MG430      Half Unit
Strategy, Organisation and Innovation

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Catherine Thomas 5.27


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management and MSc in Management (CEMS MIM). This course is not available as an outside option.

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 into three parts. The first part focuses on the external context of strategy. It first reviews basic tools for understanding industry economics and the determinants of industry-wide profitability, focusing 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 these players’ interactions. 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 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 prepare for class discussions by reading the assigned case and analysing it in view of the assignment questions. Required cases and supplementary readings will be available on Moodle. The textbook, together with the lectures, contains the concepts necessary to analyse the cases.


20 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6 of LT, in line with departmental policy

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, G., Shepard, A. and Podolny, J. Strategic Management. New York, NY: John Wiley, 2001.

As mentioned above, cases and additional readings will be made available online.


Exam (90%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Class participation (10%) in the LT.

Students’ participation will be evaluated based on the quality of their comments and questions in classes, with an emphasis placed on the extent to which their contributions to discussions further the learning of their classmates.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2014/15: 99

Average class size 2014/15: 49

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

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