In This Review

The Competitive Advantage Of Nations
The Competitive Advantage Of Nations
By Michael E. Porter
Free Press, 1990, 855 pp.

Building on his earlier work on competitiveness and aided by a study of a hundred companies in ten countries, this Harvard Business School professor undertakes to replace old views of comparative advantage with new explanations of what makes for success in global competition. Although he thinks governmental action can be of only modest help, he finds that the growth of national economies is important, especially in providing strong home demand for the right products, clusters of supporting industries and education tailored to specific needs. As the combinations differ from country to country, his national studies are of special interest. He stresses the importance of competition and warns against too much cooperation among businessmen. His bill of particulars for the United States differs from that of many business groups, especially when he speaks against pooled research and development, the spread of mergers and acquisitions, and protection from foreign competition (except as a means of opening foreign markets).