Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2017/2018 | Previous academic years:  2016/2017  |  2015/2016  |  2014/2015 
Master’s degree in Business Economics, Organisation and Management
Course code: 71836 Subject title: Economics of Strategy
Credits: 3 Type of subject: Mandatory Year: 1 Period: 2º S
Department: Business Administration

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Module/Subject matter

Economics of Strategy

Professors: Emilio Huerta Arribas; Raquel Orcos.



Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy, Industry Analysis, Competitive Dynamics and Internalization.


General proficiencies

GP1: Develop a critical and a constructive attitude to one's work and that of others.

GP2: Develop an ethical, social and environmental commitment.

GP3: Draw valid conclusions for business from case studies.

GP4: Present research results to various audiences using the different media available.


Specific proficiencies

SP1: Analyze business cases from a theoretical perspective with the aim of better understanding organizational behaviors.

SP2: Display knowledge of the economic and institutional environment in which the economic agents interact within, or through, economic organizations.

SP3: Distinguish the characteristics and relations of the different variables that condition corporate strategy.


Learning outcomes

  1. Assess the company's adaptation and optimal behavior in these markets.
  2. Design business policies aimed at improving competitive advantage
  3. Distinguish the different business strategies in real business operation.
  4. Explain and motivate the analyses, interpret the results and present all these clearly and concisely in English.
  5. Identify the different strategies driving organizational performance.
  6. Investigate the variables that characterize the corporate strategy of the firm
  7. Study the competitive behavior of companies in various contexts
  8. Work in multidisciplinary international teams



Activity Hours ECTS
1-Lectures, discussions and case presentations 35 1,4
2-Training and monitoring of work in progress and cases 10 0,4
3-Reading related cases and articles and practical preparation and study 45 1,8


Relationship between formative activities and proficiencies

Profiencies Formative activities
GP1, GP2, GP3, GP4, SP1, SP2, SP3 1
GP2, GP3, GP4, SP1 2
GP1, GP2, GP3, GP4,  SP1, SP2, SP3 3






 Evaluation Weigth Learning outcomes
Individual Assignments 25 % 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
Teamwork Performance 25 % 4, 8
Take Home Exams 40 % 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
Class participation 10 % 4


Individual Assignments

There will be several individual assignments linked to the different sessions to help students check their understanding of the material covered.

Teamwork Performance

A variable amount of time during each class session will be devoted to the guided discussion in small groups orientated to coordinate the individual assignments of the members of the group in order to give a cooperative answer to the questions asked on the topics studied in the session.

The team members will change every session. All the teams will upload, during de class session, in an easy-to-present format, their teamwork in the appropriate Forum at Mi Aulario. After that, the members of one of the groups in each session will be required to present their analysis and results in class on the projector, or on the white board. This presentation will form the basis for general discussion an interaction on the topic of interest.

Take Home Exams

The final exam will consist of two take home exams that will cover all material discussed in the course and will be open notes and open book. More information about the format and style of these exams will be revealed in class.

Class Participation

The value of this class lies as much in learning to apply the course concepts to real world scenarios as in the concepts themselves. Therefore, this course is case&research-based and its success depends heavily on the quality of class discussion. Preparation for class involves reading the materials and working through, in some detail, the case and/or research papers preparation in advance. Though the discussion might not explicitly answer each and every study question, by preparing these questions, students will get the most learning out of the class. In assigning grades to class discussion the faculty will focus primarily on the quality of your input; however, it usually takes at least some quantity of participation for us to make that evaluation. 



1. Introduction and Course Description

Economics of Strategy, within the MMOBE, belongs to the Markets, Strategy and Performance section. This course covers the fundamentals of both business-level and corporate-level strategy. The course is designed to introduce a wide variety of modern strategy frameworks and methodologies, including methods for assessing the strength of competition, for understanding relative bargaining power, for anticipating competitors" actions, for analyzing cost and value structures and their relevance to competition, and for assessing potential changes in the scope of the firm (diversification and vertical integration). Basic mastery of these tools has relevance to everyone seeking a career in management.

The perspective of Economics of Strategy is unique in that we adopt the perspective of the general manager who has overall responsibility for the performance of the firm or business unit within the firm. Such a manager needs to understand the basis for the current performance of the firm. The manager must also be able to identify changes (inside or outside the firm) that are most likely to affect future performance adversely or to provide opportunities for the firm to improve its performance. The manager must then develop a strategy that uses the company"s position and capabilities to compete successfully in its new environment.

Of course, general managers need to understand the functional areas of the businesses they manage. Indeed, this why we shall frequently draw on functional expertise developed in other courses. However, the general manager"s role is not simply to oversee those functional areas (finance, marketing, operations) but rather to set a strategic direction for the firm and to coordinate its activities to help achieve its strategic goals. And it is this general perspective that we adopt in this course.

2. Pedagogical Approach

Economics of Strategy develops theoretical and conceptual frameworks for strategic management and dedicates itself to applying these frameworks to real-world situations. These theories and frameworks are designed to help students better understand and analyze management problems and opportunities, and to develop solutions to deal with these situations. As such, each class session will usually have a "theory" reading, which explains and develops the framework, and an application reading, which may consist of a real case and/or a research paper.

This case&research-based approach will require students to become familiar not only with the details of the general theoretical framework, but will also give the student an opportunity to learn about a number of industries, and a number or recent research topics on strategy. The analysis and discussion of different industry and company situations is the primary class activity. Preparation of the cases and participation in the discussion is critical to the learning and the success of the class as a whole.

The disciplinary lens used to study strategy in this course is Economics, since it permits the formulation of subtle and powerful hypotheses that generate richer strategies in comparison with other disciplines such as political science or organizational behavior.

The class sessions are organized into six modules. In the first module we will explore the nature of strategy, its main vocabulary and the different levels in its study. The second module covers the analysis of the industry where the firm is operating. The third module explores the creation of value at the business level. The fourth focuses on corporate strategy, paying special attention to the horizontal and vertical boundaries of the firm. The fifth explores the forces of competition that operate at the industry level. Finally, the sixth module explores issues on advanced topics in internationalization strategy.



  • Introducing Strategy: Session 1
  • Industry analysis: Session 2
  • Business strategy: Session 3
  • Corporate strategy: Session 4
  • Competitive dynamics: Session 5
  • International Strategy: Session 6



Acceda a la bibliografía que su profesor ha solicitado a la Biblioteca.

  • Besanko, D., Dranove, D., Shanley, M., Schaefer, S. (2013): Economics of Strategy. International Student Version. 6th edition. Ed.: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978¿1-118-31918-5.
  • Grant, R., (2016), Contemporary Strategy Analysis, 9th Edition. Willey. ISBN: 978-1-119-12084-1.
  • Johnson, G. Scholes, K. and Whittington, R., (2008), ¿Exploring Corporate Strategy¿, Pearson Education. ISBN: 0273711911.



Universidad Pública de Navarra.