English   Danish

2017/2018  KAN-CCMVI2059U  Strategic Management - Competitive Strategy

English Title
Strategic Management - Competitive Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Carol McGuire, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor, Miami University, cmc.msc@cbs.dk
    Sven Bislev - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
In case of any academic questions related to the course, please contact the course instructor or the academic director, Sven Bislev at sb.msc@cbs.dk.
Main academic disciplines
  • Managerial economics
  • Strategy
Last updated on 25/04/2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • assess the attractiveness of an industry
  • assess the competitive advantage of a firm
  • evaluate the optimal scope of activities of a firm
  • evaluate the international strategy of a firm
  • evaluate opportunities to diversify the firm's core businesses
Course prerequisites
Business Bachelor completed
Strategic Management - Competitive Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7.5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: 31 July - 3 August 2018

Retake exam: September - October 2018

3rd attempt (2nd retake) exam: November - December 2018

Exam schedule is available on https:/​/​www.cbs.dk/​uddannelse/​international-summer-university-programme-isup/​courses-and-exams.
Aids Open book: all written and electronic aids, including internet access
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
4 hour written sit-in exam, new exam question
Exam form for 3rd attempt (2nd retake): home project assignment, max. 15 pages.
Course content and structure

This course is focused on how to create and sustain advantages in highly competitive business environments. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis skills will be emphasized. We will focus on analytical frameworks and techniques for evaluating industries and for developing successful business strategies. Specifically, we will consider the internal and external factors that determine firms’ chances of success; firms’ offerings and costs relative to competitors; the scope of firm activities; the markets and niches a firm serves, and the capabilities that firms leverage; and scenario-based approaches to strategic management. All of these factors inform our understanding of the relationship between strategic action and competitive advantage. 
Students adopt the perspective of a general manager (e.g., of a business unit, a plant, a region, a division, a product line, a company) focused on long-term profitability. We will answer questions typically addressed by senior corporate executives. Two reactions to this challenge are common: (1) “It will be years before I’m a senior executive. Why do I need this course now?” or (2) “This course will accelerate my time-to-senior executive!” You are encouraged to embrace reaction #2. 
By considering business situations from the perspective of those who will be supervising your work and/or leading your employers, you will be prepared to deliver high quality work products. This course will prepare you to anticipate the most likely concerns and questions of senior executives making important business decisions.


Preliminary assignment: To help students get maximum value from this course, the instructor will provide a reading and related video clip to be read/viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1. 

Class 1: Introduction to course and economic foundations of 
Class 2: Market Structure and Industry Analysis 
Class 3: Core competences and competitive dynamics I 
Class 4: Competitive dyanamics II 
Class 5: Cost Advantage 
Class 6: Dynamic strategic management 
Feedback activity 
Class 7: Diversification Strategies 
Class 8: Vertical Integration 
Class 9: International Diversification 
Class 10: Competitive advantage transferability 
Class 11: Strategic career management


Teaching methods
Discussion in class of the theoretical framework; discussion in class of the cases; exercise in class
Feedback during the teaching period
A feedback activity defined by the course instructor will take place approx. half-way through the course.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 20 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 126 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 20 hours
Further Information

Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Course timetable is available on  https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams.


We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not get enough applications. This will be communicated on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams end February 2018 at the latest.

Expected literature

Mandatory readings:


Grant, Robert M.: Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases, 9th edt. 



Additional relevant readings:


“What is strategy?” by M. Porter
“Crafting strategy” by H. Mintzberg
“Understanding Industry Structure” by M. Porter
“Core Competence of the Corporation” by Prahalad & Hamel
 “The Right Game” by Brandenburger & Nalebuff
“Analyzing Relative Costs” by Rivkin and Halaburda
“From Competitive Advantage to Corporate Strategy” by M Porter
“Scope of the Corporation” by D. Collis, HBS #9-795-139
“Managing global Expansion. A conceptual framework” by Gupta, A.K. and Govindarajan, V.

Last updated on 25/04/2018