STR463 Strategy and Technology
Autumn 2023Spring 2024
The question of how technology affects the behavior and performance of firms has occupied the minds of scholars and managers for decades. Technology defines on a large measure the opportunity space for decision makers along key strategic dimensions. The course embraces a broad understanding of technology as the application of scientific insights and knowledge to practical problems and uses recent developments (such as digitalization and digital technologies) to showcase technology as enabling force and contextual factor for strategy and the outcomes it produces. In times of increasing technologization of social and economic life, it is paramount for business and management students to develop a sound understanding of the relationship between technology and technological shift on the one hand and firm conduct and performance on the other. This course seeks to advance this understanding, by taking three angles on this relationship:
- Business-unit perspective: competitive- or business-strategy focus, related to building and defending sustainable competitive advantage in (mature and emerging) industries
- Corporate perspective: corporate-strategy focus, related to the nature of the multi-business firm, horizontal diversification, and vertical integration
- Spatial perspective: global-strategy focus, related to the interaction between strategy and geographic space in the array of nations and the contextual differences between foreign markets
Knowledge - upon successful completion of the course, the student…
- has acquired comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of theories and research in the area of strategy and the strategic management of technology and technological innovation,
- has developed updated knowledge about the key principles that underpin corporate, competitive, and global advantage in the era of digitization and digital transformation,
- has gained sound understanding of the qualitative changes that new technology and technology shift spur in the behavior of firms, and how these conducts link up to performance and survival,
- is aware of the potential contributions of new technologies to sustainable growth and knows about the ethical issues involved in creating and capturing value from new technologies.
Skills - upon successful completion of the course, the student…
- can judge the relevance of new technology and technological trends for the fields of corporate, competitive, and global strategy,
- can keep up to date with and make use of new evidence and knowledge on how and under what condition new technologies impact the behavior of firms, including their performance and survival prospects,
- can analyze the interplay of strategy and technology in specific industries and draw conclusions from this analysis that can be transferred to other industry contexts,
- is able to realistically assess the potential of new technologies to create value that fosters sustainable growth and can balance business interests of value capture with ethical considerations of fair value distribution.
General competences - upon successful completion of the course, the student…
- can communicate effectively with academic and practitioner audiences on questions related to technological transition and its implications for firms and their behavior,
- can collaborate with others to analyze on and make sense of unstructured and complex business situations exhibiting uncertainty and change,
- is capable of recognizing the international dimension of technological transition and its implication for firms and their strategies around the globe,
- is capable of reflecting on and taking into account sustainability and ethical issues in connection with business’ conduct to create and capture value from new technologies.
The course is structured in three thematic blocks of four consecutive weeks each, one block devoted to each of the three angles taken on the strategy-technology relationship outlined above.
Each of the blocks consists of three weeks with in-class lectures and on-demand videos on selected theories and frameworks as main teaching methods, followed by one week where students work in teams of 2-3 to finalize their group assignments. To complete a thematic block and progress with the next, students need to submit their group assignments and in addition pass an online quiz on the content of the respective thematic block. In addition, student groups provide a short, written peer review of the group assignments handed in by other groups. These other groups provide a short response to peer reviews they receive.
After the last thematic block, students will have the opportunity to present their final portfolio of group assignments to class and receive feedback that they can integrate before the final submission and its assessment.
We will invite guest speakers and lecturers as we go along, who provide first-hand insights and expert views on selected topics touched in the three thematic blocks covered in the course.
Credit reduction due to overlap
No credit reduction due to overlaps.
- Submission of three group assignments over the semester
- Submission (and rating) of two peer reviews of another group assignment
- Passing three (online) multiple choice quizzes
- 2-3 students in each group (same group each time)
The assessment is based on portfolio of three written group assignments prepared over the semester (submitted for course approval). 2-3 students in each group (same group each time).
A list of mandatory and supplementary readings will be provided via Leganto (Canvas) in due time. The list will be extended and complemented on a flexible, on-demand basis as we go along. Students are expected to prepare 1-2 mandatory readings for each in-class lecture.
- ECTS Credits
- Teaching language
Spring. Offered spring 2023.
Associate Professor Björn Schmeisser