Institut für Strategie, Technologie und Organisation (ISTO)

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Management and Economics of Network Industries

Archive StampFoundations of Communication Economics

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kretschmer, Pascal Kober, Dainis Zegners

Course Overview

Many modern, technology-intensive industries such as ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) or consumer electronics are characterized by network effects, which imply that one consumer's purchasing decision depends on other consumers' decisions. This has important consequences for managers and firms' strategies, and is related to interesting phenomena such as platform competition, standards battles and the importance of user expectations.

We will learn about network effects and these related phenomena and try to answer questions such as:

  • How do firms compete in a standards battle?
  • What are strategies to successfully launch an online platform or a video games console?
  • Why do companies such as Google or Facebook give their products away for free?
  • Why do some technologies become dominant, while others remain in their niche status?
At the end of the course, students should be familiar with the basic characteristics of network industries, know about the most important concepts and theories, and know how to apply them to real-world problems.

Course Structure

The course consists of weekly lectures and tutorials. During the lectures, you will learn about the important theoretical concepts using real-world examples, basic game theory and empirical methods. During the tutorials, you will learn how to apply these concepts to management-orientated case studies and how to solve simple game theoretic models yourself.



  • The course is taught in English
  • Students can choose one of three identical tutorials
  • The lecture material can be found on LSF
  • The class material can be found on LSF
  • Q&A Session: Wednesday 10th July, 14.00 – 15.30, Schellingstr. 3, Room S 007 (as the lecture)
Lecture Wednesdays, 14:00-16:00 c.t., Schellingstr. 3, Room S 007
(First lecture: 17.04.2013)
Tutorial 1 Mondays, 8:00-10:00 c.t., Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
(First tutorial: 22.04.2013)
Tutorial 2 Mondays, 10:00-12:00 c.t., Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
(First tutorial: 22.04.2013)
Tutorial 3 Mondays, 14:00-16:00 c.t., Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Room F 007
(First tutorial: 22.04.2013)
Credits 6 ECTS in module VII (PO 06) or MM&I (PO 08)
Examination 120 min. closed book exam on
Thursday, 18.07.2013, 15:00-17:00, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, E 120 (Große Aula)