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Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

Strategic Management

Type: Elective course (Corporate Finance)
Area of studies: Finance and Credit
Delivered by: Практико-ориентированные магистерские программы факультета экономических наук
When: 1 year, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Veronika Vinogradova, Боровиков Дмитрий Павлович
Master’s programme: Corporate Finance
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3
Contact hours: 32

Course Syllabus


The course covers major concepts and theories of Strategic Management and shows how they can be applied to real business situations. It equips students with new skills and tools for better strategic planning, stronger firm performance and creation of company’s long-term value. It also provides students with insights from real-life cases, closing the gap between rational development of strategy and strategy execution and teaches them to develop their own roadmap for business success.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • to be able to develop, formulate and implement successful strategies to gain competitive advantage to the firm and increase its value
  • to develop student’s ability to innovate, to think strategically and to develop fundamental thinking, which will set them apart as a strategic leader
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • After the completion of the course, the students will be able: to explain the major concepts of strategic management, the process of strategic planning and strategy formulation and their impact on firm's value;
  • to critically analyze and create the vision and mission statement that is ethically sound and address both economic and social responsibility issues;
  • to analyze external environment, competitors, own industry and firm's position;
  • to explain the importance of internal recourses and analyze the firm's internal strength and weaknesses;
  • to apply various analytical frameworks for strategy formulation;
  • to develop a strategy for international diversification
  • - identify the key characteristics of effective strategy and its contribution to the successful performance of the firm; - describe the role of strategic planning systems within the organization; - identify and describe the linkages between financial and strategic analysis and how they can be used to complement one another
  • - identify the main steps in a strategic planning process, major pitfalls and explain how they can be avoided; - describe the cognitive biases that can lead to poor strategic decisions and explain how they can be overcome; - explain the role played by strategic leaders and managers at different levels in an organization in a strategy formulation process; - be able to develop, formulate and analyze the values, vision and mission statement
  • - Identify and explain the main structural features of an industry that influence competition and profitability; - perform industry analysis to identify its intensity and profitability and forecast changes in the future; - develop strategies that (a) position the firm most favorably in relation to competition and (b) influence industry structure in order to enhance industry attractiveness; - perform analysis to identify the opportunities for competitive advantage within industry
  • - identify and explain the role of efficiency, quality, innovation and customer responsiveness in building and maintaining competitive advantage; - explain the concept of value chain, evaluate the potential for a firm’s resources and capabilities to confer sustainable competitive advantage; - use the results of resource and capability analysis to formulate strategies that exploit internal strength while defending against internal weaknesses
  • - explain different approaches that firm take to develop organizational capabilities; - identify and explain the challenges the managers can face developing resources and capabilities of organization; - explain the role of knowledge as the most important resource of the firm
  • - explain the need to define business through the choice of customer groups, customer needs and distinctive competences; - analyze and formulate the circumstances in which a firm can create competitive advantage; - apply this analysis to assess the potential of business strategy; - apply major analytical frameworks for strategy formulation
  • - explain the process of globalization and its impact on industry structure, competition and firm's strategy; - define and formulate different strategies firms use to compete in global marketplace; - shape international strategies that achieve an optimal balance between global integration and national differentiation
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to Strategic Management
    The topic is an introductory one, aiming to build a general understanding of concept of strategy, strategic management and strategic planning process. It introduces some of the main theories of strategic management, key definitions and explains how effective strategy contributes to firm superior performance. Main issues covered: - the role of strategy in firm’s success, (terms “superior performance”, “competitive advantage”, “company’s business model”), common characteristics of successful strategies - a brief history of business strategy, evolution of strategic management - the sources of superior profitability, corporate and business strategy - the main approaches to the formulation of strategy - the role of analysis in strategy formulation
  • The major components of strategic panning process, the work of strategic leaders
    The topic is concerned with the major components of strategic planning process (creating firm’s mission and vision statement, establishing major goals of organization, development, formulation and implementation of strategy at all levels of organization). It also addresses the issue of strategic leadership and major challenges the Corporate Boards and strategic leaders face while formulating and implementing firm’s strategy. Main issues covered: - major components of strategic planning process - major stakeholders of the firm and their influence on firm’s strategy - key characteristics of good strategic leaders - cognitive biases and strategic decision making, techniques for improving decision making - crafting of firm’s mission and vision statement - establishing major goals of organization and their translation into meaningful measurable performance targets affecting shareholder value - formulation and implementation of strategy in a complex organization
  • External environment and industry assessment
    The topic explores the external environment of the firm and develops a systematical approach to analyzing a firm’s industry environment in order to evaluate the industry’s profit potential and to identify the sources of competitive advantage. Main issues covered: - environmental vs. industry analysis; definition of industries: where to draw boundaries? - the determinants of industry profit: demand and competition - analyzing industry attractiveness, Porter’s five forces of competition framework - limitations of models: evolution of industries over time with reference to the industry life cycle model and macroeconomic environment - application of industry analysis (positioning, changing the industry structure) - industry attractiveness and competitive advantage: identifying key success factors
  • The strengths and weaknesses of internal organization: resources, capabilities and competitive advantage
    The topic is devoted to the resources and capabilities that firms possess, which form the foundation for building competitive advantage. It also discuss the techniques of identifying, assessing and developing firm’s resources and capabilities. Main issues covered: - The source of competitive advantage and the role of resources and capabilities of the firm in strategy formulation - The concept of value chain, appraising resources and capabilities - The link between durability of competitive advantage and profitability - Putting the resource and capability analysis into work
  • The challenge of innovation and capability development
    The topic addresses the challenge of developing and creating resources and capabilities with the main focus on organizational capabilities. Main issues covered: - The challenge of capability development (path dependence and the role of early experience) - Approaches to capability development (internal development vs. acquiring) - Knowledge management and the knowledge-based view on strategy (types of knowledge, knowledge processes that promote capability development) - Knowledge conversion and the challenge of replication - Designing knowledge management system
  • Formulation of strategy and major analytical frameworks
    The topic focuses on the development and formulation of strategy. First, it looks more deeply on competitive advantage and main ways a firm can achieve it. Secondly, it examines how a company selects, pursues and maintains a business model that will allow it to compete effectively in an industry over time. Finally, it introduces several important frameworks for the analysis. Main issues covered: - the nature of competitive advantage (CA from responsiveness to change and from innovation), sustaining competitive advantage, competitive advantage in different market settings - main types of competitive advantage: cost leadership and differentiation - analysis of cost position and different types of differentiation - competitive positioning, tradeoffs between differentiation, cost and pricing options - business models based on some combination of the main generic business-level strategies: cost leadership, differentiation and focus - major strategy formulation frameworks (market segmentation, BCG matrix, GE/McKinsey, value chain in cost analysis, 4-Ps, learning curve)
  • Strategy in the global environment
    The topic responds to the question “What does the globalization of the world economy mean for strategy analysis and how firms can integrate this trend into their strategy formulation?” It discusses models managers can use for analyzing competition in different national markets as well as various ways in which international expansion can increase a firm’s profitability and growth. Main issues covered: - the process of globalization and its impact on a firm’s strategy - analyzing competitive advantage in an international context (comparative advantage, Porter’s National Diamond, consistency between strategy and national conditions) - motives for expanding internationally - different strategies the companies use to compete in the global marketplace - different modes for entering foreign markets - international location of production
  • Social responsibility and corporate citizenship
    The topic discusses the current movement towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) and demonstrates that being a responsible corporate citizen makes good business sense. It also discusses how managers can balance the needs of different stakeholder groups in the long-run interests of shareholders and why corporate philanthropy initiatives should be considered strategic. Main issues covered: - profit, values and principles and stakeholders of the firm - the debate over Corporate Social Responsibility - connection between competitive advantage and social issues - the concept of “Shared Value” by Michael Porter and its impact on strategy - approaches to the measurement of social impact - Corporate Social Responsibility and value-based management - the role of business in society, corporate philanthropy
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Case studies
    Leaners will be formed into small groups of 4-5 members and will be asked to apply knowledge learned, using specific cases assigned by the instructor. Each student is expected to actively participate in the group discussions and cooperate with the other team members in carrying out and fulfilling the requirements for the group assignment.
  • non-blocking Small-group in class exercises
    Each student is expected to actively participate in discussions through sharing one’s ideas and experiences relevant to the topic under discussion, giving comments and asking questions whenever appropriate. The students should be ready with a soft copy of their reports for presentation to the class when called by the instructor.
  • non-blocking Final STRAT paper
    The students will have to submit their Final Strategic Paper (STRAT Paper) at the end of the term. In order to perform this task, students will be divided into small groups (4-5 people) and are expected to choose an organization about which the group will write their strategic management paper. The precise guidelines for the STRAT paper will be provided additionally.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.35 * Case studies + 0.5 * Final STRAT paper + 0.15 * Small-group in class exercises


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • David, F. R., & David, F. R. (2015). Strategic Management:Concepts and Cases, Global Edition (Vol. Fifteenth edition). Boston: Pearson Education. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1419061
  • David, F. R., & David, F. R. (2016). Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts and Cases, Global Edition. [Place of publication not identified]: Pearson. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1422985

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Bogers, M., Chesbrough, H., Heaton, S., & Teece, D. J. (2019). Strategic Management of Open Innovation: A Dynamic Capabilities Perspective. California Management Review, 62(1), 77–94. https://doi.org/10.1177/0008125619885150
  • MacIntosh, R., & Maclean, D. (2014). Strategic Management : Strategists at Work. Palgrave Macmillan.