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ADL Matrix

ADL Matrix-Two dimensional matrix

X axis –Stage of industry maturity

Y axis –Competitive position of business

Stage of Industry Maturity

Competitive position






Fast grow

Build barriers Act offensively

Fast grow Attend cost leadership Renew

Defend position Act offensively

Defend position Attend cost leadership Renew

Fast grow

Act offensively

Defend position Renew focus Consider withdrawal


Differentiate Fast grow

Differentiate Lower cost Attack small firms

Lower cost
Focus Differentiate Grow with industry

Find niche
Hold niche Harvest


Differentiate Focus
Fast grow

Focus Differentiate Defend

Focus Differentiate Harvest
Find niche Hold niche Turnaround Grow with industry
Hit smaller firms



Grow with industry


Hold niche Turnaround Focus

Grow with industry Withdraw

Turnaround Hold niche Retrench

Divest Retrench


Find niche Catch-up

Grow with industry

Turnaround Retrench

Niche or withdraw

Withdraw Divest



Arthur D. Little Strategic Condition Matrix

The ADL matrix (derived its name from Arthur D. Little) is a portfolio analysis technique that is based on product life cycle.

The approach forms a two dimensional matrix based on stage of industry maturity and the firms competitive position, environmental assessment and business strength assessment.

Stage of industry maturity is an environmental measure that represents a position in industry’s life cycle. These are –

  • Embryonic,
  • Growth,
  • Maturity and
  • Aging

Competitive position is a measure of business strengths that helps in categorization of products or SBU’s in to one of five competitive positions. The competitive position of a firm is based on an assessment of the following criteria:

Dominant: This is a comparatively rare position and in many cases is attributable either to a monopoly or a strong and protected technological leadership.

Strong: By virtue of this position, the firm has a considerable degree of freedom over its choice of strategies and is often able to act without its market position being unduly threatened by its competitors.

Favourable: This position, which generally comes about when the industry is fragmented and no one competitor stand out clearly, results in the market leaders a reasonable degree of freedom.

Tenable: Although the firms within this category are able to perform satisfactorily and can justify staying in the industry, they are generally vulnerable in the face of increased competition from stronger and more proactive companies in the market.

Weak: The performance of firms in this category is generally unsatisfactory although the opportunities for improvement do exist.

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