International Competitive Analysis and Strategy
Full course description
This course explores the overlapping areas of industrial economics and strategic management. Its focus is on the external environment of the firm and how this environment is affected by strategic decision making of companies. The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the economic principles underlying strategy formulation. Based on an analysis of the factors shaping the industry, firms assess their positioning relative to their rivals and formulate strategies in order to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. In choosing between strategies, firms have to take into account the possible reactions of rivals to their strategic decisions.
The course provides students with the tools to analyse the positioning and performance of firms in different industry environments. These tools mainly rely on economic theories (e.g., theories of supply and demand, theories of industrial organisation, basic concepts of game theory). The course covers various topics in strategy formulation, such as product positioning and differentiation, vertical integration, pricing and strategic commitment. By combining theory and cases, the course focuses on strategy formulation by multinational firms.
The objectives of the course are:
1. To develop understanding of the economic principles underlying industry structure and strategy.
2. To develop skills in analysing the drivers of the competitive environment and in identifying sound corporate strategies.
3. To develop the ability to apply theory to real world cases and to find solutions to real world cases in theory.
4. To develop skills in searching for, and making good use of, information and data on firms and industries and carry out basic research.
5. To develop teamwork and presentation skills.
Basic knowledge of microeconomics.
Exchange students need to have obtained a bachelor's degree with a major in business and need to major in strategy in their master.
Textbook + Articles