Strategy Formulation

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The purpose of this course is to present, analyze and discuss the different facets of business strategy formulation. Emphasizing that strategy can be seen as a unified theme that provides coherence and direction to the actions and decisions of a firm, we will cover a variety of business strategy topics concerned with firm positioning in the context of different markets, industries and locations.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Identify why a strong strategy is essential for the future business success
- Formulate a business strategy that suits the needs and visions of your organization
- Explain why managers too often formulate sub-optimal strategies
- Extrapolate measures to optimize current business strategies

Workload: 2-4 hours per week.


Introducing strategy formulation
-In the first module of this course, we will examine and discuss the foundations of strategy formulation, emphasizing key concepts such as competitive advantage, value creation, planned vs emerging strategy, and strategic fit.

Industry analysis
-Building on the insights generated in the first session, in the second module we explore different industrial organization frameworks and discuss the importance of industry effects on firm performance. Keywords of this module include competition, industry attractiveness, and the ‘Five forces’-framework.

Resources and capabilities
-The purpose of this session is to understand the role of firm resources and capabilities in building and formulating a strong strategy. In particular, we will discuss concepts such as the value chain, core capabilities, heterogeneous resources, and the VRIO framework.

Global strategies and the multinational corporation
-The opportunities and challenges of operating internationally are substantially different to the domestic context. Thus, to understand strategy in a global context, we focus on the multinational corporation and discuss strategic terms like foreign entry mode, location strategies, global integration/local adaptation, and distance.

Strategic decision making
-In this module, we will investigate the processes of strategic decision making and explore how this matters for firm performance. We will discuss topics such as ‘bounded rationality’, management politics, and hidden costs.

Formulating a Strategy in a 21st Century Creative Company
-Drawing on the content covered in this course, your job is to formulate a strategy for the Danish design company e-Types. Specifically, based on an analysis of the firm and the environment, you should formulate a strong strategy for how e-Types should move forward. Background information on the company and the assignment is provided below.