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Advanced Strategic Management

Academic Year: 2016/2017 Semester: 2nd Term

Instructor(s): Ana M. Aranda

Section 1 - Wednesday | 9.30am to 12.20am
Section 2 - Wednesday | 2.00pm to 4.50pm

Course Description:

The course is concerned with advancing students’ understanding of relatively complex
strategic management questions, such as why some organizations are more successful or
perform better than others. To develop this understanding, the course covers selected topics
relevant to strategic management with an emphasis on presenting advanced theoretical ideas
and concepts. Furthermore, the course uses cases to enhance the students’ understanding of
how to apply these ideas and concepts in practice. The course focuses on business and
corporate level strategies that are available to multi-national or multi-business corporations.
Among other topics, the course underlines the dynamic nature of effective strategy
formulation and implementation, and familiarizes students with how different organizational
designs could be strategically used. Wherever relevant, the course presents students with
strategies of organizations in different industries.

Course Objectives:

The learning objectives of the course are:
 To develop a thorough understanding of advanced frameworks and concepts linked to
strategic management.
 To gain expertise in identifying and assessing the sources of profit available for an
organization, and in evaluating an organizations’ external and internal environments.
 To develop the ability to formulate business and corporate level strategies that lead to
value creation, and to recommend organizational designs to implement these strategies.


Course materials:

The course uses the following textbook:
Grant, R. M. (2015). Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases. Wiley, 9th edition.
Course Format:

The course is centered on the required readings and case discussions. A high level of
participation of each student is expected, and preparation before class is required. In a typical
session, there will be a first part consisting of an interactive lecture and a second part focused
on the case discussions, as follows:
 Interactive lecture: 1 hour
o Break: 10 min.
 Case #1: case presentation (15 min.), analysis and discussion (20 min.), feedback (5 min.)
o Break: 10 min.
 Case #2: case presentation (15 min.), analysis and discussion (20 min.), feedback (5 min.)



The final grade consists of:

 Group case discussion (20%)1
 Group written essay (20%)2
 Individual class participation (10%)
 Exam (50%)

Case presentation, analysis and discussion

Each team has to lead once a case discussion. The objective of the case discussion is to analyze
real world cases by applying the concepts and frameworks for strategic management. Case
discussion questions will be provided in advance to guide the discussion and all students
should read the cases before the class session. However, the groups responsible for leading
the discussion in a particular week are expected to extend and deepen their presentation of
the case by: i) collecting additional information and data, and ii) analyzing the case by building
on the recommended readings for that week. During the case discussion, the responsible team
is expected to give a 15 minutes presentation of the case, and facilitate a 20 minutes analysis
and discussion session. Please upload the presentation before 23:59pm on Monday before
class to Turnitin.

The group assignments should be done in teams of 4-6 students (depending on the total class size).
The teams will be formed in the first class and will remain unchanged throughout the course. Please
note that you will be graded as a team, and that individual assignments or assignments turned in after
the deadline will not be graded.
On week 4, the recommended readings assigned to each team are:
Group 5: Case #20  Campbell et al, 1995; Collis and Montgomery, 1998; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990.
Group 6: Case #21  Goold and Luchs, 1993; Markides, 1997; Porter, 1987.

Presenting groups are fully in charge of the case discussion part of each lecture and will
receive feedback from the other team presenting on that same day. The group providing the
feedback should follow the “presentation evaluation criteria” and should focus on providing
constructive feedback to their peers.

Written essay

One week after the presentation, each team has to hand in an assignment on the topic of the
week for which they were in charge of the case discussion. For the assignment, the group must
write a brief essay explaining the core contributions of all the recommended readings, and
providing examples of how these readings can be used to further analyze the case. In other
words, the essay should link the theoretical perspectives presented in all the recommended
readings, as well as the practical issues presented in the case. Moreover, essays should testify
to the fact that the various views and opinions collected during the class discussion have been
considered, evaluated and – when appropriate – incorporated. The essay should adhere to the
following specifications: Times New Roman 11 pt, 1.5 line space, 1-inch margins, max. 3 pages
excluding title page and references. Please upload the essay before 23:59pm on Monday
before next class to Turnitin.

Class participation

Willingness to participate is a central ingredient of this course. Students are required to
prepare all of the assigned material carefully, to participate actively, and to respond
thoughtfully to classmate comments. Students can expect regular questions during the
interactive lectures, and are expected to actively participate during the case discussions (either
by providing their analysis of the case, or by posing questions or giving feedback). To facilitate
the evaluation of class participation, each student must have a tag with his or her name.
Please be advised that for this course students are not allowed to miss more than one class
without justification, and that missing more than one class renders the student unable to
obtain a grade for the course.


The exam will be closed-book. The exam will assess students’ understanding of both the
readings and the cases discussed in class. Please note that you need to score 50% or higher on
the final exam in order to receive a passing grade for the course.
Course contents:

Recommended Presenting
No. Date Description Required Readings Case(s)
Readings Groups
Collis and Rukstad, 2008
Wed Hambrick and Fredrickson, Bradley et al, 2011
1 Introduction #2
26/10 2005 Collins and Porras, 1996
Porter, 1996
Analysis of the
Wed Porter, 2008 #4 1
2 industry and Chapters 3 & 4
9/11 Porter and McGahan, 1997 #5 2
Barney, 1995
Wed Brandenburger and Nalebuff, #6 3
3 Business Strategy Chapters 5 & 7
16/11 1995 #15 4
Zook, 2007
Campbell et al, 1995
Collis and Montgomery, 1998
Wed Goold and Luchs, 1993 #20 5
4 Corporate Strategy Chapters 11 & 13
23/11 Markides, 1997 #21 6
Porter, 1987
Prahalad and Hamel, 1990
Gupta and Govindarajan, #18 (see
Wed 7
5 Internationalization Chapters 12 & 15 2001 also #10)
30/11 8
Levitt, 1983 #23
Wed Strategy Kotter, 2007 #8 9
6 Chapters 6 & 14
7/12 Implementation Montgomery, 2008 #13 10


- #2: Starbucks Corporation, May 2015
- #4: Pot of gold? The US legal marijuana industry
- #5: The US airline industry in 2015
- #6: Wal-Mart stores Inc.
- #8: BP: Organizational structure and management systems
- #13: Tesla Motors
- #15: New York Times
- #18 (&10): Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.: The international challenge
- #20: The Virgin Group in 2015
- #21: Google is now Alphabet
- #23: Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch
Recommended readings:

 Barney, J. B. (1995) Looking inside for competitive advantage. The Academy of
Management Executive, Vol. 9, No. 4, 49-61.
 Bradley, C., Hirt, M., & Smit, S. (2011) Have you tested your strategy lately? McKinsey
Quarterly, January, 1-14.
 Brandenburger, A. M., and Nalebuff, B. J. (1995) The right game: Use game theory to shape
strategy. HBR July – August.
 Campbell, A., Goold, M., and Alexander, M. (1995) Corporate strategy: The quest for
parenting advantage. HBR March – April.
 Collins J. and Porras J. (1996) Building your Company’s Vision. HBR September – October.
 Collis, D. and Rukstad, M. (2008) Can you say what your strategy is? HBR April.
 Collis, D. and Montgomery, C. (1998) Creating corporate advantage. HBR May – June.
 Goold, M. and Luchs, K. (1993) Why Diversify? Four Decades of Management Thinking.
Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 7, No. 3, 7-25.
 Gupta and Govindarajan. (2001) Converting global presence into global competitive
advantage. Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 15, No. 2, 45-56.
 Hambrick, D. and Fredrickson, J. (2005) Are you sure you have a strategy? Academy of
Management Executive, Vol. 19, No. 4.
 Kotter, J. (2007) Leading change. HBR January.
 Levitt, T. (1983) The Globalization of Markets. HBR May – June.
 Markides, C. (1997). To diversify or not to diversify? HBR November – December.
 Montgomery, C. (2008) Putting Leadership Back into Strategy. HBR January.
 Porter, M. (1987) From Competitive Advantage to Corporate Strategy. HBR May – June.
 Porter, M. (1996) What is Strategy? HBR November – December.
 Porter, M. (2008) The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy. HBR January.
 Porter, M. and McGahan, A.M. (1997) How much does industry matter, really? Strategic
Management Journal, Vol. 18, No. 6, 15-30.
 Prahalad C.K. and Hamel G. (1990) The Core Competence of the Corporation. HBR May –
 Zook, C. (2007) Finding your next core business. HBR April.

Contact(s) and Office hours:

By appointment (


Ana M. Aranda

Ana Aranda obtained a Bachelor degree in Management with minors in Economics and
Business Law from the School of Management, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia).
She obtained a graduate diploma in Marketing from the same University. After
completing her studies, she worked in industry and as a strategy consultant in
Colombia. In 2010, she moved to the Netherlands, where she obtained a Master in
Strategic Management (cum laude) and a Research Master in Business (cum laude)
from Tilburg University. In the spring of 2014 she was a visiting research fellow at MIT
Sloan. She obtained her PhD degree from Tilburg University and is currently an
assistant professor at Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics.

Mário Morais

Mário Morais graduated from NOVA SBE in Business and Administration in 2008 and
finished his MSc in Business Administration at CLSBE in February 2010 (during his
masters he won the 2009 Boston Consulting Group Prize). Mário started his career in
2008 at BAIE, an African Investment Bank as a risk and project analyst. Since then he
was a Product Manager at L’Oreal, a Key Account Manager at LG, a Consultant /
Business Analyst at McKinsey&Company, and a manager for Santander’s web portal
Universia (which became the largest university community in the world). Mário held
the position of Teaching Assistant for the Strategy course at CLSBE since September
2010. Currently, Mário became an entrepreneur opening the first Champagnerie in
Lisbon in 2013, creating a Consulting Company (Reach Consulting) in 2014 and a
Inluencer Marketing agency in 2016 and is currently launching a fast food concept
called Poké.