Context For this week’s discussion, the focus will be on



For this week’s discussion, the focus will be on examining Porter’s  Five Forces as a tool for looking at the pressures on profits.

Specifically, how does Porter’s analysis examine the stress on  profits from all directions and all dimensions of a firm’s environment?  You will be applying this tool by specifically looking at the market  structure in which a firm competes. You will need to be able to  distinguish an oligopoly from a monopolistic competitive market  structure.

Also see the help provided in the discussion preparation.


In your discussion post, address the following:

  • Choose one of the following groups and use Porter’s Five Forces to  analyze the pressures on profits for your chosen group’s firms.
    • Group 1: Firms in the retail sector (e.g., Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Sears, Macy’s).
    • Group 2: Firms in the wireless services industry (e.g., Verizon,  AT&T, Sprint/T-Mobile; focus on telecommunication services, not on  the sale of phones).
  • For each group determine and explain whether the group is  monopolistic competitive or an oligopoly. Be specific in which market  structures the firms operate.
  • Choose one of the firms from one group.
  • Using Porter’s analysis, what are the threats to profitability faced  by the firm? This would be a great time to expand your research skills  by checking out the firm’s investor relations page or by using some of  the material from the vast collection of business databases at the  Strayer Library.

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