. These models were chosen because of their
popularity in Italy and compatibility with one or more Porters five forces. However, similar popularity has been found in both academic and non-academic environments. While developing this comparison it also became evident that new models can be generated from this comparison and therefore in this sense the paper provides a framework for future and broader or even narrower models. To this end the authors propose a new...