MG4F4      Half Unit
Strategy and Innovation in a Global Context

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Lourdes Sosa NAB 5.19


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management (1 Year Programme). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course focuses on understanding the drivers of differences in profitability among firms in our economy, both in the short and long term. The overarching teaching objective is to learn to design managerial recommendations that can help a firm improve and defend its competitive advantage both immediately and for its future. Consequently, the course's topics are in a necessary sequence moving from short-term concepts such as industry factors to long-term concepts such as disruptive innovation.

This course provides an introduction to strategic analysis aiming to explain the design of managerial recommendations to improve and defend the competitive advantage of a firm both immediately (cross-sectional analysis) and in the future (longitudinal analysis). It requires significant use of analytical reasoning as well as the ability to switch between considering the big picture and the fine-grained detail. A key step for the learning objectives of the course is the completion of a 1-week trip to an economy where students will be able to see strategy in the making in its full natural context.


10 x 180 minute seminars in the period after exams and summer term plus a week study trip abroad.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 exercise in July.

Formative assessment will be done during lecture time on the basis of a case study analysis

Indicative reading

1. Barney, J.B. 1995. Looking Inside for Competitive Advantage. Academy of Management Executive.

2. Christensen, C.M., Bower, J.L. 1996. Customer Power, Strategic Investment and the Failure of Leading Firms. Strategic Management Journal.

3. Dierickx, I., Cool, K. 1989. Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage. Management Science.

4. Sosa, L. 2011. From Old Competence Destruction to New Competence Access: Evidence from the Comparison of Two Discontinuities in Anticancer Drug Discovery. Organization Science.

5. Winter, S.G. 2003. Understanding Dynamic Capabilities. Strategic Management Journal.


Essay (85%, 2000 words) post-summer term.
Class participation (15%) in the ST.

This course is assessed on a report that makes use of the concepts from the course and their application illustrated in the international trip. Details will be discussed during lectures.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2020/21: 74

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness