22641 Competitive Strategy

Competitive Strategy is concerned with managing the development and competitive position of the business enterprise in order to ensure its survival and long-term success. Every firm must create and sustain a competitive advantage if it is to survive and prosper. This course provides frameworks, tools and concepts to help students analyze and understand the creation and sustainability of competitive advantage.
Political, economic, demographic and social environments differ and evolve across industries. Industries differ in the extent to which they provide opportunities for sustained profitability. Industries also evolve over time, providing firms with continuously changing opportunities and threats. The first section of the course examines the external environment.
While industry analysis provides firms insights into what they must do to succeed, it does not shed much light on what they can do. Resource and capability analysis provides an insight into firms’ strengths and weaknesses (as they relate to the external environment). An understanding of internal strengths enables firms to fully exploit and build their capabilities to compete successfully, while an understanding of internal weaknesses suggests recommendations for improvment. The second section of the course focuses examines the internal environment.
Firms in an industry jockey for position through their actions and interactions. Every firm seeks to obtain a unique and sustainable competitive position through an appropriate configuration of its assets and products in relation to the external environment in order to generate superior value for its customers. The third and fourth sections of the course examine competitive positioning, advantage, and dynamics.


Duration: 1 - 11 July 2019
Place: Faculty of Business and Economics, Peter Merian-Weg 6, room: S15

Monday, 1 July 2019: 09.00-11.30
Tuesday, 2 July 2019: 09.00-11.30
Wednesday, 3 July 2019: 09.00-11.30
Thursday, 4 July 2019: 09.00-11.30

Monday, 8 July 2019: 09.00-11.30
Tuesday, 9 July 2019: 09.00-11.30
Wednesday, 10 July 2019: 09.00-11.30
Thursday, 11 July 2019: 09.00-11.30

Assessment details

Grading will be based on your performance in class participation, two case write-up submissions, and a final exam. The grading weights are as follows:

  • Class Participation 30%
  • Case Write-ups (2) 30%
  • Final Exam 40%.

Date of final exam: 15 July 2019, 14:15-15:45, WWZ Auditorium

Recommended Prerequisites

Solid understanding of business and economics on the BA level.

  • Game Theory and Theory of the Firm (40106)
  • Product Management (Produktmanagement, 10653)
  • Advanced International Trade and Business (10625)


Prof. Macher

Insights into the master course by Prof. Macher

Course Information

Course directory

Syllabus (see ADAM Workspace)

Reading Material (see ADAM Workspace)
Students will have to purchase a course pack of Harvard Business School cases which will cost approximately $ 26.00.

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