COMPETITIVENESS AND BUSINESS STRATEGY - QUALIFICATION - BASE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
By the end of this course students will be expected to have an ability to analyse in depth the microeconomic factors and processes which can foster economic development and prosperity through microeconomic competitiveness. 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 able to identify autonomously industrial clusters both successful and less successful and be able to provide an analysis of the key success factors for various clusters They should be in a position to communicate critically 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 competitiveness.
Course contents summary
The course probes the ultimate determinants of a nation’s or region’s productivity based on the works of Michael Pörter, 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 in detail through case studies.
Theoretical foundations of macroeconomic growth theory
Microeconomics of development; the notion of competitiveness (Porter); the value chain; the theory of clusters and of their role in development
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 course is taught largely using the case method, but there will also be some lectures, some open class discussions and debates and student group presentations based on small projects of study of specific clusters. The case method requires extensive advance preparation by students for each class.
Assessment methods and criteria
A project to be presented in class involving the competitive assessment of a particular cluster chosen by the student and approved by the professor (20%).
A final closed book examination (80%)
Students must attend the seminars in this course based on the case method in order to have any chance of passing