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HARVARD UNIVERSITY

GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION


George F. Baker Foundation

COMPETITION AND STRATEGY


Summer 1999

COURSE OUTLINE AND ADMINISTRATION

Professor Kenneth S. Corts


Professor Michael E. Porter
Professor Jan W. Rivkin

COURSE OUTLINE
Module / sub-module
From Functions to Strategy

Foundations
of
Competitive
Strategy

Industry
Structure

Competitive
Advantage

Competitive
Dynamics

Date

Class

Reading
Corts, Porter, and Rivkin, Introduction to
Competition and Strategy
Porter, What Is Strategy? (Reprint 96608)
Begin to read: Corts and Rivkin, A Note on
Microeconomics for Strategists (N9-799-128)

Prior to
May 10

May 10

Intel Corp: 1968-1997 (9-797-137)

May 11

Intel Corp: 1968-1997 (9-797-137), continued


Course introduction

Porter, How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy


(Reprint 79208)

May 12

The Offshore Drilling Industry in 1998 (N9-799-111)

Complete by now: Corts and Rivkin, A Note on


Microeconomics for Strategists (N9-799-128)
through Section III

May 13

The Aluminum Industry in 1994 (N9-799-129)


Aluminum Smelting in South Africa: Alusafs Hillside
Project (N9-799-130)

Complete by now: Corts and Rivkin, A Note on


Microeconomics for Strategists (N9-799-128)

May 17

A Hundred-Year War: Coke vs. Pepsi, 1890s-1990s


(N9-799-117)

May 19

CF Motorfreight in 1992 (9-793-100)

May 21

R&B Falcon (N9-799-110)

May 24

Husky Injection Molding Systems (N9-399-137)

May 25

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (9-794-024)

May 26

Nucor at a Crossroads (9-793-039)

June 1

Airborne Express (A) (N9-798-070)

June 2

Airborne Express (A) (N9-798-070), continued


Module summary

June 10

Bitter Competition: The Holland Sweetener Co. vs.


NutraSweet (A) (9-794-079)

June 11

Progressive Corporation (9-797-109)

Begin to read: Ghemawat and Rivkin, Creating


Competitive Advantage (N9-798-062)

Complete by now: Ghemawat and Rivkin, Creating


Competitive Advantage (9-798-062)

Porter, A Framework for Competitor Analysis in


Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing
Industries and Competitors, New York: The Free
Press (1980).

June 14

Matching Dell (N9-399-139)

June 15

Matching Dell (N9-399-139), continued

June 21

Eckerd Drugs (N9-799-141)

June 23

Eckerd Drugs (N9-799-141), continued


Module summary

June 24

Novo Industri (9-389-148)

June 29

The California Wine Cluster (N9-799-124)

July 1

Robert Mondavi: Competitive Strategy (N9-799-125)

July 2

CFM International, Inc. (9-792-097)

July 7

Module summary

July 9

The Walt Disney Company (A): Corporate Strategy


(1-388-147)

July 12

Cooper Industries Corporate Strategy (A) (9-391-095)

July 14

Vivendi: Revitalizing a French Conglomerate (N9799-019)

July 15

EnClean: Malcolm Waddells Story (A) (9-794-115)

July 19

Yahoo!: Business on Internet Time (N9-399-138)

July 21

Leadership Online: Barnes & Noble vs. Amazon.com


(9-798-063)

July 26

Retail Financial Services in the Late 1990s (N9-799127)

July 27

Edward Jones (N9-799-126)

Conclusion

July 30

Course Wrap-up

Final Exam

August 3

Competition
and Location

Corporate Strategy

Industry Transformation

Ghemawat, Strategy and the Business Landscape,


Reading: Addison-Wesley (1999), pp. 84-105.

Begin to read excerpt from Porter, Competing Across


Locations: Enhancing Competitive Advantage
through a Global Strategy in On Competition,
Boston: Harvard Business School Press (1998).

Complete by now: Porter, Competing Across


Locations

Porter, From Competitive Advantage to Corporate


Strategy (Reprint 87307)
Collis and Montgomery, Creating Corporate
Advantage (Reprint 98303)

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTES
Assignments
Assignments for class will be posted on the Course Platform and updated there.
Assignments for each week will be finalized by the preceding Thursday at 5 PM. We will try to
notify you during class of any late changes to the assignments, but the Course Platform is the
definitive source of information. Please check it regularly.
We will use pre-class polls for some cases. The polls are important, and completing the
polls will be treated as part of your class participation.
Grading
Class participation will account for 50% of your grade. At the beginning of the term,
each instructor will discuss how he evaluates participation. We expect you to attend all classes
and be actively engaged in the discussion. In the case of excused absences from class (see the
guidelines provided by the MBA Program Office), please notify your C&S instructor in advance,
if at all possible.
A final exam, based on a case, will account for the remaining 50% of your grade. We
encourage you to prepare for the final exam by writing up your analyses of selected cases during
the course. The cases on Nucor, Airborne Express, Eckerd, and Edward Jones would be
appropriate cases to use as practice for the final exam. For each of these cases, one of the
instructors will hold a lunchtime session to discuss what a good exam might include.
Our goal is that each and every member of the January cohort master the core concepts
of C&S. Accordingly, we will hold a number of lunchtime, course-wide sessions during the term
to reinforce concepts that might be new and puzzling to some students (e.g., microeconomics,
quantitative analyses in C&S). These sessions, which are purely optional, will be scheduled later
in the term.
Visitors
The CEOs of several of the case companies will visit class during the term and share
their perspectives on the discussion. To accommodate their busy calendars, we will occasionally
have to configure the class schedule in odd ways. Please watch the Course Platform for details.
The Use of Data Outside the Case
A strategy case usually addresses a defining moment in a companys life. Consequently,
you may know what choices the company made and how the company fared afterwards.
However, we are interested in the concepts and analyses that should have informed those
choices, not the choices themselves. Also, many companies have made poor strategic decisions.
It is expected that you work purely from the data in the case and not be blinded by what
transpired after the close of the case. It is particularly important that outside information not be
introduced into class discussion because it could undermine the learning of others.
If you are particularly familiar with a company or industry and would like to comment on
the case from that perspective, please let your instructor know this before class.