Senior managers and those that advise them make significant, path-creating strategic decisions as part of their jobs. Such decisions may include acquiring another...More >>
Senior managers and those that advise them make significant, path-creating strategic decisions as part of their jobs. Such decisions may include acquiring another firm, introducing a new product or process, responding to a crisis, or forming a strategic alliance. These decisions are not simple, nor are they based on a single function - finance, marketing, operations, etc. And yet our views of these transactions in many MBA courses are based on a single functional approach. This course focuses on such strategic decisions. It has been designed as an integrative capstone class for your entire MBA program. A significant portion of the class will involve considering how strategic, organizational, marketing, and operational perspectives affect the assumptions that are included in traditional discounted cash flow analysis, but many other points of integration will also be considered. View this class as a "lab" in which to explore and understand how the different functional classes that you have been taking during your MBA fit together. We will take both a "strategy content" (i.e., what is the "right" strategy to pick) and "strategy process" (i.e., how do decisions really get made in organizations) view of strategy. Broadly speaking, the decisions we will look at fall into three categories - decisions about the boundaries of the firm, decisions about strategic investments, and decisions about the sustainability of competitive advantage over time. The two primary components for the class will be case-driven in-class discussion of the topics, and a semester-long group project. With the understanding that different students learn in different ways, we will take a variety of approaches to in-class activities - readings, lectures, traditional case discussions, small group work, simulations, and experiential exercises.