Competitive Strategy: an analytical approach
The course aims at offering an analytical approach to market competition. Analytical means that the course will be anchored on microeconomic reasoning, which provides a framework that proves very useful to organize one’s thoughts about how firms compete. However, little previous knowledge of microeconomics or math is required. All that is needed is a preference for logical reasoning, graphical analysis (often used) and, here and there, (very simple) calculus explained in intuitive terms. Note that the course’s aim is not to teach microeconomics—you can learn it elsewhere—but to take advantage of the discipline that microeconomics brings to one’s reasoning about how firms compete and markets operate.
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Besank, David, David Dranove, Mark Shanley, and Scott Schaefer, 2010, The Economics of Stategy, sixth edition, New Jersey, USA: John Wiley and Sons.
The student will be exposed to formal lectures where the concepts will be presented and discussed. Then, it should read the relevant chapters of the assigned textbook. After that, she or he will be required to solve problem sets (either 3 or 4) that exemplify the use of the concepts previously learned, and case studies (2) that illustrate their practical application.
Problem sets (20%), case studies (20%), midterm (25%), final exam (35%).
Economics of scale and scope, agency and coordination, competitors and competition, strategic commitment, dynamics of pricing rivalry, entry and exit, industry analysis, strategic positioning for competitive advantage.