|Successful managers, executives and entrepreneurs must be able to formulate their firm’s strategy and guide their employees in implementing it. Devising a strategy requires careful consideration of factors both external and internal to the firm, as well as an appreciation for how the two areas are linked.
Managers must be able to analyze their firm’s competitive landscape to identify potential opportunities for creating and capturing value. Of equal importance, managers must thoughtfully consider their organization’s unique capabilities and weaknesses in order to choose which of the many potential avenues of growth might be uniquely well-suited to their organization. Finally, once the firm’s direction has been set, managers must ensure that all aspects of the organization are aligned to support the creation and capture of value.
In this course, students will develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts, tools, and frameworks of strategic analysis. We will focus on topics related to the assessment of the firm’s competitive landscape and a firm’s choice of positioning within the business environment. Students will study key aspects of organizational design as they relate to the choice and execution of a strategy. This includes topics such as organizational architecture, culture and identity. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on the linkages between strategy and organizational structure.
The class is primarily case-based and it is heavily focused on class discussion.
|1. What is the role of corporate culture at DaVita? Is it possible to manage a corporate culture? How?
2. What structures does Scharffen Berger create to reinforce their identity as an “authentic” chocolate maker? Imagine you are a consultant for Scharffen Berger, tasked with advising them on whether they should enter the milk chocolate market. What are the benefits of such a move? What are the risks? Would you advise them to do it?
3. Do you think it is possible for two successful “social networking” sites to co-exist? What strategy would you suggest a second company employ to effectively compete against Facebook?