Read the following article: Porter, M.E. (2008). The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, 86(1), 79-93. Retrieved from Business Source Complete. At the end of Week 1 students will be assigned a company to research. In this business analysis paper students are to thoroughly analyze the assigned company and prepare a five forces analysis specific to the assigned company and industry. Additional criteria for this paper will be provided by announcement in Bb.

Criteria for the paper:

I. Minimum of four (4) pages, to maximum (5) five pages (not including Porter Model illustration, title page, or reference page and any additional appendices).

II. APA style and formatting required. However, no abstract is required for this paper

III. Include a 1-page Porter model illustrating your analysis

IV. Reference page and title page

Grading Criteria

Maximum Points

Analysis is concise, detailed, thorough; accounts for all five forces


Demonstrated understanding of article concepts


Research sources are thorough and appropriate for business analysis


Applies article concepts appropriately to selected business and industry


Prepares five forces model that clearly ties in with analysis


Writing style: concise, clear, master’s -level, APA format


Flawless spelling, punctuation, grammar; Business-style writing




More information below

Hi all:

Please use this guidance, and a second set coming next week, to guide your preparation and writing of your Porter paper (due end of Week 4).

Each of you received your company assignment in the grade book. You will be applying the Porter 5-forces model to this company in its industry. Hopefully you have started doing some research on your company and its industry; if not I recommend starting asap. At this point in the program, this paper should represent your best work and highest quality to date.

This is a research analysis paper so you will need outside sources. Do not depend solely on the company website and Yahoo finance. Do use the library electronic databases including Business Source Complete and Mergent Online. Hopefully you have used these sources at this point in your graduate studies. The library staff is available to assist you as well. Other sources include the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week. Plan on a minimum of 6 quality sources besides the Porter article and the company website.

Just to reiterate this paper is not:
• A SWOT analysis
• A company financial report or buy-sell recommendation

In preparation for writing the paper, review the guidelines and the grading rubric in the syllabus. Carefully read the article itself, along with the etext chapter and info on this article. You should use at least two of the criteria for each of the five forces to establish the strength (high or low) of each force. The article identifies many factors for each force that contributes to the competitive level in the industry and/or strength of any of the five forces.

The following items are based on submissions I have received for the Porter analysis from students in prior sections:

1. Students who do better than others on this paper take the time to study the Porter paper itself.
2. In addition, they carefully follow the guidelines listed in the syllabus and the grading rubric.
3. Write the paper, read, edit, and re-write.
4. There is much to address in this paper, to apply the model thoroughly to your company. It should be a struggle to fit your analysis into the four page limit.

Meaning, you should have so much excellent analysis that you have to work at getting it within the indicated page limit.

Please avoid fluff (ie writing that fills the paper but doesn’t add value). Your writing should be concise and pertinent, which is a characteristic of business analysis. That is one of the purposes of this exercise, to strengthen your business analysis writing skills.

This paper is a business analysis paper, using published research but written in your own words. The use of direct quotes is to be minimal. Finding relevant research for your company and industry will take time. Correctly cite your references.

Find articles that directly relate to the company, industry, buyers, suppliers, and competition. It may take more time but will strengthen your paper.

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