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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Business Strategy

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera


In this course you will learn how organizations create, capture, and maintain value. In doing so, you’ll develop an understanding of how and why this process is fundamental for sustainable competitive advantage. You will be able to better understand value creation, and capture and learn the tools to analyze both competition and cooperation from a variety of perspectives, including the industry-level (e.g., five forces analysis) and the firm-level (e.g., business models and strategic positioning). You will be able to: - Understand how managers coordinate different functional areas, resources, and systems inside a company and align them with the external environment to enhance overall performance - Recognize strategic management tools and frameworks and apply them to real business contexts - Process diverse business and industry information to diagnose strategic issues, evaluate strategic alternatives, and formulate a coherent and actionable strategic plan This course is part of Gies College of Business’ suite of online programs, including the iMBA and iMSM. Learn more about admission into these programs and explore how your Coursera work can be leveraged if accepted into a degree program at


  • Course Orientation
    • You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
  • Module 1: Leading Strategically
    • The Leading Strategically module will lay the foundation of business strategy course. You will learn about mission, vision and values and their role in overall strategy landscape. You will learn about the VARS framework for analyzing business models and SWOT framework for understanding the fit and coherence of business strategy.
  • Module 2: External Analysis
    • The Environmental Analysis module will focus on a key aspect of business strategy – analyzing and understanding the external environment of a firm. You will learn about the macro-environment of firms and the PESTEL framework for macro-environmental analysis. You will also learn about firms’ industry environment and understand how to predict industry profitability by using the 5-forces framework.
  • Module 3: Internal Analysis and Competitive Advantage
    • The module on Internal Analysis and Competitive Advantage will provide an in-depth understanding of the origins of unique company strengths and how they can produce a competitive advantage. You will learn about the origins and consequences of fundamental internal differences among firms using the analytical viewpoints of activities, resources, and capabilities. You will be introduced to the strategic tools of value chains, value networks, and the V-R-I framework to help you analyze the implications of these within-firm differences for (sustained) competitive advantage.
  • Module 4: Strategic Positioning and Strategic Renewal
    • The Strategic Positioning and Strategic Renewal module brings together the internal and external aspects of strategic analysis to formulate an overall strategy for the firm. You will learn about the two main “generic strategies” that businesses can pursue, which can be complemented by broad or narrow scope to yield four key types of strategic positioning. You will also learn about “dual” strategies and why and how a firm's strategy must be adapted to strategically renew its positioning.

Taught by

Deepak Somaya


4.7 rating, based on 18 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 1871 ratings

Start your review of Business Strategy

  • Anonymous
    This was an excellent course! I really enjoyed all of the very well-organized videos and Coursera courses. I also really liked Dr. Stepslov and our evenings with him!

    I think if moving forward the two approaches could resolve congruency in the information for test taking, this course will be a total five star!! I am grateful for the knowledge gained in the amazing case studies the professors chose to integrate into the course. You will enjoy this class. Be prepared to study, and learn how to think outside the box so that you integrate the information well from different perspectives and usage of vocabulary. I was very green going into this course. It challenged me beautifully!
  • Anonymous
    The Business Strategy coursera contents were well designed, timed and presented with specific real-life examples by Prof. Deepak Somaya and was engaging. Very clearly articulated and to-the-point concept discussions and industry leaders interviews makes me want to learn more that's one of the takeaway! Good learning experience, I enjoyed it!
  • Anonymous
    I am a PhD candidate in Business Management. I completed this course with enthusiasm and found it to be very useful. The ideas and connection of the theories amphisased in the classes gave me a food for thought. I recommend it to whom interested in business and strategy fields.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed the course very much. Professor was efficient and very knowledgable. The way the course was designed, I was able to learn very important key points and framework and I am using those framework in my next class.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed the class. It covered great topics. The discussions were great and the information gained will enhance my business career.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course on business strategy. Learned relevant frameworks that I could apply in the workplace to boost my career. Thanks!
  • Anonymous
    The best class I've taken on Coursera. The professor did an excellent job explaining topics in an interesting and engaging way. I enjoyed and benefited from his use of soccer (even though I'm a basketball fan) to reinforce business concepts. His teaching skills deserve top marks!
  • Lai Hoong Soh
    This was an excellent course! All the concepts and theories and their applications were clearly explained. Professor Sleptsov's live sessions were engaging and I have tremendously enjoyed the discussions. They hammered in the theoretical concepts effectively.
  • Anonymous
    The professor was extremely clear in presenting information and building on topics throughout the course. However, I wish he would have included at least one female perspective in his "expert" executive interviews. Professor, do you need some contacts?
  • Anonymous
    I have always been interested in strategic management because it is filled with uncertainty and found this course very interesting and spot on. Lessons were easily understandable and I recommend it for anybody interested in business or management.
  • Anonymous
    This course was excellent. The professor delivered the material in an easy to understand format and made an extreme effort to ensure that the class was engaging. I am happy to have had the experience.
  • Anonymous
    Very interesting and excellently delivered course. I learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoy every bit of the course work. I recommend it to manager who want sustained competitive advantage
  • Anonymous
    Really great course! I especially appreciated the immediacy of the course material. No fluff, just substance--it increased my understanding and appreciation of business strategy.
  • Anonymous
    Great course. Touches on all leave of strategic management in business and explore some key dynamics. Great to help understanding of how business management operates.
  • A great course that looked at organization from macro perspective and offered great explanations how organizations manage in highly volatile environments.
  • Anonymous
    Prof. Deepak Somaya's lectures were engaging and interesting. Concepts were explained clearly and he used interesting examples. Enjoyed this course.
  • Anonymous
    Great class, I really enjoyed the course in Coursera. Thank you Professor Somaya. We missed you in High Engagement live class sessions.

  • Profile image for Josh Korman
    Josh Korman
    Great course, I learned a lot from Professor Somaya. Every week introduces new concepts and the Professor eloquently explains the materials.

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