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Purdue Master's
Analytical Insight, Global Leaders

Krannert Full-Time MBA | Strategic Management Concentration

What is Strategic Management?

Why have some firms become dominant in their industries whereas others have faded into obscurity? How can one company continually report profits, while its competitors frequently lose money? Why do some mergers or acquisitions result in substantial increase in shareholder value, whereas others result in losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars? Do these companies succeed or fail because some are luckier, day-after-day, or is it something else?

The Krannert full time MBA strategic management concentration or option area is built on the premise that managers make decisions that influence the overall success of their organizations. We concentrate on how top managers create and maximize value for their stakeholders, how companies compete against each other in the quest of achieving high performance and market victories, and how and why some companies are successful while others are not.

The primary task of strategy is the allocation and commitment of critical resources over relatively long periods of time in pursuit of specific goals and objectives. Strategic decisions take account of the conditions that prevail within the industry environment, both favorable and unfavorable, and the resources and capabilities available to managers for meeting environmental challenges and opportunities. Strategy also involves the creation and management of internal systems that sustain value.

While our perspective in strategic management is that of the general manager, the skills and knowledge of the general manager are relevant not only to those at the top of the organization, but also to those who head business units, as well as staff people and consultants who work with general managers. Whatever your position in an organization, you are likely to be more effective if you understand your organization’s strategy. The strategic management concentration provides you with the opportunity to integrate your knowledge of the functional disciplines and develop an enterprise-wide perspective. In particular, it will help you prepare for an immediate or eventual position in general management, senior functional management, management consulting, or establishing a new business venture.

Available Courses

10 elective credit hours (5 classes) are required beyond the core courses.

MGMT 65200: Management of New & Small Firms

This course examines entrepreneurship with a focus on the start-up process for high growth new ventures. Cases will be used and students will conduct a feasibility analysis of a new venture concept.

MGMT 65500: Competitive Strategy

This advanced MBA course examines how firms obtain and sustain superior returns through the development and implementation of a competitive strategy at the business-unit level. We focus on strategies that develop and exploit two sources of superior returns: unique value-creating resources (e.g. patents, brand equity, operational capabilities) and powerful positions in markets and supply chains. The course is recommended for participants pursuing careers requiring the analysis and formulation of strategic directions for companies (general management, business development, consulting) or the assessment of long-term profit opportunities within an industry (e.g., investment banking, venture capital, private equity). Participants are expected to already be familiar with basic competitive strategy concepts and tools such as five-forces analysis, the value chain, and generic strategies. As an advanced course, the course presents a more analytical perspective of strategy, drawing for example from game theory.

MGMT 65700: Manufacturing Strategy

In recent years many firms have rediscovered manufacturing and operations as a potential source of strategic advantage. In general, these firms have sought to develop capabilities in operations which provide a sustainable advantage in the marketplace. In addition, successful firms have developed processes for understanding the cross-functional implications of product and process choices. In this course we will seek to understand the circumstances under which particular operating capabilities are most beneficial and how such capabilities can be developed so that operations can be exploited for competitive advantage.

MGMT 68800: Developing a Global Business Strategy

This course provides an introduction regarding the business and strategy challenges faced by managers in our global economy, regardless of whether the firm is a small domestic company or a large multi-national. Major topics for the course include motivations and challenges of internationalization, international business fundamentals, foreign market entry strategies, organizing across countries, analyzing global industries, building competitive advantage in global industries, and the influence of culture and institutions.

One of the following courses may be counted:

MGMT 56400: Management of Service Operation

In this course, the differences and similarities between service and manufacturing organizations will be analyzed. Specifically, the course examines how to identify hallmarks of superior service, manage capacity and demand for services, and improve service operations. The special characteristics of services require an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing operations. We draw on concepts from strategic management, management science and marketing to get insight into service characteristics. Recent offerings have included: Case Studies and Readings that Illustrate How to Manage Operations in Restaurants, Airlines and Hospitals Student Projects that Require a Service Audit of an Organization Computer Exercises on Queue Management.

MGMT 61100: Advanced Corporate Finance

 

OBHR 59000: Strategic Human Resource Management

Successful managers now recognize that a critical source of competitive advantage often comes not from having an effective system for obtaining, mobilizing, and managing the organization’s human assets. This class is designed to deal with human issues from the perspective of the general manager. Learning experience will focus on (1) how to think systematically and strategically about aspects of managing the organization’s human assets and (2) what really needs to be done to implement these policies and to achieve competitive advantage through people. Specific issues encompass the implementation of strategy and the importance of aligning human resource practices (for example, career and reward systems, employee relations strategies) so they produce the skills and behaviors required to make a strategy work, HR practices in the context of organizational change, the development of high performance work systems, and management strategies in the context of important environmental influences and constraints. The class will discuss case materials concerning human resource management in major companies.

While not a requirement, you are also encouraged to undertake a strategic management consulting project in MGMT 69000: Management Projects.