MG4A5      Half Unit
The Analysis of Strategy A

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof David De-Meza NAB.5.23


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

Course content

The objective of the two courses (A and B) is to provide students with a critical appreciation of what it takes to be a strategist - in  the real world, both within and between firms . The critical aspect of being a strategist is to anticipate and prepare in advance for the possible reactions of other players (e.g. competitors). These two courses will help students to understand how managers in the real world ought to read situations from a strategic angle. In particular, strategy is viewed from the perspective of economics. Besides applications, attention will also be given to conceptual underpinnings.

The course is an amalgam of game theory, economics, and strategic management. After some preliminary material on measuring corporate performance, students will be introduced to ideas of behaviour in strategic situations. A powerful tool to study these situations is game theory, where the emphasis is on outplaying a competitor who is trying to outplay you. Some three lectures and two seminars will be devoted to developing the basic concepts of game theory including Nash and sub-game-perfect Nash equilibrium. The second part of the course will focus on applying these ideas to  issues in competitive industries. The third part of the course introduces the concepts of creating and appropriating value, distinctive capabilities and ways to build and maintain competitive advantage. These issues will be deepened further in the accompanying seminars.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with Departmental policy.

Indicative reading

D Besanko, D Dranove & M Shanley, Economics of Strategy, John Wiley, 6th Edition.; A Dixit & B Nalebuff, Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics and Everyday Life, Norton, 1998; J Kay, Foundations of Corporate Success, OUP 1995; J Roberts, The Modern Firm:Organizational Design for Performance and Growth, OUP 2007


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2016/17: 83

Average class size 2016/17: 17

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness