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Course 2003-2004 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Go to class group/s: 16

Course Head:

Classes: 16

Introduction to the course:

A firm's ability to survive and succeed in an increasingly competitive global arena depends on its ability to understand competitive dynamics and to enact strategic responses. The main objectives of this course are to sharpen students' understanding of the dynamics of competition in the extended industry environment in which firms operate, and of the processes through which firms develop and implement strategies in an effort to compete effectively in that environment. The course provides analytical tools and mental models that aid students' understanding and decision-making.  
The course examines the characteristics of different types of competitive environments. These environments range from concentrated to competitive in terms of industry concentration, from emerging to established in terms of industry maturity, and from national to global in terms of industry geographic scope. The course will concentrate on the structural characteristics that influence strategies in terms of pricing, differentiation, market segmentation, technology and innovation, and geographic dispersion of company related activities, among others facets.
Case studies will be used extensively during the course. Some of these are industry studies that give an overall view of the industry; others are company-oriented studies that focus on the alternatives facing particular decision-makers. Our focus will not be on identifying optimal "solutions" but rather on identifying, analysing and understanding the impact of the key structural elements and characteristics of industries and the manner in which firms in those industries compete (and cooperate) with each other. Students should gain a better understanding of (1) the relationship between industry structure and overall industry profitability, (2) the firm's position within the industry and its profitability vis-a'-vis the industry average, and (3) the processes through which strategy is enacted.

Course Content :

I.   The Competitive Environment 
Industry Analysis 
Groups Within Industries 
Competing in Global Markets 
II.   Inside the Organization 
Organizational Goals: Politics and Power in the Organization 
Organizational Structure and Strategic Planning 
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Strategic Alliances 
III.   Rivalry 
Understanding Rivalry: Game Theory 
Competitive Research and Development and Innovation 
IV.   The Planning Process 
Regulatory Issues in Strategic Planning 
The Strategic Planning Process 

  • S.  OSTER , Modern Competitive Analysis, Oxford,  Oxford University Press, 1999, 3rd edition.
  • F.  PERRETTI (edited by), Course Package - Cases and Readings, Milano, EGEA, 2003.

For further and updated information consult the extended syllabus available at ISEA offices and website.


Students who attend classes will be evaluated both on written examination and group activities.
Students who do not attend classes will be evaluated on written examination, based on additional readings. Details will be given at the beginning of the course and will be indicated in the extended syllabus available at ISEA (Istituto di Strategia ed Economia Aziendale) offices and website.