BUSINESS STRATEGY ADVANCED COURSE

Academic year
2016/2017 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
BUSINESS STRATEGY ADVANCED COURSE
Course code
EM6050 (AF:229888 AR:118898)
Modality
On campus classes
ECTS credits
6
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
SECS-P/08
Period
3rd Term
Course year
1
Where
VENEZIA
The aim of the course is to provide the student with a toolkit to understand and analyze strategic issues and to fully appreciate the complexities related to strategic management both in terms of strategy formulation and of its organizational implications.
Through the course students will learn how to rigorously analyze a firm's competitive environment, its internal resources and its business-level as well as corporate-level strategies. The conceptual foundations and toolkits gained during the course will be systematically used to interactively analyze real case studies and to practice formulating well-thought analyses and recommendations.
A bachelor-level course in strategy - or an equivalent knowledge of main strategy topics - is strongly advised. In particular, students would benefit from reading a basic strategy handbook such as Grant, R. (2010), “Contemporary strategy analysis”, Wiley. Suggested topics to be read in advance are:
1. The concept of strategy (introduction)
2. Industry Analysis (chapter 3)
3. Analyzing resources and capabilities (chapters 5 and 6)
4. The nature and sources of competitive advantage (chapters 8, 9, 10).
The course focuses on the frameworks that are useful in analyzing the strategic problems and issues that firms face in their contexts, on the processes of strategy formulation and on the development of firm-specific capabilities that contribute to competitive advantage.
Structure of the course:
1. What is strategy? Fragmentation and heterogeneity in theoretical approaches: a review of an ongoing debate
2. The strategy process: thinking, formation and change. Strategy between design, planning and visions. The organizational dimension of strategy.
3. Business and Corporate level strategy
4. Strategies and contexts.
5. From ideas to strategies: what's the use of business models?
De Wit, B., Meyer R., (2010), Strategy: process, content, context: An international perspective, Cengage Learning, 4th edition [chapters 1 (pp. 3-18; 26-31), 3 (pp. 105-123), 4 (pp. 163-180), 5 (pp. 231-254), 6 (pp. 297-315), 7 (pp. 359-379), 8 (pp. 421-437)]
Mintzberg H., Ahlstrand B., Lampel J. (1998) "Strategy Safari", Financial Times, Prentice Hall [Chapter 1, pp.1-21]
Elfring, T., Volberda, H.W., Schools of Thought in Strategic Management: Fragmentation, Integration or Synthesis, in H.W. Volberda and T. Elfring (eds.) Rethinking Strategy, Sage Publications, 2001. [pp. 1-25]
Inkpen A., Choudhury, N., The Seeking of Strategy Where it is Not: Towards a Theory of Strategy Absence, in Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4 (May 1995), pp. 313-323.
Håkansson H., Johanson J., A Model of Industrial Networks, in D. Ford (a cura di) Understanding business markets : interaction, relationships and networks. The industrial marketing and purchasing group, 2 edizione, The Dryden Press, London, 1997. [pp. 129-135].

Håkansson H., Snehota I., No Business in an Island: The Network Concept of Business Strategy, in D. Ford (a cura di) Understanding business markets : interaction, relationships and networks. The industrial marketing and purchasing group, 2 edizione, The Dryden Press, London, 1997. [pp. 136-150].
Osterwalder A., How to Describe and Improve your Business Model to Compete Better, 2007
http://www.setoolbelt.org/resources/830
Osterwalder A., Pigneur Y., An e-Business Model Ontology for Modeling e-Business, 15th Bled Electronic Commerce Conference - e-Reality: Constructing the e-Economy, 2002.
http://www.hec.unil.ch/yp/pub/02-bled.pdf
Other informations and additional readings will be made available during lessons. See the course page in the website: Collegamenti: "materiale didattico" -->"materiale didattico riservato" -->"Strategia d'impresa avanzato"

Suggested readings
Ghemawat P., (2009), Strategy and the business landscape, Pearson Education.
Rosenzweig, P., (2007), The Halo Effect, The Free Press:NY, chapters 6.7,8,9,10
Written. The exam consists of three open questions on the content of assigned readings. Attending students will be evaluated on the results of the exam (50%) and on the outcomes of a teamproject that will be developed in class (20%). Moreover, attending students will be evaluated on their participation to class discussion (20%) and on two individual assignments (10%).
The goal of the course is to provide the student with a toolkit to understand and analyze strategic issues and to fully appreciate the complexities related to strategic management both in terms of strategy formulation and of its organizational implications.
Through the course students will learn how to rigorously analyze a firm's competitive environment, its internal resources and its business-level as well as corporate-level strategies. The conceptual foundations and toolkits gained during the course will be systematically used to interactively analyze real case studies and to practice formulating well-thought analyses and recommendations.
The course is designed so that participation and discussion enable the learning process. Much of the course will be based on thorough discussions of readings and case-related materials that students will review in advance. We will use real business cases that provide a forum for students to apply the concepts and tools they will be exposed to. Each case discussion aims at providing students with a thorough understanding of the strategic nature of the situation, at helping them in defining the key issues and in proposing strategic alternatives and/or recommendations. In addition, during the five weeks, students will work in groups to research and analyze the strategic decisions of company. The instructor will provide students with a list of companies to choose from and to analyze within the quarter-long team project.
The detailed schedule of the class, comprehensive of the specific readings and case-related materials to be reviewed for each session, will be published at the beginning of the academic year,at the end of September 2012, in the Instructor's "area riservata" within the folder named "advanced strategy".

Detailed instructions on the logistics of team projects and case summaries will be given to students on the course website. The elaboration of the final written case analyses will benefit certainly by the use of databases made available by Ca' Foscari through its library system ("risorse elettroniche") such as EBSCO and Lexis Nexis. Students are strongly advised to get acquainted with these instruments immediately at the start of the course.
English
Each class will consist of a combination of lecture and discussion of the day?s topic. We will use case analysis to explore the issues at hand. Careful preparation is essential. The instructor expects you to read all of the assigned materials for each session in advance of the class. In class, the student should be prepared to analyze the concepts from the case and the readings and to discuss any questions provided in advance by the instructor.
To the extent that students prepare well, the entire class can shift the discussion away from the articles and materials towards a richer and critical discussion of the cases, of their frameworks and of the main managerial issues they present.
As a sign of respect for your classmates, phones, laptop, tablets and other communication devices need to be turned off during the class.
  • University credits of sustainability: RI
  • Lecture notes, material for reference or for self-assessment available online or as e-book
  • Use of virtual forum, blog or wiki