Info
Foto sezione
Logo Bocconi

Course 2020-2021 a.y.

20160 - CORPORATE STRATEGY

IM
Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 6

IM (8 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:
CHARLES WILLIAMS

Classes: 6 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 6: CHARLES WILLIAMS


Suggested background knowledge

Business strategy


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

Corporate Strategy is concerned with the formulation and implementation of strategy within large, complex companies, in particular in diversified companies managing multiple businesses or business models.

CONTENT SUMMARY

Course format and style

 

The course is divided in two parts–we will first learn about corporate strategy, and then put the learning in practice.

 

To accomplish the former objective, we will go through 20regular sessions, which correspond to Blocks 1 to 3 in the detailed schedule that follows. Most of these sessionswill be devoted to case discussion where the task of analyzing the issues in the case will be undertaken by the class as a whole. As is recommended with the case teaching method, all discussions, and presentations will occur in the first part of class, with a debrief in the second half. We lead most in-class discussions in this course using the Socratic Method. Consistently, we will mostly act as moderators, and you should feel comfortable responding to in-class questions (aka “cold calls”). Such an interactive, hands-on approach is used to reveal the complexity and ambiguity of real-world situations.

 

Once we have discussed the main concepts associated to corporate strategy, we will put our learning in practice througha business simulationthat will take place over two full days (see Block 4 in the schedule). The aim of this simulationis to allow you to experience first-hand the concepts learned in class in anenvironment where each of you will be part of the board of directors of a company operating within a tech industry. In this role, you will be crafting and implementing your company’scorporate strategyby analyzing dataand taking decisionspertaining to scope and growth modes, while interacting with other board members and negotiating with other companies.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

 

  • Apply the concepts, frameworks and tools required for analyzing corporate strategy.
  • Recognize and understand the relationships between strategy, competitive context, organizational structure, management systems, and leadership style within the large corporation and appreciate the tasks involved in implementing strategy.
  • Be more aware of the broader economic and social forces currently impacting large corporations and the ways in which companies are responding to these challenges.
  • Gain familiarity with the strategic management issues that concern executives.
  • Develop your skills in strategic analysis as well as oral and written communication.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze multifaceted problems and opportunities in complex, international corporations and to propose appropriate solutions.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS

Class sessions are interactive. Many classes are devoted to case discussion where the task of analyzing the issues in the case are undertaken by the class as a whole. In other classes we expecting students to contribute their ideas on the issues being discussed and examples drawn from their personal experiences and from reading the business press. These classes might involve a discussion of academic articles or other in-class activities.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • x    
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    All of the learning objectives are assessed by all of the assessment methods.

    • The class discussion of cases allows students to practice and be evaluated for their ability to apply concepts from class and readings to actual business cases. In addition, they are assessed for their ability to communicate their ideas while speaking and discussing in the group.
    • The homeworks on business cases for class assess similar understanding of concepts and ability to apply them to real world cases, only in written language rather than spoken.
    • The final project requires the teams to identify the business problems at a real world company and gather information about these problems. Thus this project requires synthesis and problem solving as well as analysis and deduction. The students are evaluated for their ability to apply concepts from class to deepen our understanding of these problems and suggest solutions. The teams are assessed on both their written communication of the project in a written report as well as in an oral presentation in class.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Final written exam covering all the materials of the course, aimed at assessing whether students have achieved the required knowledge of concepts, of the relationships among them, of the economic and social forces of the external environment, of the strategic management issues, and whether students have developed adequate skills for strategic analysis and for proposing approriate solutions.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    All course materials will be distributed through Blackboard, except for the cases identified in the schedule below as “distributed in class”.

     

    Readings that are copyright protected are available through the Library’s reserve service.

     

    The business gamewill be run using a the GlobStrat simulation, a comprehensive strategic management simulation that enables participants to learn, understand and handle the responsibilities and tasks of a corporate executive committee.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Non-attending student are not expected to come to class, and should not deliver the case memos or participate to the business game. Instead, they will be evaluated through a 2 hour exam consisting of 16 short answer questions   based on the corporate strategy text book (see below) and a brief case taken from the news. A sample exam will be shared on blackboard in advance.

     

    -Puranam P, Vanneste B. 2016. Corporate Strategy. Tools for analysis and decision-making. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1-107-54404-8.

    Last change 09/02/2021 11:39