Corporate behaviour and competitive forces
The purpose of this article is to propose a typology of the economic behaviour of French industrial companies in 1993 based on a sample of more than 7,000 companies participating in the Balance Sheet Data Centre of the Banque de France. The objective is therefore to explain how productivity and competitiveness shape a company's rate of return. Three performance levels have been put forward: the "physical" level, the "market" level and the "financial" level, corresponding respectively to labour and capital productivity, the profit margin and the return on assets. The relationship between various types of behaviour and the competitive forces ( M. Porter, 1986 ) affecting these companies is then examined on the basis of a sub-set of companies that participated in the Sesame survey and are included in the qualitative data base maintained by the Companies Division at the Banque de France.
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