Competitive strategy is a dynamic, long-term process that 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.
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