Insegnamento a.a. 2015-2016



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BIEMF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

This course is focused on key features and key processes of strategic management of small and medium enterprises (that represent an important phenomenon worldwide).
In particular, the first part and second part of the program is dedicated to the understanding of key characteristics of SMEs and of family-run and family-owned small and medium firms and the factors and decisions impacting over time their sustainable competitive advantage decisions. The third part of the program deals with growth strategies of SMEs with particular focus on internationalization strategies.

The learning process is facilitated by the use of different teaching methods: lectures face to face addressed to theoretical framework, case discussions in order to apply the analytical tools proposed to several small and medium-sized business, exercises and guest speakers sessions.

Course Content Summary

  • During the introductory part of the course the students learn to distinguish small and medium enterprises from larger business organizations not only from the quantitative point of view, but also by analyzing the uniqueness of managerial processes, of the impact of entrepreneur and owning family, of resources and competences development. We also discuss the stay or grow dilemma inviting students to learn to distinguish life-style SMEs from growth-oriented SMEs.
  • The core part of the course is dedicated to the key choices and dilemmas of strategic management models of SMEs, including the competitive positioning within an industry, the competitive strategies, the growth options and the network-based strategy. A special focus is made on the internationalization growth option: students are introduced to the foreign markets assessment tools and to the strategic evaluation of foreign markets entry-mode options.
  • In conclusion, we discuss how the role of the institutional context and of the policies on the entrepreneurship and development of SMEs.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

The exam is in a written and individual form both for attending and for non-attending students.

The exam tests: student’s knowledge of key theoretical frameworks and definitions discussed in class. There are no partial exams.

The attending students' grade is going to be integrated with additional points for the assignments in small groups.


For Attending STUDENTS:

  • O. ANNUSHKINA, L. CARCANO, U. LASSINI, et al, SMEs and Strategic Management. Tools and methods to fill gap. McGraw-Hill, 2012
  • Slides (e-learning website)

For Non-Attending STUDENTS (previous years students included):

  • O. ANNUSHKINA, L. CARCANO, U. LASSINI, et al, SMEs and Strategic Management. Tools and methods to fill gap, McGraw-Hill, 2012
  • P. BURNS, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd, 2007, 2nd edition
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Students attending this course are expected to already know the framework, the basic terminology and the essential tools of General Management.

Last change 25/06/2015 10:40