The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze Porter ‘s 5-Forces model and the construct of the Resource-Based position ( RBV ) which originated from Wernerfelt ( 1984 ) to develop scheme as a beginning of competitory advantage. A comparative analysis between the two attacks is undertaken. This paper further effort to contrast the two models taking into consideration what research workers have identified throughout the development of both theories.

The methodological analysis applied to near this paper commences by briefly specifying both constructs and their focal point of attending. The analysis so identifies common elements found in both theories supported by diverse research workers ‘ sentiments and positions. This subdivision undertakes a critical attack which serves a primary demand to make the aims of the paper. The paper so proceeds with an indispensable review of cardinal differences between the two attacks under probe. Specific unflattering elements are identified within both model and which are critically expounded. The paper concludes with a treatment on what could be the hereafter of both theories and their part towards scheme preparation for administrations to derive competitory advantage.

The Key Elements of Porter ‘s and RBV Theories

It is pertinent to specify briefly the cardinal elements of both theoretical models on which this paper will based to transport out a critical and contrast analysis.

Porter ‘s 5-Forces

The theory arising from industrial economic sciences signifiers portion of the classical positions of schemes developed throughout the last fourty old ages of the 20th century ( Whittington 2001 ) . Porter ( 1980 ) , specializing on competitory scheme, designed a theoretical account of five competitory forces, to measure the attraction of the industry via which the corporate scheme can efficaciously capitalize on both present and emerging market chances. This theoretical account serves as an indispensible tool in critically analyzing both the construction and kineticss of the industry in which the administration pertains ( Fortenberry 2009 ) . These five forces incorporate the menace of new entrants and replacement merchandises or services to the industry on a horizontal dimension and the perpendicular dimensions of providers and clients dickering powers. Both dimensions intersect on the 5th force consisting of the competition amongst current rivals in the industry ( Porter 1980:4 ) . The theory claims that profitableness is highest when competition is lower and that competition erodes net incomes ( ibid ) . It farther sustains that some competition should be avoided and the theoretician gives advice on how houses can maximise net incomes through maintaining or altering cardinal industry constructions. However, “ empirical probe has failed to back up the nexus between industry construction and profitableness ” ( Grant 1991:117 ) . Furthermore, Grove ( 1996 ) claims that authorities strategic forces are ignored in Porter ‘s theory.

The Resource -Based View

The RBV model designed by Wernerfelt ( 1984 ) , is indispensable to measure strength and failings within a concern concern so as to engineer a strategic competitory advantage. Wernerfelt ( cited in UoL 2009:65 ) advocated, that “ Sustainable competitory advantages are conferred by resources which are difficult to copy and scarce relation to their economic value ” . The RBV strategic theory links resources, capablenesss, competitory advantage and profitableness and their interactive combination, ensures a sustainable competitory advantage to the house ( Grant 1991 ) . Theorists such as Fahy and Smithee ( 1999 ) remarked that the development of this model took a measure frontward when diverse strategians became world-weary with Porter ‘s 5-forces theory, and found possible options in the RBV theory. Grant ( 1991 ) claims that this theory can be suitably applied in the development of robust long tern schemes. Chiefly the RBV is focused on the maximization of resources to economically execute expeditiously and carry through client demands.

It is non surprising that this theory has its critics. Hooley et Al. ( 1998 ) disagrees with this theoretical attack by reasoning that due to its internal focal point it jeopardises the importance of external market demands. Furthermore, Grant ( 1991 ) implies that small attempt has been done to supply practical applications of the RBV which brought him to develop his 5-stages attack to scheme analysis.

Common elements in both Porter ‘s and RBV models

Divers research workers such as Spanos and Lioukas ( 2001 ) claimed that both Porter ‘s and RBV ‘s positions on strategic preparation are similar. First, they both assume that regular higher net incomes are possible to accomplish and secondly both attacks attempt to specify the term competitory advantage ( ibid ) . Conversely, one can detect that both theories have beliing and differing definitions of competitory advantage Grant ( 1991 ) . This is farther supported by claims made by Fahy and Smithee ( 1999 ) that both theoretical models could hold elements of vagueness and uncertainness in their methodological analysis and both are obscure in their matter-of-fact attack. Both theoreticians have been criticised for their dead attack towards the scheme development which in its originality is decidedly ever-changing ( Dickson cited in Fahy and Smithee ( 1999 ) .

Porter ‘s and Wernefelt ‘s attacks to scheme development for competitory advantage were critised by assorted researches for their deficiency of practical applications when strategic directors formulated their schemes to battle competition ( Conner 1991 ; Grant 1991 ; Foss 1996 ) . Besides, there is small grounds on to what extent both theories assist directors to take strategic determinations ( Bridoux n.d. ) .

Cardinal Differences between Porter ‘s 5-Forces and RBV

The RBV and Porter ‘s model, endorse a figure of differences. Porter ‘s 5-forces ( 1980 ) theoretical account adopts a macroeconomic position of the industry whilst the RBV attack focuses on the micro position of the houses ‘ resources. Foss ( 1996 ) claims that Porter failed to measure the concerns ‘ potency of working their resources so as to efficaciously implement their strategic program. Furthermore, research workers such as Bridoux ( n.d.:7 ) claims that “ In Porter ‘s model, the accretion of resources is portion of the execution of the scheme dictated by conditions and restraints in the external environment ” . This is in contrast with RBV ‘s model where directors apply their resources and capablenesss to take administrations to competitory advantage over their challengers. Therefore, one can reason that Porter ‘s theory ignored the potency of the usage of internal resources to find schemes. Although the RBV can be applied tactfully so as to measure both resources and capablenesss, nevertheless, it focuses merely on the internal substructure of the administration. Conversely, Porter ‘s theoretical account adopts a wider macroeconomic position, capitalizing on an outside attack.

The nature of public presentation that an administration can achieve Markss besides a cardinal differentiation when contrasting Wernerfelt and Porter ‘s theories. On reexamining the RBV, it transpires that it represents efficiency in footings of how the concern resources perform to maximize their over-capacity and in the interim satisfy client demand. In contrast, Porter ‘s attack focuses on the ability of the house to work the monopolistic benefits of the market that differentiate between industries ‘ public presentation ( Conner 1991 ) .

Besides the contrasting dissensions between both theoretical models mentioned above, Foss ( 1996 ) claimed that the RBV attack is focused on long term scheme and can be applied to place possible jeopardies by measuring oppositions ‘ resources and capablenesss. Conversely, Porter ‘s model is oriented towards “ the external environment in footings of the short tally with constructs such as committedness, signaling, the function played by issue barriers ” ( Foss cited in Bridoux n.d:6 ) .

Unflattering Elementss within Porter ‘s 5 -Forces and RBV Frameworks

The writer of this paper identified assorted elements within both models and which are unflattering to each other. These are critically anaylsed. This paper attack will lend to the comparative analysis undertaken and furthermore enhance the contrasting treatment of the two theoretical accounts under probe.

One of the features that is claimed to be found in the RBV by Barney et Al. ( 2001 ) is that an enterpriser can be illuminated through this theory as they can value their resources as a competitory advantage over their challengers. One can reason that the term entrepreneurial cognition can be by far easy associated with the RBV attack instead than Porter ‘s model.

“ With regard to emerging markets, RBV research has been of import in proposing that local houses are interested in utilizing foreign confederations to get advantages over their domestic challengers, in underscoring the importance of web ties as an intangible resource for entrepreneurial start-up and in understanding the altering benefits of unrelated variegation as economic establishment develop ” .

( Barney et Al. 2001:630 ) .

Other diverse research workers advocate that the RBV can help houses to measure competitory advantage through an ethical attack by using Corporate Social Responsibility in theory scheme preparation ( Russo and Fouts cited in Barney et Al. 2001 ) . Besides, one can non disregard what Powell and Dent-Micallef ( cited in Barney et al.2001 ) remarked that the human resource accomplishments combined with the usage of Information and Communication Technology ( ICT ) can play an of import function within administrations to enable them to vie.

A outstanding and complimentary component of the moralss and ICT attacks found in the RBV ‘s model and which is non found in Porter ‘s theory is the part towards the grasp of strategic Human Resources Management ( HRM ) ( Wright et al. cited in Barney et Al. 200l ) . Supporters of RBVs theory claim that the attack towards the

perceived benefits of utilizing human resources patterns can be used by houses as a competitory arm. However, Barney remarked that:

“ As yet research has failed to prove through empirical observation whether HRM patterns are path dependant, casually equivocal, or imitable. Similarly, there is a deficiency of grounds that HRM patterns impact the accomplishments and behavior of the work force, or that these factors are linked to public presentation ” .

( Barney et Al. 2001:628 )

Furthermore, Grant ( 1991:119 ) when mentioning to the association of HRM with the RBV model comments that “ likely the most strategically of import resources of the house ” can be extremely vulnerable because they are nomadic and can be attracted by rivals.

There are even some conflicting positions by different writers whether Porter ‘s model appreciates the function of industry co-operation when finding schemes. For illustration, Bridoux ( n.d.:5 ) claimed that “ Porter 1980 ‘s work is that it over emphasises competition to the hurt of co-operation ” . Conversely, Aubert and Morel Guimaraes ( n.d. ) states that Porter ‘s embraces a strategic attack towards co-operation between industries. In fact, citing Aubert and Morel Guimaraes ( n.d.:5 ) “ Porter argues that by scheme of cooperation, the companies achieve a stronger positioning together than they would in single, in isolation ” .


Throughout this critical appraisal of both theories, it emerged with a grade of certainty that Porter ‘s theory greatly differs from the RBV attack as it is focused on industry instead than on the administration ‘s resources. Besides, it can be concluded that both strategic models are focussed towards accomplishing profitable maximization through competitory advantage. However the RBV recommends the usage of resources to accomplish this end whilst Porter attack uses the ability of the industry to place itself suitably within its competitory forces. Surprisingly, this paper found out that theories have been critised for their terrible practicality restrictions.

Imai ( n.d. ) advocated that “ Each administration is a aggregation of alone resources and capablenesss that provides the footing of its scheme and the primary beginning of its returns ” . However, from a critical position, the writer of this paper concludes that although the public presentation of an administration is determined by its alone resources and capablenesss, the industry ‘s structural features can non be granted secondary consideration.

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