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Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject Business economics - General, grade: Distinction, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, language: English, abstract: Globalisation and fast technological change lead to an intense competitive pressure on markets in general. In order to achieve above-average returns within this dynamic environment it is essential for a firm to maintin its competitive position and its ability to compete on the long run (Hanson et. al 2008, p. 7). Therefore, competitive business-level strategies combine specific actions and organisational desgins which are aimed at outperforming competitors (Hunger & Wheelen 2003, p. 77). Since a firm's value chain and all other activities are set up according to the chosen strategy, the choice and formulation of a strategy is of fundamental importance (Hanson et. al 2008, p. 112). Porter's five forces as well as the generic strategies are one of the major contributions in that context. Accordingly, this essay examines Porter's concepts in the following order: firstly Porter's approach of competitive advantage strategy is explained, secondly, an evaluatiation of different arguments for and against Porter's ideas follows. Thirdly, a critical appraisal of why this approach is better or worse than competing theories is given. Finally, the approach is applicated to the real-life example 'Cochlear'.