Institut für Strategie, Technologie und Organisation (ISTO)

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Competitive Strategy (formerly Strategy & Innovation)

Specialization Innovation

Prof. Dr. Jörg Claussen

Course Overview

The course was formerly called “Strategy and Innovation”.

The course “Competitive Strategy” provides answers to the question of how firms can implement strategies to create and sustain a competitive advantage. The lecture introduces students to the most important strategy-related theories and literatures. The theoretical concepts will be tied back to real life examples especially from technology-intensive industries.

Firstly, the course defines critical concepts and the main components of the strategic leadership and management process. Then, strategies are presented that managers can pursue to achieve superior performance and provide their company with a competitive advantage. Students become familiar with the forces that shape competition in a company’s external environment and discuss techniques for identifying strategic opportunities and threats. After that, the lecture explores the basis of competitive advantage at the level of the individual company through internal analysis. Adding to that, students learn how functional-level strategies can help a company achieve superior efficiency, quality, innovation, and customer responsiveness. In the following, the various business-level strategies that a company can use to compete effectively in a business and in an industry are discussed. This analysis is extended by considering the different competitive strategies that firms can and should adopt as they enter different industry environments. Moreover, the course focuses on the strategies and concepts that are unique to high-technology industries. Later on, the lecture explains corporate-level strategies and more specific, the different strategic choices that companies make with regard to horizontal and vertical integration. This is followed by the topic of diversification into more than one business, which is the corporate-level strategy for growth, with a special focus on the difference between related and unrelated diversification. Lastly, the course outlines how managers can best achieve competitive advantage and superior performance by discussing the main elements of strategy implementation—structure, control systems, and culture.

Course Structure

The course divides into a lecture and a subsequent tutorial, which will be taught in joint 4-hour blocks. The exam has a duration of 120 minutes.

Required Reading

Hill, Schilling, Jones’ Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach, 12th Edition

General The course is taught in English

Each 4-hour block consists of a lecture and a tutorial session.

The course will take place online via Zoom and will not be recorded

Wednesday, 08:00 - 12:00
Fridays, 08:00 - 12:00

Wednesday, 11.11.2020
Friday, 13.11.2020
Wednesday, 18.11.2020
Friday, 20.11.2020
Wednesday, 25.11.2020
Friday, 27.11.2020
Wednesday, 02.12.2020
Friday, 04.12.2020
Wednesday, 09.12.2020
Friday, 11.12.2020
Wednesday, 16.12.2020
Friday, 18.12.2020 

Zoom-Link (Passcode: 790360)
Credits 6 ECTS in Innovation V (PO 15) or in Innovation and Digital Business I/II/V (PO 18)

Online take-home exam, Friday, 18.12.2020, 10:00 – 12:00

Further Information

Sebastian Geiger,