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Macquarie University

Strategic management: Be competitive

Macquarie University via Coursera


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The ability to think strategically in today’s global, high-tech business environment is critical to ensuring your organisation survives – and grows – into the future. By breaking down business strategy and value creation to its essential elements, you’ll develop your strategic thinking skills. And through structured learning activities including video lectures, quizzes, discussion prompts and written assessments you’ll discover how to improve your organisation’s competitiveness. This course focuses on the key principles behind the latest thinking in value co-creation, strategy and marketing, and teaches you how to apply them. By learning how to continuously plan, monitor, analyse and assess all that is necessary for an organisation to meet its goals and objectives, you will be better prepared to take your organisation forward in a viable strategic direction.


  • The importance of value for competitive strategy
    • This week you will be introduced to the strategy framework that captures the components of competitive strategy. The components of competitive strategy are: strategy content, internal strategy context, and external strategy context. You will develop an understanding of how those components contribute to value creation and value capture. You will gain understanding of the key characteristics of competitive strategy, starting with two foundational topics: First, we will establish that organisations are all about value creation. You will understand what value means, and also how value creation has become a central topic in organisations. Second, you will learn about what strategy actually is and what the characteristics of competitive strategy are.
  • Know your Customers and Competitors
    • This week you will learn to analyse the aspects of the external strategy context directly related to your business: customers and competitors. You will learn how to conduct customer segmentation and targeting, assess the competitive landscape in an industry, and know which factors affect the degree of competition in an industry.
  • Know your industry
    • This week you will continue to look at the external strategy context, this time analysing the industry and the broader macro-environment. You will learn how to discover the stakeholders that affect your industry, know which industry forces affect competitive strategies,and identify which macro-environmental factors affect competitive strategies. You will develop understanding of the Porter's 5 Forces framework to analyse the forces in the industry context. You will also learn how to conduct a PESTEL analysis to assess the impact of Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental/physical and Legal (PESTEL) factors on business.
  • Know your competitive options
    • This week, you will focus on the competitive strategy content. you will learn about the so-called generic competitive strategies, which are also often called positioning strategies. After conducting customer segmentation, competitor analysis, and a macro-environmental scan, you have to decide which competitive strategy and strategic positioning is most promising in your industry and for the respective segments: differentiating your products based on provided benefits or following a low cost strategy?You will develop skills to help you understand how to position your organisation as a value for money provider by being a cost leader in the market, and how to become a differentiated provider.
  • Know your organisation
    • This week, you will learn how to analyse your organisation’s strategic options. You will understand the importance of strategic fit and how to achieve it. You will learn how to assess key capabilities to competitive strategy, and evaluate and choose between strategic options. You will learn about a set of criteria and frameworks, based on the Resource Based View, to evaluate capabilities and strategic options to achieve competitive advantage.
  • Develop and evaluate your strategic options
    • This week, you will be introduced to the idea of ambidexterity and the need to set up your strategy to exploit current advantages and opportunities, while simultaneously using your resources & capabilities to form new advantages. This week you will learn how to develop growth strategies for your organisation by thinking about your organisation as a portfolio of businesses. You will learn about analytical frameworks such as the growth share matrix and the Ansoff matrix. You will learn how to come up with new value offerings for your customers by applying blue ocean thinking to create value propositions.

Taught by

Associate Professor Ralf Wilden


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 309 ratings

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