ECONOMICS AND COMPANY MANAGEMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
a. Knowledge and understanding
The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the main elements and key issues of firm’s management. In this perspective, the course provides the conceptual tools for describing and understanding the main environmental and business trends and for the firm’s strategic management in the era of globalization, knowledge economies and new technologies.
At the end of the course, the students will have acquired skills on the following topics:
− The firm’s environment, the firm’s industry, the firm’s strategic business unit
− The structure-conduct-performance paradigm
− The competitive strategies
− The five competitive forces model
− The mobility barriers and the key success factors
− The strategies in International markets
− From transactions to relations
− Market as a network
− The value chain
− Resources, dynamic capabilities e competencies
− The territory and the firm’s competitive advantage
− The corporate strategies
− Organic growth, alliances, mergers and acquisitions
b. Applying knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the students will be able to:
- Explain relevant management theories and concepts;
- Discuss the issues underlying the evolution of the firm’s environment and competitive landscape;
- Describe the essential sources of the firm’s competitive advantage;
- Understand how industry structure and its competitive forces influence the rules of the game and the strategies available to firms;
- Characterize firms as unique bundles of resources and competencies;
- Describe the role of inter-organizational relationships and the network based approach;
- Discuss corporate and business strategies;
- Highlight the key course topics and grasp the relationship between the different components of the course.
c. Making judgements
On the basis of the conceptual and operational tools acquired during the course the students will be able to:
- Analyze the changing competitive environment from the firm’s perspective;
- Describe the major challenges posed to firms by globalization, technological evolution and social, ethical and environmental issues;
- Evaluate the firm’s performance and strategies;
- Identify firm’s strengths and weaknesses.
The students will be encouraged to develop their own independent judgment and critical thinking.
d. Communication skills
During the course, the students will acquire adequate communication skills aimed at transferring, in a clear and effective way, both information and concepts (even complex) related to specific issues of management thinking to different interlocutors (both academic and business). In addition, the students’ ability to adopt an "active listening” behavior, i.e. to understand concepts and languages used by businesses, will be put to the test. These skills will allow to develop the ability to prepare brief papers, or providing an oral summary on specific topics, also with the aid of information technology tools and media.
e. Learning skills
The main topics are detailed through the presentation of successful case studies in the Italian and international. At the end of the course the students will have gained the ability to expand and update the level and range of the knowledge acquired from lessons and course textbooks.
Course contents summary
The course aims to illustrate in a systemic way and in an evolutionary perspective the key issues of firm’s management.
The course is divided into five sections that allow to grasp the evolution of management thinking and practice and to consider recent approaches, such as the competence based theory and the network based approach.
Specific attention is dedicated to the competitive strategies, the corporate strategies, the view of the territory as a source of the firm’s competitive advantage, the start-up.
Tunisini A., Pencarelli T., Ferrucci L. «Economia e management delle imprese», Hoepli, Milano, 2014 (with the exception of chapters 8, 15, 19, 20)
Lectures; case study discussions; business seminars; project works
Assessment methods and criteria
The learning results will be assessed through a final written test.
The knowledge and understanding achieved will be assessed with n. 2 open-ended questions, each worth 10 points, on relevant theoretical topics.
The ability to apply the acquired knowledge, the autonomy of judgment and the ability to learn will be assessed through n. 1 question of application content, worth 10 points.
The ability to communicate using the appropriate technical language will be assessed by evaluating the correct use of expressions / technical terms in the context of the answers given to the above questions.
Students attending the course can opt for the modality: “intermediate exam” + “final exam”. Specific information will be provided at the beginning of the course.