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BUS5 162A: International Business Strategy

A guide for databases, resources, and suggestion for BUS5 162A.

Porter's Five Forces

A Porter's Five Forces analysis looks at the forces listed below to determine the level of competition within an industry and its potential profitability:

  1. Competitive Rivalry within an Industry
  2. Threat of New Entrants
  3. Threat of Substitute Products
  4. Bargaining Power of Suppliers
  5. Bargaining Power of Customers

All of these elements have a significant impact on an industry's strength and potential growth.

  • In the Business Source Complete database, some Industry Profiles include Five Forces Analyses. (Look for Industry Profiles in the Browse column on the right of the database home page.)

  • See the Industry Research Using Porter’s Five Forces handout below for more search techniques. Links to the databases mentioned in the handout are in the "Recommended Databases" box below.


Recommended Databases

Porter's Five Forces Search Strategies

IBISWorld (see link in box above) is an excellent source of industry information.  ABI/INFORM Complete (see link in box above) is another resource. When using ABI/INFORM, use a company or industry name combined with the following suggested terms:

  • Customer Loyalty
    • (buyer* or customer* or consumer*) and (preference* or motivat* or behavior* or attitude* or loyalt* or psychographic* or segmentation* or demographic* or value creation)
  • Product/Service Substitution
    • (substitu* or alternat* or chang* or new or compar* or unique)
  • Strategic Focus
    • (strateg* or challeng* or risk* or succeed* or fail* or opportunit* or threat* or compet* or shift* or partner*)
  • Bargaining Power
    • (bargain* or negotiat*)
  • Barriers
    • (barrier* or regulat* or licens* or tariff* or restrict* or trade*)
  • Buyer/Seller Power
    • (size or concentration* or market share* or position* or dominan*)
  • Rivalry
    • (marketplace or compet* or market share* or market size* or dominan* or position* or segment*)
  • Product/Service Differentiation
    • (differentiat* or unique*)
  • Price Switching
    • (pric* or cost*) and (switch* or sensitive*)
  • Distribution
    • (distribut* or supply chain* or logistic*)
    • (distribut* or supply chain* or logistic*) and channel*


* is a truncation symbol used in these databases which allows searching for variations of a word. For example, distribut* searches distributor(s), distribution, distributed, etc.


Source: adapted from Goizueta Business Library, Five Forces Search Strategies by Susan M. Klopper