Insegnamento a.a. 2018-2019


Dipartimento di Management e Tecnologia / Department of Management and Technology

La classe 33 e' riservata agli studenti in scambio (incoming)

Per la lingua del corso verificare le informazioni sulle classi/
For the instruction language of the course see class group/s below
Vai alle classi / Go to class group/s: 31 - 32
BIG (6 cfu - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Docente responsabile dell'insegnamento / Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.) - 32 (II sem.)

Class group/s taught in English

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza


This is an introductory course, therefore there is no formal prerequisite. Students should be familiar with the fundamentals of management and microeconomics.

Mission & Content Summary


Business strategy is concerned with answering two central questions: “How and where should a business compete?” In this course, we consider analytical techniques for diagnosing the competitive position of a business, evaluating business strategies, and identifying what organization form a business should take. These concepts and frameworks help you to structure complex problems in business strategy and provide a solid foundation for strategic decision making.


The course focuses on specific topics related to competitive and corporate strategy:

Core concepts in business strategy:

  • The Notion of competitive cdvantage.
  • The Institutional and the competitive environment.
  • Generic strategies.
  • Resources and competences.

From competitive advantage to sustainable competitive advantage:

  • Industry Dynamics.
  • Vertical Integration.
  • Diversification.
  • Internationalization.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Recall the main concepts of business strategy.
  • Status of attractiveness of an industry.
  • A firm’s strategy in the context of the competitive forces and the dynamics of its industry.
  • The sources of a firm’s competitive advantage.
  • The sustainability of a firm’s competitive advantage.
  • A firm’s growth option.
  • The outcomes of strategic decisions.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Apply the main concepts of business strategy to real life cases and strategic decisions.
  • Describe the status of attractiveness of an industry.
  • Analyze a firm’s strategy in the context of the competitive forces and the dynamics of its industry.
  • Identify the sources of a firm’s competitive advantage.
  • Assess the sustainability of a firm’s competitive advantage.
  • Identify and evaluate a firm’s growth option.
  • Measure the outcomes of strategic decisions.
  • Develop teamwork skills.
  • Produce in-depth but synthetic strategic analysis of a company.
  • Develop presentation skills.
  • Work under time pressure.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


Lessons are organized as follows:

  • For longer sessions half of the lesson is an interactive lecture based on text books as well as examples from the business press and the professor’s work and academic experiences. The other half of the lesson is spent solving a case study in teams (for potential regular sessions one entire session is devoted to theory/lecture and the following session on solving a case study in teams).
  • Throughout the class, students may also be asked to answer questions, to interact with the professor and other students, and conduct in-class exercises. The professor is present to discuss problems with students, but the cases must be solved in teams. Students are expected to be familiar with the topic of the day, and ask questions to the professor in order to prepare for case assignments. Lessons always start on time and the professor remains available to answer any questions for the duration of the lesson.

Attendance: for attending students, attendance is mandatory for the entire class and is kept by the professor.

Assessment methods

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


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes the student assessment is based on three main components:

  1. Course Final Exam: the final exam in this course is a written exam that tests students’ application of course materials by asking them to solve a case. All following exams are oral and are conducted with multiple course professors. Final exams are graded out of 32 and count for 60% of the final grade.
  2. Course Pressure Test: teams are asked to solve a pressure test that counts 10% of the final grade and is graded out of 32 points. The pressure test is a timed case assignment to be solved in teams.
  3. Class presentation: the presentation project assignment is to identify a firm, analyze its industry and recent historical profitability, and assess its prospects for achieving superior performance over the next five years within a specific line of business. The grade is in 32 points and it counts 30% of the final grade. Any suggestion to replace it by some kind of participation grade is very welcome.


Written exam, (100% of the finale grade) based on a case-study and a mix of open and closed questions on the case which aim to assess the student’s learning level of the main concepts, methods and tools detailed in the teaching material as well as the ability to analyze some implications related to them through their application to the case study. It is the exact same exam as for attending students, with two additional questions on the extra book chapters.

Teaching materials


  • Case studies and reading materials uploaded on the e-learning platform.
  • R. GRANT, Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Wiley, 2016, 9th Edition (selected chapters).


  • R. GRANT, Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Wiley, 2016, 9th Edition (selected chapters).
Last change 18/06/2018 09:32