Nicolaj Siggelkow

David M Knott Professor

MBA Teaching


This class is designed to be an upper-level course in strategy. It provides concepts and ideas for the tool-kit of the manager involved in the strategy process. We start out with the question of how value can be created and, more importantly, appropriated. This leads to the general issue of how a competitive advantage can be built. We will focus in our discussion on new concepts that have been developed around the notions of complementarities and fit. In the next section of the course, we look at the question of what decisions managers can make to sustain a competitive advantage. In the last section of the course, we will be dealing with strategy making in the face of environmental changes.

You can find the full syllabus here: SYLL16-MGMT701  


Professor Siggelkow teaches the first module of this course.

The management of enterprises creates a range of multi-faceted challenges for the general manager. A general manager needs to understand the internal workings of a firm, how to assess and create a strategy, and how to take into account increasing globalization. While these issues are distinct, they are very much intertwined. As a result, this course will provide you with an integrated view of these challenges and show you that successful management in the 21st century requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy.

The first part of the course will deal with fundamental issues of strategy, examining issues central to the long- and short-term competitive position of an enterprise. We will develop a set of analytical frameworks that will enable you to explain performance differences among firms and that provide a structure for strategic decisions to enhance firms’ future competitive positions. We will cover strategy both at the business unit level, introducing tools of industry analysis and competitive positioning, and at the corporate level, examining the economic logic for firms to diversify across businesses and for vertical integration decisions across stages of the industry value chain.

 The second part of the course stresses the fact that organizational life is built around a complex interplay of social forces. Networks of cooperation, group conflicts, systems of power and influence, career paths, and reward systems shape how people and organizations manage and are managed. In this part of the course, we will create a framework for analyzing the impact of these social forces on individuals, groups, and the organization.

 The third part of the course stresses the deep and persistent cross-national differences in economic, political, legal and social institutions that affect the strategy, business model, and performance of firms. Our primary focus will be on the opportunities and challenges of internationalizing firms and operating in emerging markets.

You can find the full syllabus here: Mgmt 613 Syllabus 2016

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