Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization (ISTO)

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Teaching Program Winter 2022/2023

 Course   Description
Strategic Organization Design
The lecture "Strategic Organization Design" deals with how organizations (e.g. companies) should be designed in order to reach their strategic goals. Building upon the fundamentals of strategic and organizational concepts, the focus of this course is especially the interaction between these two fields of research. Based on the individual to company-level analysis, the course will answer questions such as how to design for innovation or how organizations could adapt to a changing environment. The goal of this lecture is to give students an understanding of the theoretical concepts to answer questions of organizational design and the most important methodological instruments available for analyses including econometric and case-based research methods. At the same time, theoretical concepts will be applied to real-world management questions.
How to Compete in Platform Markets
Platform Markets are the fastest growing and most turbulent markets in today's economy. Releasing a constant stream of innovative products, taking-up customers at unprecedented speeds, attracting providers of complementary goods to reach critical mass, and fighting standards battles are just some examples of the unique challenges for managers in these industries. This course is based on the ‘case method’, developed by Harvard Business School (HBS) using real-life case studies of individual companies for educating future managers. We will look in each class session at one of the principal participants in platform markets, e.g. Amazon, Spotify, Uber, and try to identify sources of competitive advantages and understanding their sustainability case-by-case. This is based on individual preparations of each case and small group discussions prior to a full evaluation of potentially successful corporate action plans in the seminar.
Strategic Industry Analysis
The aim of this course is to build on and integrate industrial economics, game theory and management strategy to develop a framework for thinking about competition within markets and industries. Game theory provides the abstract theory of strategic interaction, and microeconomics (specifically industrial economics) provides the background on demand, production and market structures. In this course, we discuss the integration and application of these components in thinking about competitive strategy for firms in markets. We will use simple models to clarify the logic of strategic reasoning, and apply this logic to a number of case studies.
Quantitative Data Analysis (Hauptseminar)
Quantitative research, i.e. research that uses statistical methods to analyses large datasets, is one of the three pillars of modern science. Similarly, most decisions by firms are nowadays based on information from large datasets gathered and analyzed either internally by a firm or externally by a contracted agency. However, just analyzing data is insufficient in both academia and industry. The second important task for researchers and practitioners is to build a clear and convincing argument why their analysis is important and interesting. This seminar aims at teaching you both skills, analyzing data and theoretical reasoning. These skills are fundamental for writing a final theses and career building. The seminar will provide an overview on structuring theoretical arguments and different quantitative methods, before students apply both to examples in the different sessions. Finally, students will use their acquired knowledge and skills to develop their seminar papers using datasets from the institute and the statistical software Python.



 Course   Description
Competitive Strategy
The course “Competitive Strategy” provides answers to the question of how firms can implement strategies to create and sustain a competitive advantage. The lecture introduces students to the most important strategy-related theories and literatures. The theoretical concepts will be tied back to real life examples especially from technology-intensive industries. Firstly, the course defines critical concepts and the main components of the strategic leadership and management process. Then, strategies are presented that managers can pursue to achieve superior performance and provide their company with a competitive advantage. Students become familiar with the forces that shape competition in a company’s external environment and discuss techniques for identifying strategic opportunities and threats. After that, the lecture explores the basis of competitive advantage at the level of the individual company through internal analysis. Adding to that, students learn how functional-level strategies can help a company achieve superior efficiency, quality, innovation, and customer responsiveness. In the following, the various business-level strategies that a company can use to compete effectively in a business and in an industry are discussed. This analysis is extended by considering the different competitive strategies that firms can and should adopt as they enter different industry environments. Moreover, the course focuses on the strategies and concepts that are unique to high-technology industries. Later on, the lecture explains corporate-level strategies and more specific, the different strategic choices that companies make with regard to horizontal and vertical integration. This is followed by the topic of diversification into more than one business, which is the corporate-level strategy for growth, with a special focus on the difference between related and unrelated diversification. Lastly, the course outlines how managers can best achieve competitive advantage and superior performance by discussing the main elements of strategy implementation—structure, control systems, and culture.
New Products
The course is a compulsory prerequisite for a specialization in Innovation. It provides foundations for students who wish to specialize in the topics addressed by the Institutes* organizing this introductory master-level course. Successful participation in this class contributes 9 ECTS toward the fulfillment of the requirements of the M.Sc. curriculum. The course also serves as an introductory course to the IMPRS-CI curriculum.
Empirics of Organizations
This seminar is targeted at both Master of Science and Master of Business Research students with a broad interest in organization topics, especially with an empirical approach. The seminar will provide insights on scientific methods and the process of research, focusing on applications in organization design and strategic organization research. After lecture sessions, students will work on a short proposal for a research project.
Frontiers in Strategy Research
This course is targeted at Master of Science students with an interest in strategy. It aims to provide them with insights on "hot topics" in strategic management research. The course is conducted as a guided reading group. That means participants will read academic papers on a group of topics that will form the basis of a discussion in class. Additionally, for each topic a group of students will dig deeper and give a presentation outlining a proposal for a research project. The course has two goals: First, students will gain an overview of the evolution of several “hot topics" in strategy research. Second, they will learn to critically read academic papers, enabling them to assess causal arguments and the merits of different research designs. We expect the course to be useful as a preparation for a master thesis in the field of strategy. 
Thinking Strategically: Competing for Competitive Advantage (ETD)
For more information click on the link to the LSF.
Presentations and Reports (MBR students only)
Scientific Publications (MBR students only)
In this course, students are introduced to the "publication game". The course deals with thoughts about how to generate research ideas and how to plan a research project, how to position a paper and how to manage the R&R process. The pros and cons of different publication strategies are discussed. Students will also learn on which criteria editors and reviewers base their decisions about a submission. Thereby, the course helps to understand and to manage the publication process. Emerging, developments, trends, and issues in conducting and publishing academic research will be discussed.
Simulation Methods (MBR students only)
Experimental Methods (MBR students only)
DataCamp (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.