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Corporate Strategy (19CK85876)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
Yulia Ponomareva Dirección General y Estrategia ENG

Previous Knowledge

This is an advanced course where students are expected to have a basic knowledge of the central concepts in strategic management.

Course Learning Objectives

Corporate strategy is different from the other forms of strategy because it focuses primarily on large multi-business/multi-market corporations. It deals with the questions of how a company can successfully leverage its growth opportunities across multiple businesses and markets. This course is designed to introduce you to the central challenge faced by top managers in corporate headquarters which is how to create value through a set of businesses.

The main learning objective of this course is to improve participants' skills in designing, assessing and implementing corporate strategy.

The specific learning goals are:

- To introduce participants to the fundamentals of corporate strategy exploring choices faced by managers of multi-business/multi-market organizations;

- To enhance students' understanding of the role of the corporate headquarters as well as processes leading to value creation at corporate level;

- To understand and be able to apply various frameworks and analytical tools to preserve and enhance value created through strategic decisions at corporate level;

- To develop a capability to critically assess, evaluate, and make recommendations on the corporate strategies across national and industry contexts.


1. Session 1

Introduction to corporate strategy

2. Session 2

Diversification strategies: Vertical Diversification and Horizontal integration

3. Session 3

Modes of corporate growth

4. Session 4

Diversification strategies: Geographic expansion

5. Session 5

Dominant coalition & behavioral view on corporate strategy

6. Session 6

Corporate change and transformation

7. Session 7

Creating Value through Corporate Governance: Managing the shareholders' demands

8. Session 8

Course wrap-up: Risk management and corporate value creation


The course follows an interactive learning approach blending together theoretical and applied knowledge. In nine session we will cover a variety of topics related to corporate strategy. The sessions involve different formats including in-class discussions, case analysis sessions, lectures, individual and team assignments and guest lectures.

Case Study Sessions. Case method has been recognized as a powerful teaching tool that makes learning exciting, inspiring and fun. Cases provide examples of real-life business challenges, which can be analyzed in a safe environment. The cases included in the course have been selected to represent the diversity of companies across countries and industries encountered by managers when making strategic decisions at the corporate level. During the case session you will be asked to "step into the shoes? of the protagonist, analyze the situation and propose a course of action supporting your suggestions by arguments grounded in case materials. Prior to the case discussion you will need to prepare and submit a short (up to 2 pages) individual write-up assignment answering preparatory questions, provided for the focal case. During the session I may cold-call participants to initiate the discussion of the case.

Interactive lectures Class discussions will be centered around readings assigned to the session. Assigned readings for the classes are drawn from textbooks, scientific articles and business press. The reading materials are strongly related to the topics discussed in the class. The textbook chapters will provide you with basic understanding of the key concepts, while the articles will outline the point of departure for the class discussions. Students will be expected to be familiar with the assigned readings prior to the class session.

Some of the sections might have invited guest speakers, that will share their experience related to the topic of the session. The guest presentations will be arranged in a Q&A format.

Communication. Reading materials will be available on the eLearning platform along with the updates and announcements. It is therefore important that you check regularly course webpage. Presentation slides will be posted on Moodle latest the day after the session.
Interaction among students and between students and professors enriches the learning outcomes. During the class session students, at their own initiative, are encouraged to participate actively in the class discussion through asking questions and sharing their experience.

Assessment criteria

Class participation 20 %
Case write-ups 20%
Team assignments 30 %
Final exam 30%

Class participation (20 %)

The methodological approach applied in this course is based on active interaction and participation in class discussion. Thus your participation is a paramount for your learning experience. When evaluating your participation, we will be primarily looking at the quality rather than the quantity of your contributions with special emphasis on the relevance and rigor of your comments.

Case write-ups (20%)

Your contributions to the case discussion are expected to add value by illuminating creative and unusual perspectives on the case. You will be asked to submit 4 individual case write-ups (up to 2 pages) before 8:45 am on the day of the class sessions via e-Campus. Remember, we value quality and clarity of the arguments over quantity. Thus, arguments and ability to support them based on the case material will be the key in evaluating your case analysis. You are free to choose which 4 out of 5 cases you would like to submit the write-ups for.

Team assignments (30%)

Company analysis: The key purpose of this assignment is to apply analytical frameworks and concepts discussed during the course to strategic decisions undertaken at the corporate level. Students will work in teams to conduct an in-depth analysis of a strategic choice faced by a corporation. For example you can examine issues related to diversification, or a specific case of potential merger, acquisition or an alliance considered by a firm during the process of strategic expansion. To maximize the learning outcomes, please chose a very recent or current event. The aim of the assignment is to identify a strategic level, analyze the situation and then critically evaluate the range of potential scenarios of action providing recommendations for the management on what in your opinion would be the best course of action.
The outcome of the project is expected to be a written report (15 pages) and a class presentation. Each team will be assigned a 10 minute presentation of a specific topic during one of the sessions. The presentation will be followed by a 10 minute Q&A session.

Video presentation: For one of the case studies ("Aligning all the stars? case; Session 7) your team will be asked to prepare a video presentation as a preparatory assignment. Each group will be assigned one of the versions of the case (A1 or A2) and the purpose of the assignment is to assume the role of the protagonist and prepare a presentation for the upcoming meeting of the board of directors.

Connecting to reality: Each session will start with a short recap from the previous week class lead by one of the teams. During the course your team will be asked to prepare a short (15 mins) class discussion analyzing one of the recent corporate events related to the topic discussed in previous session.


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Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
Yulia Ponomareva Dirección General y Estrategia