Sample Syllabi

We would like to thank members of the STR community for sharing syllabi from their recent PhD, MBA and Undergraduate strategy courses.  These syllabi include online, face-to-face and hybrid formats.

Several experienced scholars have made their syllabi available on this website. If you teach your first strategy class - or think about revising your strategy class - these syllabi can provide some helpful inspiration. There are a few things you can take away from studying other people’s syllabi: a) you see how people communicate with students (the syllabus is typically the first way how student hear from a professor), b) you learn about the material that these professors use (e.g., what readings and/or cases they use), and c) you can learn about their pedagogy.

As you think about your class, it is also helpful to be aware of different overarching frameworks in strategy. Please note that the following list is neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive. While in your teaching you can pick whatever works for you, it is probably good to keep in mind these five frameworks that are used in most top 20 MBA programs:

  • Classic strategy (e.g., Porter, Ghemawat, Collis/Montgomery, Rivkin)
  • Value-Based Strategy (e.g., Brandenburger/Stuart)
  • Resource Based View (e.g., Barney, Wernerfelt, Prahalad/Hamel)
  • Economics (e.g., Spulber, Besanko, Cabral, Saloner)
  • Behavioral strategy (e.g., Gavetti, Fang)

PhD Teaching

Congratulations - you have the great joy and privilege of teaching a PhD class. You should also see it as a great sign of trust that your department allows you to teach the PhDs - the next generation of management scholars.

Obviously, your students will benefit from your teaching - but you will also benefit from teaching a PhD class. For many, the discussions regarding assumptions, insights, and causal mechanisms underlying various approaches to studying strategy problems that form the foundation of many PhD classes provides an excellent mechanism to combine research and teaching. It is a great way to (re-)familiarize yourself with selected readings. You can also learn from your students as they may respond differently to readings.

In the following you find the PhD syllabi from various experienced scholars. You can use these to learn about which topics they teach, how they aggregate papers to a particular topic etc.. You may also find these syllabi helpful to learn about some papers in a domain you are not familiar with.

PhD Syllabi:

Professor Juan Alcacer, Harvard U., The Foundations of Strategy, Fall, 2019

Professor Heather Berry, George Washington U. Seminar in International Management, Fall, 2019

Professor Felipe Csaszar, U. of Michigan, Seminar on Models of Organizational Cognition, Winter, 2016

Professor Felipe Csaszar, U. of Michigan, Seminar in Strategy, Fall, 2020

Professor Giada Di Stefano, Bocconi U., Corporate Strategy Seminar, 2020-2021.

Professor Michael Leiblein, Ohio State U. PhD Survey in Strategic Management, Fall, 2019

Professor Michael Leiblein, Ohio State U., Research Methods in Strategic Management, Fall, 2020

Professor Aseem Kaul, U. of Minnesota, Seminar in Strategy, Spring 2020

Professor Aseem Kaul, U. of Minnesota, Seminar in Nonmarket Strategy, Fall, 2020

Professor Rich Makadok, Purdue U., Seminar in Strategic Management:  Economic Perspectives on Business Strategy, 2020

Professor Rich Makadok, Purdue U., Strategy Paper Development Doctoral Seminar, Spring, 2019

Professor Govert Vroom, IESE, Strategic Management, Fall, 2019

MBA Teaching

The MBA syllabus is quite crucial. You can only make one first impression - and the syllabus may be the first piece of information that students receive from you. It is a form of a contract you make with your students in terms of the content, requirements, and approach. Also, the syllabus provides structure to your class. You specify what you teach and to a certain degree also the pedagogy. It is thus worthwhile to put effort into it.

In the following you find syllabi that various scholars have kindly shared. These syllabi are for courses that cover core strategic management content as well as electives that address popular extensions or more topical areas. All of these syllabi are helpful to learn about the topics various professors teach, and also how they teach them (for example, which cases do they use for which topic).

While we hope you are inspired by some of these examples, we also strongly suggest you coordinate with other faculty in the department. If many of your colleagues are teaching the same class as you, it may be worthwhile to use the same cases and exercises. However, if the courses are different and are supposed to be complementary, you probably want to avoid a situation where you teach the same case as your colleague.

MBA Syllabi:

[Faculty Group], Harvard MBA Core Strategy Course, Spring 2020 (partially case-based; 25 sessions)

Professor Paolo Aversa, Cass Business School, Core Strategy, Full Time MBA Core Strategy, Fall 2020 (partially case-based; 7 sessions, 110-minute sessions)

Professor Felipe Csaszar, U. of Michigan, MBA Corporate Strategy, Fall, 2020 (Completely case-based; 12 sessions, 135-minute sessions)

Professors Colleen Cunningham and Francisco Brahm, London Business School, MBA Core Strategy, Fall 2020 (Completely case-based; 10 sessions)

Professors Giada Di Stefano and Charlie Williams, Bocconi, MBA Corporate Strategy, 2019-2020. (partially case-based; 21 sessions, 195 & 90-minute sessions)

Professor Glenn Hoetker, U. of Melbourne, Online Strategic Management, Fall, 2017 (partially case-based; 6 sessions)

Professor Kenneth Huang, National U. of Singapore, EMBA Corporate Strategy, 2019 (partially case-based; 18 sessions, 80-minute sessions)

Professor Aseem Kaul, U. of Minnesota, Strategic Management, Fall, 2019 (Completely case-based; 12 sessions, 200-minute sessions)

Professor Marvin Lieberman, UCLA, Market Entry Strategy, Spring, 2019 (partially case-based; 10 sessions, 170-minute sessions)

Professor Will Mitchell, U of Toronto, Strategy in Emerging Markets, Summer, 2020 (Completely case-based; 8 sessions, 180-minute sessions)

Professor Will Mitchell, U. of Toronto, International Strategy, Spring, 2020 (Completely case-based; 12 sessions, 120-minute sessions)

Professor Jacquelyn Pless, MIT, Innovation Strategy, Fall, 2020 (partially case-based; 12 sessions, 90-minute sessions)

Professor Hart Posen, U of Wisconsin, Strategy, Spring, 2020 (partially case-based; 20 sessions, 75-minute sessions)

Professor Hart Posen, U. of Wisconsin, Evening, Part-time MBA Strategy, Fall, 2020 (partially case-based; 13 sessions, 160-minute sessions)

Professor Rich Makadok, Purdue U., MBA Hybrid Core Strategy, Spring, 2020 (Completely case-based; 8 weeks, 240-minute sessions per week)

Professor Louise Mors, Copenhagen Business School, MBA Core Strategic Management, March 2020 (Completely case-based; 11 sessions)

Professor Melissa Schilling, NYU, Strategic Management, Fall, 2018 (Completely case-based; 13 sessions, 170-minute sessions)

Professor Brian Silverman, U. of Toronto, MBA Strategic Management, Fall, 2020 (partially case-based; 12 sessions)

Professor Govert Vroom, IESE, EMBA Competitive Strategy, Fall, 2020 (partially case-based; 14 sessions)

Undergrad Syllabi:

[Faculty Group], U. of Minnesota, Business Strategy, Fall, 2020 (partially case-based; 15 sessions, 75-minute sessions)

Do you have an innovative undergraduate or graduate syllabus that would benefit the STR community? Please "create a new library entry" in the Sample Syllabi materials folder on the Teaching Resources Library page.