Background Note | HBS Case Collection | January 2008 (Revised January 2010)

Finding Information for Industry Analysis

by Jan W. Rivkin and Ann Cullen


This note provides detailed instructions on finding resources for conducting industry analysis, with a special focus on resources available at Harvard Business School. It allows students to transition from doing a Five Forces analysis on the basis of a case, where all relevant facts are provided, to doing a Five Forces analysis in a work setting, without the benefit of a prepackaged case. Exhibits provide detailed information on top resources for industry analysis, instructions for accessing prominent databases, notes on using the Internet and other new media, and some publication-related tricks of the trade pertinent to each step in the industry analysis process.

Keywords: Information; Five Forces Framework; Research; Competitive Strategy; Internet;


Rivkin, Jan W., and Ann Cullen. "Finding Information for Industry Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 708-481, January 2008. (Revised January 2010.)