Foundations of Strategy
27 Class hours
General Information (including price and registration): https://phdsupport.nemtilmeld.dk/49/
Registration deadline: 17th March at 11:59pm
Hans Christian Kongsted (email@example.com)
Johannes Luger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Louise Mors (email@example.com)
Julia Bodner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thomaz Teodorovicz (email@example.com)
Kistina Dahlin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Xu Li (email@example.com)
Francesco Di Lorenzo, Associate Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates (see detailed scheduled)
April 18th – 26th, 2023
Aim of the course
The aim of this course is to offer an introduction to the theoretical foundation in the field of Strategy, as well as an overview on the primary topics in Strategy-related research. In addition, quantitative methods typical in Strategy research will be discussed.
Course content and Structure
The course provides an overview on the most relevant theoretical traditions and topics and as well as more recent empirical developments used in the research field of Strategic Management. The aim is to offer students: i) comprehensive understanding about the foundations, assumptions and implications of economic and organizational theoretical perspectives, ii) overview of the areas of research iii) introduction about empirical methodologies. Ideally, at the end of the course students are able to engage in theory-building activities, selecting and employing theoretical approaches more appropriately linked to the economic and organizational foundations of the field of Strategy. In addition, students are able to identify suitable empirical methods and approaches in line with those more familiarly used in Strategy, and specific to the primary topic of interest. The course aims to be a balanced combination of Organizational Theory and Topics in Strategy.
More specifically, these are 3 main areas developed during the course:
1. Economic and Organizational Theories in Strategic Management
2. Topics in Strategy Research
The structure of the course is based on 2 main activities and related objective:
- Lecture. In session papers-based discussion supported/guided by lecturing.
- Reading. Preparation of the mandatory readings for each session to come.
The course includes 9 lecture-based sessions of 3 hours each. The sessions will be conducted in a highly interactive manner involving students in leading discussions on the assigned readings.
The course is based on a high level of student involvement. Students are expected to be thoroughly prepared and to take an active part in the presentation and discussion of the material. Given the high content-to-time ratio, teaching is based on lecturing, illustrations and discussions and its success is predicated on interactive student involvement.
To obtain the course certificates the participants are expected to show a high level of preparation and class participation. Minimum 80% attendance is required.
The delivery can be either of these options:
1. A research proposal on a specific topic in Strategy covered during the course, highlighting the research gap/opportunity, arguing what would be an ideal theoretical foundation for such study and why, and describing the possible methodology and explaining the reasons of the choice.
2. A reflection on current ongoing research (chapter of the thesis, working paper, thesis proposal section, etc…) revisited from either a theoretical perspective or from a methodological perspective. It is not relevant, in this case, that the topic of discussion falls into the primary topics discussed during the course.
Format: max 5 pages (all included), 1-inch margin all around, Times New Roman, 12 pt, 1.5 interline space.
Schedule (minor adjustments might apply)
Sessions Description and Literature
Session 1-3 Economic and Organizational Theories
In the three introductory sessions, we will learn about important theories frequently applied in the Strategic Management domain (Resource based view (RBV), Knowledge based view (KBV), Behavioral Theory of the Firm (BTOF), Agency Theory (AT), Transaction Cost Economics (TCE), Resource Dependency Theory (RDT), and Evolutionary Theory (ET)). The sessions will be highly interactive, discussion-oriented. For example, we will discuss the foundational readings of each theory (marked with a * in the reading list) and students will be assigned to act as "experts" for certain theories. We will also debate important phenomena in management (e.g., acquisitions, market-entry decisions, etc.) by taking alternative theoretical perspectives on them. Eventually, all this should help and familiarize students when working with alternative theories on their Ph.D. topic.
Session 4 Corporate Strategy
This session of the Ph.D. Foundations of Strategy course summarizes major streams of research on Corporate Strategy that answer the question, "How do managers set and oversee the scope of firms?" and relates to phenomena like acquisitions, alliances, or divestments.
Together, our goal in the seminar is for students to gain an overview of these phenomena and related theoretical lenses, foundations, and existing and ongoing work to foster a possible discussion around gaps and potential future developments in this work. To achieve this, we give special attention to seminal work and articles that summarize the development of the work on corporate strategy. We also rely heavily on students reading assigned materials and thinking critically about linkages of the discussed topics with literature and readings from other sessions.
Session 5 Innovation Strategy
Innovation and technical strategy are topics covered by many academic disciplines and levels of analysis. One stream of research started off in the R&D labs of the 1950s and 60s studied engineers and information flows, while a second stream is based on Schumpeter's 1930 (in English 1942) creative destruction concept that describes how technological change nullifies competitive advantages of established firms, was picked up by management in the 1960s and has become a central theory in strategy and has bifurcated into different streams.
Session 6 Strategic Human Capital
In this session we will learn and discuss the study of human capital – i.e., the knowledge and skills of individuals that provide work for an organization – as a strategic resource for an organization. Specifically, we will follow the evolution of how strategy scholars conceptualize human capital as a source of competitive advantage to organizations.
Session 7 Networks and Social Structure
This session will cover the readings that lay the foundations for a network perspective on strategy. The foundations of network theory as used as a lens to study organizations comes from sociology. We will discuss the theory and fundamental concepts and measures utilized in this perspective. Finally, we will talk about potential applications to the field of strategic management. This list of optional readings is long in order to add to your library of readings.
Session 8 Institutional Environment and Organizations
Brief introduction: This session focuses on how various institutional forces in an organization's environment impact its behavior and performance outcome.
Session 9 Quantitative Methods
The session "Methods in Strategy: Quantitative" will help students to be able to identify suitable econometrics approaches and data sources in line with those commonly used in Strategy. It will also highlight some of the challenges and potential pitfalls that are commonly encountered.
Francesco Di Lorenzo
Copenhagen Business School