How can some companies in poorly performing industries still do well?

Week 1 Introduction to Strategy
This week’s discussion activity focuses on the strategic issues facing various industries.
1. Discussion Activity – Personal Application
Provide your thoughts about the fundamental strategic issues facing the industry in which your organization exists. Compare the performance of your company against the industry within which it operates using either the Morningstar Database Industry Return on Investment or (“Interactive chart” “Comparison” tool) if you are in a publicly listed company or use a similar publicly listed company or some other performance measure if you are not. Additional resources are available for those interested in learning more about performance factors for Government and Non-profit sectors. Please cover the following questions in your response.
2. Industry Perspective
Do some industries have better evolution of the stock value than others? Why? Search for your organization or a similar one and compare its evolution for the longest possible period to the main stock indicators (Dow, NASDAQ, S&P500) and competitive firms.
Do some industries have inherently better profitability, growth and market value than others? Identify common key performance indicators used within your industry. Compare for your firm these key factors.
What effect do different industries have on one another’s overall performance? Provide arguments and examples to justify your response.
3. Company Perspective
Is your organization performing well against the others in its industry? Provide arguments and examples to justify your response.
What factors explain the differences in company performance in the same industry?
How can some companies in poorly performing industries still do well?
Note: If you work in government or in a non-profit organization, you may pick a company that your organization contracts with for this exercise. However, we do encourage you to try to apply business strategy concepts to your organization if you can.
4. The Newsroom and Current Events
This is the place to post links to current items from newspapers, magazines, journals or blogs. Explain how this news item or journal article is applicable to one or more topics from this week’s learning. Type in a descriptive topic heading and post your comments.
Schmitz, A. (Trans.). 2012. Mastering strategy: Art and science.
Schmitz, A. (Trans.). 2012. Evaluating the industry.
Product life cycle and industry life cycle. (2009). In Encyclopedia of Management (6th ed., pp. 737-743). Detroit: Gale.
Thousand Insights. Porter’s generic strategies
Barney, J. [davidrstahl]. (2009, Feb 6). Barney – Resources and competitive advantage [Video file].
MBA Reference Guides
Cool, K., Acosta, L. & Dierickx, I. (2006). Constructing competitive advantage. In A. Pettigrew, H. Thomas & R. Whittington Handbook of strategy and management (pp. 55-61). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Doi: 10.4135/9781848608313.n3