This course focuses on a critical managerial challenge; How to deal with competition and create a sustainable competitive advantage for your organization in the marketplace. Through lectures, case study seminars, readings, and group assignments, students learn about foundational theories and frameworks in strategy. Students learn to use these theories and frameworks to answer questions such as: Why are some firms more successful than other firms in a specific industry? How do I assess the competitive advantage a firm has over other firms in a market? How can managers harness industry dynamics to strengthen a firm’s competitive advantage? What is the role of organisational design in a firm’s competitive advantage? And what are the challenges associated with capitalising on intellectual assets (as opposed to physical assets)?
This course is intended for anyone interested in working in industry as an entrepreneur, manager, consultant, analyst, or investor. Moreover, the course will provide an analytical background for scientists, engineers and medical doctors with an interest in understanding industrial aspects of their academic work. The course emphasises interactive teaching that focuses on real-life case studies.
This course provides students training in the use of key concepts and frameworks for formulating and implementing corporate strategies with an emphasis on firms in technology-intensive industries. At the end of the course students will be able to:
conduct analyses of industry structure and competitive dynamics;
assess a firm’s competitive (dis)advantage in an industry vis-à-vis other firms;
design business models around the commercial exploitation of a a firm’s intellectual capital (e.g. patents, trade secrets, copyright, tacitly held knowhow);
formulate recommendations about optimising a firm’s organisational design for its position in the marketplace.
You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.
MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).
For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.
Mode of instruction
The course emphasises interactive teaching that focuses on real-life case studies. Students will be debriefed, in hindsight, on what really happened.
Students’ final mark will be based on the following mix of assessment methods:
Group assignments (30%)
Students are assigned to groups at the end of the first week of class. Group assignments are listed on the Blackboard site of the course. Students are required to submit a total of 6 group assignments. These group assignments should be submitted in the form of a single power point slide that addresses a question about the case study that is discussed in class the next day. The slide should be submitted in a ‘power point format.’ This means that the group’s contribution can be presented using bullet points, graphical representations, etc. to convey the argument the group wishes to make. Group assignments should be submitted by midnight the day before the class via Blackboard.
We ask students to notify SBB staff as soon as possible in case of problems with group members so that we can step in and resolve these problems.
The final exam covers the readings for the course and the material discussed during the lectures.
A week after the final grades are known an announcement will put on Brightspace with the date, time and location where students can review the exam and standard answers.
The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.
A list of required readings consisting of journal articles and cases, will be provided in the course syllabus and on the blackboard site for the course.
From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.
Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.
For all questions you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: If you are an ICTiBPS student, you can contact the programme coordinator of ICTiBPS for any questions about your program.
1: These criteria are adapted from: https://teaching.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/appendix_b-_peer_evaluation_criteria.pdf (last downloaded 18 August 2018).
There is limited capacity for external students. Please contact the programme coordinator.
Students are responsible for enrolling/unenrolling themselves for (partial) exams/retakes.
Students who do not enroll themselves for an exam/retake by the deadline are not allowed to take the exam/retake.
Students fail the course if any of the partial components (except the exam) that make up the final mark of the course is assessed below 4.0.
Students fail the course if the grade for the (final) exam is assessed below 5.0.
The final grade is expressed as a whole or half number between 1.0 and 10.0, including both limits. The result is not to be expressed as a number between 5.0 and 6.0.
If one of the components of the final mark constitutes a component that assesses attendance or class participation, students cannot take a retake for this component. Therefore, students fail the course if their mark for this component is less than 4.0.
Partial grades, inclusive the exam grade will not be rounded. If partial grades will be communicated, it is possible partial grades are rounded, but unrounded partial grades will be used in the calculation of the final grade. The final grade will be rounded at 0.5 (5.49 will rounded down to a 5 and a 5.5 will be rounded up to a 6.0).
Students pass the course if the final grade is 6.0 or higher (5.49 will rounded down to a 5 and a 5.5 will be rounded up to a 6.0).
It is not possible to do retakes for group assignments. Therefore, if students fail the group assignment component, they fail the course.
For courses, for which class participation is an assessment component, students may not be penalised for an absence if the student has a legitimate justification for this absence. The student must notify the program coordinator via email (email@example.com) of such an absence BEFORE the lecture, describing the reason for missing the lecture. If the student does not notify the program coordinator before the lecture, the student will be penalised. Students may be required to provide further documentation to substantiate their case, and class attendance requirements are only waived under exceptional circumstances such as illness.
Students who are entitled to more exam/retake time must report to firstname.lastname@example.org 10 days before the exam/retake takes place.