Guidelines for applying Porter's five forces framework: a set of industry analysis templates

Michael E. Dobbs (Department of Management, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, USA)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Publication date: 14 January 2014



The purpose of this paper is to provide practitioners and students a practical yet comprehensive set of templates for applying Michael Porter's five forces framework for industry analysis.


Based on experiences with practicing managers, small business owners, industry analysts, academics, and students, a set of industry analysis templates that systematically guides an analyst through a comprehensive assessment of the five forces is presented with the following: copies of the templates themselves, descriptions of their structure and use, an example of a completed template (spectator sports industry), and a discussion of possible modifications and extensions.


The industry analysis templates described in this paper retain the comprehensiveness of Porter's framework but in a format much more student/manager-oriented using graphics, visual cues, a uniform structure, and straightforward descriptions of concepts. Template users show evidence of deeper strategic insights and have a sophisticated tool for future analysis.

Practical implications

Managers, analysts, students, and others wanting robust industry analysis are provided with a comprehensive, structured, and practical set of templates to use in assessing an industry using the five forces framework.


Leading strategic management texts and other sources provide no comprehensive, systematic, and robust format for conducting a five forces analysis of an industry. The set of industry analysis templates described in this paper provides a visually compelling, user-friendly format that can assist those analyzing industries gain important strategic insights not only into industry drivers, but also important competitive advantages for individual firms.



E. Dobbs, M. (2014), "Guidelines for applying Porter's five forces framework: a set of industry analysis templates", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 32-45.

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