To be effective, business leaders must understand the factors responsible for their firm’s past performance and be able to identify those changes (inside or outside the firm) that are most likely to help or hurt future performance.
In this course, we introduce modern strategy frameworks and methodologies to help develop the skills needed to be a successful manager with responsibility for the performance of a firm or business unit within a firm. We use cases and readings to explore a wide range of strategic problems, focusing particularly on the sources of competitive advantage and the interaction between industry structure and organizational capabilities.

This course is distinctive in emphasizing the perspective of the general manager in ensuring the firm’s success. The general manager’s role is unique in that he or she must be attuned to both the external (market) and internal (organizational) forces that shape firm performance. For this reason, general managers must have a deep understanding not only of economic processes outside the firm but also of managerial processes inside the firm. Even the best business plan is ‘no better than the PowerPoint slides it is presented on’ unless it is married with appropriate organizational strategies that allow the firm to execute on that plan.


The joy of teaching the Disney case on Halloween