Course Description

Competitive strategy is a dynamic, long term process businesses employ to remain vital and successful in the marketplace. Key to this process is understanding how to gain an advantage with the resources a business has, maintaining a business’s advantage combined with the goals of the business yet employing flexibility to respond to changing market conditions.

While no one method best fits all businesses, this course explores the tools used to better understand competitive strategy by borrowing ideas from economics, marketing, finance, accounting, and psychology. This course develops a set of analytical frameworks that enable students to explain performance differences among firms and provide a structure for strategic decisions to enhance firms’ future competitive position. Students analyze the foundations of strategy by examining market types and the strategies they use to remain profitable.

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand Porter’s generic strategies and Porter's five competitive forces
  • Recognize various businesses' implicit strategies that have developed over time and explicitly formulate various firm’s strategies by using three basic strategic approaches: offensive strategy, defensive strategy, and guerilla or niche strategy
  • Understand and apply four major types of competitive strategies: cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy, cost focus strategy, differentiation focus strategy
  • Understand various market metrics and how to use them to better understand market conditions
  • Analyze and understand the sources of various businesses' competitive advantage
  • Recognize various price strategies and how to use them to a business’s advantage
  • Recognize when a business should expand its operations or downsize operations

Applies Towards the Following Certificates


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6:00PM to 9:30PM
Apr 01, 2021 to Jun 10, 2021
Web-based Instruction
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Web-based Instruction
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course fee credit (4 units) $600.00
Available for Credit
4 units
Section Notes

How to Access Your Online Course:


One business day after enrollment but no sooner than 2 weeks before the beginning of the course, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your online course. You don’t need to take any action until you receive that email. Please note that you will not be able to access your online course until all the steps highlighted in that email are complete.

Required Textbook(s):
Students are required to purchase the textbook(s) below prior to the first class meeting. Textbooks can be purchased from the vendor of your choice. TBD

No refunds after 4/14/21