Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization (ISTO)

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Teaching Program Summer 2022

 Course   Description
START with Business Modelling
The theoretical foundations for developing a business model wit the "Business Model Canvas" tool are laid in seven plenary lectures. In addition, so-called "soft skills" are taught in the course. All students have the opportunity to work in small teams to develop a BMC report for a real business model and to present its results. During the semester, the students have to present their results and progress in an accompanying exercise. In the exercises, you will receive detailed feedback from trained assistants. In addition, each team is supported by an experienced student tutor, who takes on the role of a mentor for the team.
Competition & Strategy
This course focuses on an applied analysis of competition. Important concepts from industrial organization, game theory, product life-cycle analysis, and industry evolution are discussed. Additionally, important characteristics of network industries such as network effects and standard setting are considered. The concept of competition used in this course is interpreted broadly and also encompasses the analysis of strategic cooperation between firms.
Management and Economics of Platforms
Nowadays platforms are ubiquitous and range from social media to e-commerce, payment networks, and operating systems. The platforms operate as intermediaries (e.g., Amazon, iOS, Tinder) in business-to-business and business-to-consumer environments as well as among individuals. The drivers of platform markets’ success are complex, and they can be generally summarized into network effects, technology diffusion, and users’ switching costs. In addition, platforms markets introduced new business models and novel pricing structures, which reshaped both the competition between firms and their relationship with consumers.
Technology & Strategy
The focus of this course on the strategic management of technological innovations is motivated by the fact that technological innovation is now the most important driver of competitive success in many industries. Within this course, we first focus on the foundations of technological innovations by discussing the sources of innovations, types and patterns of innovation, and market entry. The second part of the course deals with formulating a firm’s technological innovation strategy. In this part of the course, we discuss how firms define their strategic direction, choose innovation projects, collaborate with others, and protect their innovations. Finally, we focus on the implementation of the technological innovation strategy. We handle questions on how firms organize for innovations, how they manage their new product development process and their product development teams, and how to craft a deployment strategy.
Organizations, Incentives and Employment
The course introduces students to models of incentives within the firm, the latest in behavioral economic research, theories of personnel economics, and the latest research emerging from the platform economy and its impact on employment. It then applies these models to analyze current organizational, human resource management and internal labour market issues and problems. The course content will be largely based on the prototypical Anglo-Saxon firm and labor market environment. As this corporate form is fast becoming the norm in most developing parts of the world, it is important that we cast our gaze more rigorously on it.
Building Theory for Innovation & Strategy Research
The process of building on the extant knowledge by developing and testing theories has been a critical part of academic research. This course provides an introduction to theory building in Innovation Strategy research. By discussing the fundamental issues, the course provides guidelines for framing a research problem, theory development, theory testing and writing an academic research piece.
Platforms in Creative Industries Powerful platforms have emerged across all areas of the digital economy. Together with increased availability of digital technologies, they have altered the way value is created, delivered, and consumed. These changes are particularly notable in creative industries - e.g. music, videos, games, and books. This has raised many important questions for creatives, managers, and regulators about how to effectively produce and distribute creative goods, as well as regulatory challenges.



 Course   Description
Project Course Strategy, Technology and Organization
The Project Course Strategy, Technology and Organization provides students in the M.Sc. program an opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life project situations. For the duration of the semester, teams of three to four students will work on projects with partner companies (contacts will be provided by the Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization). The project topics will focus mainly on strategic and organizational questions in high-technology industries.
Qualitative Research (MBR students only)
This course will guide students through the different techniques to collect and analyze qualitative evidence.
Causal Inference (MBR students only)
The aim of this bootcamp is to help participants become better consumers and producers of empirical work. The primary content of the bootcamp deals with problems in causal inference and the methods that address them. The pedagogical approach relies on four tools: 1. The Potential Outcomes Framework, 2. Directed Acyclical Graphs (DAGs), 3. Very Simple Econometrics, 4. Monte Carlo Simulations. The goal is neither to provide a fully-encompassing empirical methods course - which would be impossible in such a short period of time - nor to substitute for more theoretical courses in econometrics. Rather, the bootcamp is designed to be a practical introduction to the central concepts, helping students develop an intuitive grasp of key issues and ideas, an providing practical tools and the most up-to-date resources for participants.
Data Science with Data Camp (MBR students only)
We are witnessing a fundamental shift into big data and programming in our research routine. Many of the MBR courses assume a specific knowledge of Python. With this course, students have the opportunity to learn in advance how to code in Python, so that they can exploit the MBR courses' contents fully. 
Data Crawling (MBR students only)
The increasing availability of structured data on the Internet is becoming an important data source for research in economics and management. However, much of the structured data cannot be readily downloaded but can only be accessed through websites. The manual extraction of content from websites is burdensome and becomes with increasing size of the underlying data quickly unfeasible. One solution is to systematically extract this data with automated programs written for this purpose, so called crawlers. The goal of this course is to provide a good understanding about the possibilities of crawling, while also giving enough time to work on your own crawling project.