Course description

Strategic Management

Introduction

Strategy is concerned with how actors achieve their objectives. The field of strategic management has substantially affected corporate behavior. Concepts such as competitive advantage, capabilities, resources, value chain, tacit knowledge, and positioning are not just used frequently in organizations but are critical components in top management in decision making.

Understanding competition and competitiveness as well as where it comes from and what it leads to is pivotal for the strategic management of organizations. Management thought is continuously evolving encompassing ideas such as sustainable competitive positions, economies of scale and scope, core competences, dynamic capabilities, and networks. In recent years, management thought has focused on relentless pursuit of speed and agility. John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO, even proposes that the race will be won not by those who are big but by those who are fast. Furthermore, the growing economic interdependence among countries, exemplified by the global financial crisis, and technological innovation challenges our understanding of positioning and competitive advantage.

This course is concerned with the overall strategic management of organizations. It takes a top management—as opposed to functional management—perspective. We will particularly examine the frameworks and concepts mangers use when they make decisions about the scope, direction and competitive position of their organizations, and when they make sense of environmental and organizational complexities. The course attempts to answer two rather simple questions; where should an organization go and how should it get there. While the questions are rather simple, the answers - as we will learn - are not as straightforward.

Course content

  • Introduction to the field of strategy
  • Strategic frameworks and theory
  • Strategic analysis (external and internal)
  • Competitive and cooperative strategies
  • International and corporate strategy
  • Strategy implementation

Learning outcome knowledge

After undertaking this course you will:

  • Be able to employ tools to analyze situations and think strategically
  • Be able to identify, evaluate, and select strategies for improving the competitiveness of firms
  • Be able to demonstrate an awareness of the key challenges facing managers in the implementation and execution of strategy

Exam organisation

  • Class participation: 30%
  • Written exam: 70%