The objective of the two courses (A and B) is to provide students with a critical appreciation of what it takes to be a strategist – in the context of the real world, within and outside firms and with other strategists. The critical aspect of being a strategist is to anticipate and prepare in advance for possible reactions of other players (eg competitors). These two courses will help students to understand how managers in the real world ought to read situations from a strategic angle. The particular emphasis is on the perspective provided by economics on the subject of strategy. Besides applications, stress will also be given to the theoretical underpinnings.
The course is an interaction of game theory, economics, and strategic management. After some preliminary material on measuring corporate performance, students will be introduced to ideas of behaving in strategic situations. A powerful tool to study these situations is game theory, where the emphasis is on outplaying a competitor who is trying to outplay you. About three lectures and two seminars will be devoted to building up the flavour of game theory and basic equilibrium concepts (Nash and sub-game-perfect Nash). The second part of the course will be focused on applying these concepts to salient issues in competitive industries. The third part of the course introduces the concepts of creating and appropriating value, distinctive capabilities and ways to build and maintain competitive advantage. These issues will be deepened further in the accompanying seminars.