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Corporate Strategy


Prato M.

Course director


This course focuses on business strategy, examining issues central to long and short-term competitive position. We will explore a variety of conceptual frameworks and models to analyse and gain insight into how to achieve or sustain competitive advantage. This journey starts by analysing the impact of the internal context (resources and capabilities) on firm performance and subsequently analysing the external environment influence on a firm´s performance. After covering both the external and internal perspectives, we bring these concepts together to discuss firm level competitive advantage. This first part of the course focuses on single business or business unit strategy and will take up the first ten weeks. The final weeks explore corporate or multi-business strategy and international strategy.

Some of the central questions for the course are:
  1. How and why do firms differ?
  2. Why are some firms more successful than their competitors? Is this advantage sustainable or short-lived and why?
  3. What makes a particular industry attractive?
  4. What determines success in corporate diversification?
  5. What determines success or failure in international competition?

For each of the topics covered, you will get an overview of the current thinking and practice in the application of the concepts. By the end of the course you will be able to assess and successfully analyse ill-structured strategic problems by selecting and effectively applying the appropriate tools and frameworks. The class uses variety of teaching methods including lecturing, video, group work, games and presentations.

R. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Wiley, 2010.

Further material will be distributed when needed.


Exam 45%

Individual and group work 55%