Professor Profiles: Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business School

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a school to attend, but the educational experience is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Michael Porter from Harvard Business School (HBS).

“Generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field,” according to the HBS Web site, Michael E. Porter (MBA ’71) (“Microeconomics of Competitiveness: Firms, Clusters and Economic Development”) is director of the school’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. Porter’s “Microeconomics of Competitiveness” course is offered through the institute and is open to all graduate students at Harvard, Tufts, and MIT. The course reportedly differs from most MBA offerings in that it focuses on economic development rather than management, involves longer sessions, requires more reading assignments, and concludes with a team project rather than a final exam.

Porter, who received his PhD from Harvard University in 1973, has studied competition in the health care system and coauthored the book Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results (Harvard Business Review Press, 2006). Other titles by Porter include Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (Free Press, 1998), Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance (Free Press, 1998) and On Competition, Updated and Expanded Edition (Harvard Business School Press, 2008). In 2000, Porter received the highest recognition awarded to a Harvard faculty member when he was appointed the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, and in 2008, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted him its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. 

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