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How to Compete in Network Industries

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Proseminar Strategy and Organization in Technology Markets

Dr. Horst Melcher

Course Overview

Network Industries are the most dynamic and turbulent industries in today's economy. Releasing a constant stream of innovative products, taking-up customers at unprecedented speeds, attracting providers of complementary goods to reach critical mass, and fighting standards battles are just some examples of the unique challenges for managers in these industries.

This course is based on the ‘case method’, developed by the Harvard Business School (HBS) using real-life case studies of individual companies. We will look at one of the principal players of the Information- and Communication Technology (ICT), e.g. Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, in each session and discuss how they managed to get ahead of the competition, and the challenges of constantly improving their performance to maintain their competitive advantages.

You will apply the major concepts introduced in the lecture "Management and Economics of Network Industries" to the individual cases during this seminar, and thereby experience a range of strategic options on how to successfully compete in this industry.

Course Structure

This course consists of weekly sessions where you will discuss recently published ‘case studies’ (mostly by HBS), which you will have to read and prepare prior to each class. The seminar offers you an interactive learning experience that is based on intensive class discussions. The course has been taught since 2013 and is being updated with new cases every semester.

About the Lecturer

Dr. Horst Melcher is a 2015 Fellow of Harvard University’s ‘Advanced Leadership Initiative’. Prior to that, he has worked 25+ years in various management positions in German multinational firms, most recently as president of Deutsche Telekom in Japan.


To apply, please send an Email to Johanna Glauber ( by 30.09.2017 and include a CV and a transcript of records. Your prior attendence of the course "Management and Economics of Network Industries" is recommended for this course, but not required.



  • The course is held in English
  • This seminar does not qualify for a Bachelor thesis at the ISTO according to the examination regulations (107 kB)
Dates Monday, 16:00-18:00, c.t., classes starting October 16, 2017
Location Kaulbachstraße 45, room 006
Deadlines September 30, 2017 (Application)
Credits 6 ECTS in module MM&I 
Examination 60 minutes closed book exam+15min presentation
29.1.2018, 16:30-17:30, Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1, M 105

Further Information

Johanna Glauber, +49 (0)89 / 2180 - 6066,