ECO 351M • Managerial Economics
This writing-component course is a study of the strategies economic theory offers business managers for creating sustainable competitive advantages. Strategies for sustainable competitive advantage are a natural topic, since profitable advantages often have brief life spans in competitive markets. The approach in the course is to bring theory and actual business practice together. The text presents the economics of some major strategy elements and also presents real examples of their use. A set of business case readings provides in-depth information about efforts by managers of firms in a range of industries to establish or maintain competitive advantages. Some examples of the topics covered are product & service differentiation, pricing plans, mergers & acquisitions, the evaluation of strategic alternatives, business model innovation, and risk measurement and management. The text and business case readings cover a sequence of topic areas over the semester. In most of these areas a "focus question" about the associated business case or other reading will provide the basis for a short (two-page) 'case write-up'. The case write-up is an organized response to the focus question, using concepts we have developed in the course. Students should plan on writing and turning in at least four of these two-page case write-ups over the semester. There is also a short course paper, essentially a business case study.