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Business Policy (MIP80000)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
George Chondrakis Dirección General y Estrategia ENG


There are no prerequisites for this course.


This course aims to familiarize students with the basic tools and frameworks used to analyze and understand the process of strategy formulation and implementation in a business environment. The strategic management field is primarily concerned with explaining firm heterogeneity and, as such, we will define the key ideas that will help us answer questions such as: Why firms need strategy? Can firms achieve and sustain competitive advantage? Does strategy matter for corporate performance?

This is an introductory course designed for students with little or no business background. The aim is not therefore to specialize but rather to provide a general overview of the field. The knowledge and competences acquired in this course will serve as fundamentals upon which you will continue to build in the other courses you will attend throughout your studies.

Course Learning Objectives

Thinking strategically is a challenging skill to master. The goal of this course is to push the students to think strategically in different contexts. The course introduces the students to a systematic way of thinking around value creation and value capture and develops related concepts that are used to analyse the competitive environment of a firm and its internal strengths and weaknesses.

In more detail, the learning objectives are:
- Understand what strategy is and its various dimensions
- Identify the basic dimensions of business strategy and how this applies to individual organizations
- Appreciate the role of strategy in explaining firm differences, especially with regards to performance


1. Introduction to strategic management & fundamentals of business strategy

2. The firm, its boundaries and fundamentals of corporate strategy

3. Implementation strategy and value capture


In this course we will combine insights from a variety of social science disciplines. We will look into economic theories of organization but also incorporate ideas from sociology, organizational theory and psychology. Corporations are extremely complex social structures and thus require a variety of perspectives to appreciate their function and outcomes.

In working through this course it is also important to realize the purpose and limitations of strategic analysis. Unlike in physical sciences like chemistry or physics, it is impossible to describe certain steps or decisions (i.e. strategies) that will ensure a certain outcome (i.e. increased profitability). That is to say, there are no rules for riches. Strategy can be more usefully understood as a collection of tools and frameworks that help analyze certain strategic questions or the "right? thing to do in a particular business setting. But these answers may have limited applicability to other situations. Strategy is therefore, to a certain extent, a study of contingencies. This course is designed to present a number of these contingencies along with empirical regularities in order to help students develop (heuristic) modes of thinking about strategy. 



Description %
Class attendance & participation 30
Group exercises 30
Final exam 40

Assessment criteria

The assessment is based on the following:

1. Class attendance & participation (30%): All students are actively encouraged to participate and share their views during class. Meaningful participation means making a contribution to our discussion, not merely talking, with the purpose of enhancing learning for everyone.

2. Group exercises (30%): We will do a number of exercises/presentations aimed at applying the different theories and frameworks we discuss during class.

3. Final exam (40%): This will consist of a number of short essay type questions that will ask you to reflect based on what you have learned in this course.


The required readings will be available through the course webpage and eventually at ESADE digital library.

The recommended textbook for the course is:
- Robert M. Grant. 2016. "Contemporary Strategy Analysis" (9th edition) John Wiley

Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
George Chondrakis Dirección General y Estrategia