To be effective, business leaders must understand the factors responsible for their firm’s past performance and be able to identify those changes (inside or outside the firm) that are most likely to help or hurt future performance. This course addresses this reality head-on by examining the fundamental conditions that enable a firm to conceive, formulate, and sustain a superior strategic position. In particular, we will focus on:
The various environmental factors (including cultural factors) that impact the firm;
A firm’s internal source of competitive advantage;
The likely behavior of a company’s competitors (and how a company can influence its rivals);
The long-term sustainability of a firm’s competitive advantage;
Students will learn strategic analysis tools, including models and frameworks to help them diagnose organizational issues and make recommendations to improve or sustain performance. The objective of the course is to equip students with real-world skills that can be applied in an organizational setting and to provide them with an appreciation for the complexity of strategic decision-making in large firms. On a more general level, the course aims to improve students’ critical thinking skills and ability to tackle tough organizational problems in a variety of settings.
The course uses:
Relevant case studies of firms that are involved in developing and implementing strategic decisions.
Current articles from business periodicals to be discussed on a daily basis to motivate class participation. The selected articles illustrate the different concepts and tactics studied during the course and provide interesting and practical examples of European, Asian and American firms assessing and implementing business and corporate strategy. Moreover, several readings and class discussions will examine particular strategic issues facing firms in Spain in order to leverage students’ study abroad experience in Barcelona.
Lectures and exercises that provide students with important frameworks and analytical tools
Video clips that illustrate key concepts and strategic issues as viewed from the “inside” in real organizations.
A course-related trip to the Spanish headquarters of a major international company in order to provide students with first-hand insight into strategic decision-making in the host country.
This course uses case studies as a teaching tool, which will be supplied in pdf format on the course Moodle page. These case studies are purchased from The Case Center and require payment of a per-student copyright fee. Your instructor will tell you how to access the case studies, and when to use them. All students taking the course will be charged the per-student fee for the case studies, whether they access them or not. You will receive a mail after the end of the add/drop period with an explanation of these costs, which will be similar to textbook costs for a standard business course.