COMPETITIVENESS AND BUSINESS STRATEGY - QUALIFICATION - BASE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
By the end of this course students will be expected to have a deep understanding of the microeconomic factors, processes and mechanisms which can foster economic development and prosperity. They will through the cases they have studied have an awareness of the role microeconomic forces and of business clusters in the economic development of cities, regions, nations and even regional trading blocs under various stages of economic development. They should be in a position to give informed policy advice to governments or to local or regional authorities as also to business groups regarding the promotion of economic development through suitable attention to the microeconomic underpinnings of competiveness.
Course contents summary
This course in the first place explores the determinants of national and regional competitiveness from a bottom-up, microeconomic perspective. The course probes the ultimate determinants of a nation’s or region’s productivity, rooted in the strategies and operating practices of locally-based firms, the vitality of clusters, and the quality of the business environment in which competition takes place.
Both advanced and developing economies will be considered and the competitiveness of nations, subnational units such as states or provinces, and particular clusters will be addressed. The course also examines the role that economic coordination among neighbouring countries or regions can play in competitiveness.
The course is concerned not only with government policy but also with the roles that firms, industry associations, universities, and other institutions play in competitiveness. The process of creating and sustaining an economic strategy for a nation or region being a daunting challenge the course explores not only theory and policy, but also the organizational structures, institutional structures, and change processes required for sustained improvements in competitiveness.
Theoretical foundations of economic growth theory
Microeconomics of development; the value chain; the power of clusters
Harvard cases on Competitiveness and Clusters: Dutch flower case; Indonesia case; Ireland case; European Union case and others as relevant
The materials for Microeconomics of Competitiveness will be a series of Harvard Business School cases on competitiveness. The cases will be selected for their relevance and ninterest for the students and they will be distributed to students in class.
The course is taught largely using the case method, but there will also be some lectures, round tables, student group presentations and guest lectures. The case method requires extensive advance preparation by students for each class, and a significant part of the course evaluation may be based on the group presentations.
Assessment methods and criteria
A group project involving the competitive assessment of a particular country and cluster (40%).
A final examination (60%)
Stuents must attend the seminars in this course based on the case method in order to have any chance of passing