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Full-Time MBA | Strategic Management Specialization

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 specialization 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 specialization 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 and Process Innovation

    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.
  • MGMT 69000: Operations Management: Practice and Models

    A manufacturing laboratory course in which computer and visual information systems are applied to a small-scale replica of a manufacturing facility. Applications include material requirements planning, KANBAN systems, detailed scheduling, and simulation. The overriding objective is to experience how these information systems are implemented and used to improve the physical system. Concurrent Prerequisite: MGMT 66400.
  • MGMT 69000: Technology Strategy

One of the following courses may be counted:

  • MGMT 56400: Service Operations Management

    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

    This course investigates long-term capital structure planning, capital budgeting, treatment of uncertainty in investment decisions, security underwriting, dividend policies, and mergers. 3 credit hours

  • OBHR 59000: Problems in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

    Advanced study and investigation in a field of organizational behavior and human resource management under the guidance of staff. Permission of instructor required.

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