8.7 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 diversification, which can be related, unrelated, or geographic. 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. Firms implement their corporate diversification strategies through internal development, strategic alliances, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. Sometimes being smart about corporate-level strategy requires shrinking the firm through retrenchment or restructuring. Finally, portfolio planning using the BCG Matrix can be useful for analyzing firms that participate in a wide variety of industries or business lines.


  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.


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