8.6 Conclusion

This chapter explains corporate-level strategy. Executives grappling with corporate-level strategy must decide in what industry or industries their firms will compete. Many of the possible answers to this question involve growth. Concentration strategies involve competing within existing domains to expand within those domains. This can take the form of market penetration, market development, or product development. Integration involves expanding into new stages of the value chain. Backward integration occurs when a firm enters a supplier’s business while forward vertical integration occurs when a firm enters a customer’s business. Diversification involves entering entirely new industries; this can be an industry that is related or unrelated to a firm’s existing activities. Sometimes being smart about corporate-level strategy requires shrinking the firm through retrenchment or restructuring. Finally, portfolio planning can be useful for analyzing firms that participate in a wide variety of industries.


  1. Divide your class into four or eight groups, depending on the size of the class. Each group should create a new portfolio planning technique by selecting two dimensions along which companies can be analyzed. Allow each group three to five minutes to present its approach to the class. Discuss which portfolio planning technique seems to offer the best insights.
  2. This chapter discussed Disney. Imagine that you were hired as a consultant by General Electric (GE), a firm that competes with Disney in the movie, television, and theme park industries. What actions would you recommend that GE take in these three industries to gain advantages over Disney?