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Corporate Strategy Analysis Syllabus

Corporate Strategy Analysis
Strategy 2 MBA Winter Intensive, 2013 Preliminary Syllabus

Professor Robert C. Seamans Contact info: KMC, 7-58, Phone: (212) 998-0417, email: Office hours: By Appointment Teaching Assistant: Paul Bousquet READINGS   All required reading is included in the coursepack (Coded CP in schedule). Other supplemental reading is available through Blackboard (Coded BB in schedule).

COURSE OVERVIEW Corporate strategy analysis focuses on the strategic management of multi-business firms. Accordingly, the course is organized around a series of questions:  Where is the boundary of the firm?  Where should the boundary of the firm be?  What induces the firm to change its boundaries?  How should the firm change its boundaries?  What challenges will arise as the firm changes its boundaries?  Where are the appropriate internal boundaries within the firm?  How does the firm know it is making the right decision? We will use a number of cases and in-class exercises to study these questions. We will seek to understand why some firms expand vertically into upstream and downstream areas of the supply chain, and why some firms diversify into related or unrelated businesses. We will also look at the ways in which a firm can change its boundaries, including mergers & acquisitions and internal development, and alliances. We will study how the firm organizes itself internally. We will also consider the role of corporate governance in helping the manager determine the appropriate boundary of the firm. TEACHING PHILOSOPHY One of the most valuable abilities that you can develop and sharpen in graduate school is the ability to think critically and strategically, and to speak and write in a logical and compelling manner. One of the most valuable assets that you can develop in graduate school is a large network of peers. I have carefully developed this class with the following goals in mind: (1) that you will sharpen your abilities to think critically and strategically, and (2) that you will broaden your professional network.


Corporate Strategy Analysis Syllabus Accordingly, I have created a number of group exercises and in-class exercises that will help you not only sharpen your abilities to think critically and strategically, but also broaden your professional network. However, you are responsible for a large portion of your own development. You are required not only to attend classes, but also to carefully prepare for each class and contribute actively to class discussion. Active contribution not only aids your development, but that of your peers. The compressed nature of the course makes it crucial that you prepare the assigned material for every class. The best way to prepare for class is to carefully read the case and any other required reading before class and think about the case questions (listed for each case below). All the required reading is included in the coursepack. Links to supplemental readings are available in Blackboard. Note that you do not need to read the supplemental reading; these are included for your interest and future reference. COURSE GRADING Your grade for the course depends on five elements. Four of the elements are required, and compose a “base grade.” These include two group case analyses, an in-class group exercise and in-class participation. The fifth element is an optional take-home final. The “base grade” is out of 90 points and the optional final is another 10 points. The breakdown is below: First Group Case Analysis Second Group Case Analysis In Class Group Exercise Participation Optional Take Home Final Exam Total: 30% 30% 5% 25% 10% 100%

Group Case Analyses: You will work in groups of 3-4 to submit two homework assignments. Please form your own groups, which will stay the same for all group assignments; if the deadline approaches and you need a group, please let me know. Each case analysis should be...
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