Pursuing Differentiation

Course Overview

This course is about the setting of overall strategy for the firm within the competitive environment. No firm can afford to ignore the need to compete. Every firm must understand and master competition.

The essence of strategy is about being different. Getting there is not easy. Strategy formulation involves an inherently complex and creative process. This course brings a discipline, a set of concepts and frameworks, and a point of view to this process.

Course Structure

This course is structured into three modules that are devoted to fundamental questions of industry structure, competitive differentiation, and the synthesis of individual elements of competitive strategy. Unlike traditional courses on competitive strategy that tend to concentrate on analysis of industry and strategy, this course will pay substantial attention to the synthesis of strategy.

The key questions to be addressed in each module is the following:
・Module 1 (Industry Analysis): What drives some industries to be more profitable on average than others?
・Module 2 (Strategy Analysis): How do we gain competitive advantage to achieve above average returns?
・Module 3 (Strategy Synthesis): How do we synthesize individual parts (elements of a strategy) into a consistent story in order to sustain competitive advantage in a modern competitive environment?