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Strategy: Process, Content, Context (PE)


updated 2016-2017 information

Admission requirements



This course aims to develop analytical skills in the area of strategy development in the business world. Integrating the specialist perspectives of operations, marketing, human resources and finance, this course takes a holistic perspective on what explains superior performance of a business. In this course, you learn to understand the processes and contexts that influence strategic positioning and corporate development. You will develop a thorough understanding of the academic and business research underpinning as well as learn about and apply the latest practical consultancy methods.
Concepts, case studies and material based on current business events allow for special emphasis on the generation of new insights and practical approaches. Part of the material is specifically selected on issues in the IT-Business relationship and its relevance to the ICT in Business context.
It is the intention of this course to give an overview of all essential aspects of strategic management. The most fundamental distinction made in the field is between strategy process, strategy content and strategy context.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, the student should have or be able to:

  • describe and explain the process of setting an overall strategy for the enterprise, exemplified with recent cases from the business world and eminent academic papers and concepts

  • identify strategic opportunities, describe business contexts and critically evaluate strategies of existing companies and public organizations

  • understand the relevance of external factors on strategy formation and implementation

  • deal with ambiguity and paradox inherent to strategy

The use of case studies, illustrations from current business events, and interactive settings, will create awareness of how leading international businesses are confronting and resolving the trade-offs related to strategic management.


This course is primarily case-oriented and in order to utilize the limited amount of class time as best as possible, it is required that students have read the assigned chapters and have thoroughly prepared the cases prior to each. Students are also expected to participate actively in class discussion. You should also come prepared to present (in pre-assigned groups) the main points of the assigned readings, and discuss how they relate to the cases.

Case discussions do not have right or wrong answers. This does not mean that anything goes. An effective case analysis requires a systematic analysis of the facts, careful consideration of various solutions and plans of action and their strength and weaknesses, and finally, a compelling presentation of your conclusions. Different students may come up with very different answers to a case. Good answers, however, will all show similar analytic rigor. Study questions for each case will help you in structuring your analysis.


The schedule can be found on the “LIACS website”:

Detailed table of contents can be found in blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The course combines lectures, case studies, interactive discussions, assignments, research, a final paper. Students are required to fill in expected study efforts (SBUs) by co-operating, self-study and to explore literature on available resouces such as libraries, internet, etc.
There is a preparatory assignment before the first meeting.

Assessment method

Weekly assignments will involve substantial reading from the prescribed book, accompanied by assessment tests to check comprehension. In addition, the assignments will alternate between writing a short paper, preparing for presentation in class or enriching the course content.
The final exam will consist of a major written assignment. Details on the assignment will be provided in class. Completion does require a deep understanding of the strategy concepts and extensive practice in the application of theory to a business situation as exercised in the weekly assignments. The best preparation is participationin the class discussions. The deadline for the final assignment will be 2 weeks after finishing of the lectures.
The course grade will be computed as follows (grades 9 or above will require exceptional work):

  • Class Attendance Participation – 10%

  • Homework (tests) – 15%

  • Interim Papers & presentations – 30%

  • Final Paper – 45%


Strategy: Process, Content, Context

Reading list

Required textbook: De Wit, Bob & Meyer, Ron: Strategy: Process, Content, Context 4th edition, South Western Cengage Learning, 2010 ISBN: 978-4080-1902-3.

Please note: 4th edition only! (in view of case studies to be used)
Blackboard access is essential as of the first lecture.

Contact information

For more information, please contact Programme Co-ordinator ms. Judith Havelaar LL.M