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MGMT 485: Strategic Management

A guide to researching companies and industries.

Getting started

Research question: What is the industry called?

Examples: digital advertising, household and consumer goods, transportation and logistics

Recommended research approach: Search the literature to find the industry's name, and/or locate its NAICS code.

Force #1: Competition in the industry

Research question: What information would you gather to learn more about your company’s competitors?

Examples: List of competitors, competitors’ financials, market share, product differences, brand identity, industry growth, etc.

Recommended research approach: Use Mergent Online to create competitor list. Use Business Source Premier to locate company profiles (includes information on competitors).

Force #2: Threat of new entry

Research question: What threats do new companies face in entering your industry?

Examples: Economies of scale, strong brand identities, capital requirements, government policy, high switching costs, etc.

Recommended research approach: Use Business Insights Global to locate industry essays and market share reports.

Force #3: Threat of substitutes

Research question: What product or service may substitute your company's current product or service?

Examples: Uber as a substitute to traditional taxi services.

Recommended research approach: Identify keywords to search news articles and trade publications for news about emerging companies and trends.

Force #4: Power of suppliers

Research question: How do you determine the power of a supplier?

Examples: Supplier concentration, lack of supplier competition, switching costs, uniqueness of process and/or material, etc.

Recommended research approach: Use the company's investor relations page to identify its suppliers. (See pages on publicly traded and private companies for more help).

Force #5: Power of buyers

Research question: How do you determine the power of buyers?

Examples: Buyer concentration, buyer switching costs, brand loyalty, availability of substitutes, etc.

Recommended research approach: Identify keywords to search news articles and trade publications.

Acknowledgments

The content of this page is adapted from:

Blas, Nataly. "Industry Research Using Porter's 5 Forces ." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2018. https://www.projectcora.org/assignment/industry-research-using-porters-5-forces.