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adoption of an improved proficiency.

Because of the interdependencies just described, the order in which components are discussedcan be based simply on what works best in a particular situation. This varies somewhat. For a firm ina single line of business, “tradition” suggests that one analyzes the industry first, followed byanalysis of internal characteristics of the firm, followed by current strategy, and then financialperformance assessment. This order works well for business-level strategy in industries with well-defined boundaries. For corporate-level strategic analysis, it is sometimes better to at least describethe overall corporate-level strategy first. If the focal firm is in a duopolistic or oligopolisticcompetitive environment, then the industry analysis may merge with a discussion of the focal firm’scompetitive strategy. Sometimes, it makes sense to discuss strategy and the internal characteristics ofthe firm in the same section. Competitor analysis is often difficult to position: usually it forms partof the rivalry discussion in industry analysis (see below); but sometimes aspects can form part ofinternal characteristics analysis (when discussing differences in value chain or key success factors);other times it makes sense to discuss it in a separate section just before the fulcrum