MG430      Half Unit
Strategy, Organisation and Innovation

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Luis Garicano


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management. This course is not available as an outside option.

MSc Management students only. Other students wishing to audit the course are welcome, with permission of the Teacher Responsible.


Students must have completed Managerial Economics (MG431), Foundations of Management I (MG458), Foundations of Management 2 (MG459) and Organisational Behaviour (MG434).

Exemptions by permission of the Teacher Responsible.

Course content

This course applies tools from microeconomics, industrial organisation and organisational economics to the analysis of strategy. The emphasis is on the application of these concepts to business situations, and as such the course relies heavily on the analysis of case studies.
The course is divided in three parts. The first part focuses on the external context of strategy. It first reviews the basic tools to understand industry economics and the determinants of industry-wide profitability and focuses on positional aspects. It then introduces basic game theory to analyse competitive interactions when the number of players is small and the industry profitability is largely determined by the interactions between these players. This tool is used to analyse issues such as bargaining power, price competition and entry and exit decisions.
The second part studies technology and innovation. The main issues discussed will be standard setting and network effects, innovation and disruption.
The third and last part of the course focuses on the internal context of strategy and organisation, and discusses issues such as the scope of the corporation, outsourcing, and the role of corporate headquarters in adding value and capturing synergies.
The course is heavily based on case discussions. For each class meeting, study questions will be assigned concerning a case study. We will discuss these questions and the material in the case during the class discussions. Students will need to be prepared for those discussions, by reading the case and analysing it in view of the assignment question and the preparation questions below in the syllabus. Required cases and supplementary readings are in the course packet.
Students are expected to read all of the assigned material before class discussions. Specifically, the textbook, together with the lectures, contains the concepts necessary to analyse the case, and the class will take place under the assumption that students have carefully read the textbooks.


20 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the LT. 6 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare for classes and actively participate in case discussions. Students will receive feedback on their class participation. They will also be given the opportunity to answer and receive feedback on a mock exam question.

Indicative reading

A primary text will be: Saloner, Garth, Andrea Shepard, and Joel
M. Podolny. Strategic Management. New York, NY: John Wiley, 2001. A full
reading list will be distributed at the start of the course.

A primary text will be: Saloner, Garth, Andrea Shepard, and Joel M. Podolny. Strategic Management. New York, NY: John Wiley, 2001. A package with the cases and additional readings will be distributed as well.


Exam (80%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Class participation (20%) in the LT.

Two-hour examination in the Summer Term (80%) and class participation submitted and assessed weekly via micro-essays (web logs) (20%) .

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2012/13: 118

Average class size 2012/13: 61

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills