Is it possible and useful to combine Porter's five forces model with his value chain model? Or is it not useful to combine these two? I want to have a basis to analyze a fictional Mergers & Acquisitions case (will/could it be successful). Until now, I find it difficult to get these two models into one useful construct.


The two approaches typically target different areas. The five forces model appears to be best suited to understanding an entire industry, while the value chain is primarily a tool for understanding and analyzing the activities of a business that works within that industry, although it can be applied generically at the industry level. That said, an understanding of the five forces model should prove very valuable to ensuring that the value chain is not omitting anything obvious.

The Wikipedia article on the five forces model suggests that it should be used as a checklist and entry point, with the value chain approach following. From Wikipedia:

Strategy consultants occasionally use Porter's five forces framework when making a qualitative evaluation of a firm's strategic position. However, for most consultants, the framework is only a starting point or "checklist" they might use " Value Chain " afterward. Like all general frameworks, an analysis that uses it to the exclusion of specifics about a particular situation is considered naїve.

In your M&A case, I'd imagine it would be best to explore both models for both companies and see where they complement each other effectively.


I suppose you can...

From a Value Based Management point of view, the Five Forces model (Market/Industry Attractiveness) of Porter can be seen as one of two dimensions in maximizing corporate value creation. The other value creation dimension is how well a company performs relatively towards its competitors (Relative Competitive Position), for which two other Porter-models are frequently used: the Value Chain framework and Porter's Competitive Advantage

more info can be found here

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