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Undergraduate Strategy Curriculum

Strategy is defined by this question: Why are some enterprises successful while others fail? The practice of innovation is defined by a similar question: Why and how do some enterprises innovate successfully while others fail?

Strategy and Innovation, as a practice, develops and integrates other functions – such as finance, marketing, and organizational behavior – to help us learn how firms gain and sustain competitive advantage. Strategy and Innovation focus on creating and capturing value for stakeholders with novel ideas, products, services, processes, and business models. While chief financial officers make financial decisions and chief marketing officers make marketing decisions, chief executive officers make decisions on corporate strategy and innovation.

MGT 3659 - Foundations of Strategy

This course covers the basic concepts and frameworks of both business-level and corporate-level strategies. Strategy usually refers to the identification of goals and the development of a plan of action for achieving those goals.  The course will review the essential tools used to analyze and develop strategies.  By combining lectures with business case studies, this course aims to build a rich strategy “toolkit” that will enable you to apply disciplined strategy principles in a variety of settings. A mastery of these tools is useful to executives, managers, consultants, entrepreneurs, government officials, investors, and other professionals engaged in formulating, evaluating, and implementing business strategies.

Elective Classes

MGT 3661 - Advanced Topics in International Business
In today’s job market, it is essential to have a global perspective. This course is specifically designed to prepare the student for an internationally mobile career in a variety of fields; it equips the student with both “state-of-the-art” material and real-world experience in the form of knowledgeable expert guest speakers, cross-cultural exercises, targeted cases, and course participation in X-Culture, a global initiative where students from around the world collaborate in multinational teams of 7 (each student from a different country) to complete a business proposal for an international company. MGT 3661 is a unique experience and can give you a competitive edge in the fast-changing global workforce.

MGT 3662 - Management in the Healthcare Sector
(Previously taught as MGT 4803 Management in the Healthcare Sector. No credit allowed for both).
This course will explore the healthcare sector in its most comprehensive sense. It will analyze the healthcare “system” across the continuum of patient care — from prevention and early detection to diagnosis and treatment to palliative care.  Students will gain exposure to and knowledge of the many components of the industry, including issues in finance, accounting, supply chain, organizational behavior, strategy, healthcare IT, regulatory policy, and manpower planning and development. Emphasis will be placed on where contemporary management practice can engage for improvement, within the limits allowed by the exercise of clinical judgment.

MGT 3663 - Technology Strategy
(Previously taught as MGT 4803 - Technology Strategy. No credit allowed for both).
Just like financial and human resources, technology has critical importance in organizations, and the management of technology is a basic business function. Just as we need financial or human resource strategies, organizations need to develop a technology strategy, which serves as a basis for the overall company strategy.

In this course, technology strategy will be studied by analyzing the economic and strategic factors that guide – or should guide - firms’ decisions regarding the generation, commercialization, protection, and adoption of technological innovations. The emphasis is on the development and application of economic and strategy tools which are critical for insightful long term planning when deciding the sources of innovation (internal vs. external), how much to invest in internal R&D, whether to seek intellectual property protection, whether to develop and commercialize an invention in house or sell it through arm’s-length licensing contracts, or other cooperative strategies such as joint ventures or the sale of a technology-based firm’s equity. Technology markets are analyzed from both a seller’s and buyer’s perspective. Internal technology commercialization may entail the exploitation of first-mover advantages or specialized downstream capabilities. Other topics covered include the analysis of situations, increasingly observed in several high-tech industries, where firms create and accumulate technological innovations without exploiting them directly, using them rather for technological negotiations with other firms or for preempting potential rivals from entering an industry.

MGT 3664  - Corporate Strategy

This course examines topics concerned with the creation and maintenance of value by multi-business enterprises. Corporate strategy is concerned in part with issues such as the appropriate mix of business units, make-or-buy decisions, the acquisition or development of new business units, and the disposal of existing business units. These questions are often not relevant to the strategy studied at the level of the individual business unit.

MGT 4181 - Forecasting for Business Analytics                                                                                                                              
This course is designed to provide the tools necessary to conduct forecasting in an uncertain business environment. The course will begin with an overview of multiple regression, however, the primary focus is time series analysis. Time series analysis uses the past behavior of data to forecast future values.  Topics include modeling and forecasting trends and seasonality, characterizing cyclical data, forecasting cycles, and modeling volatility.

MGT 4196  - Strategy Consulting Practicum

The Strategy Consulting Practicum integrates actual strategy issues currently confronting major corporations with an experiential course combining:

  • the application of theory to practice
  • strategy analysis and formulation
  • strategy implementation plans
  • skills development (in planning, communicating, conducting research, and decision making), and
  • interactions with strategy consultants and industry executives

In this practicum, students organize into study groups for the practicum project. Each group conducts comprehensive strategy research and then proposes recommendations and actions to address present issues and to answer a strategic challenge question. Students write a formal strategy report and make a formal presentation of their results at the end of the term.

The purpose of this course is to expand and enhance understanding of the strategy process in action, including practical challenges and potential opportunities. The course includes exercises, discussions of case studies, field research, lectures, presentations by and discussions with guest speakers, and a group research project (i.e., the practicum project). This course develops skills and applies concepts students have learned in other business courses. The intensity of time constraints in this practicum reflects actual conditions in strategy work.

 This course helps prepare students to excel in entry positions at strategy consultancies and with corporate strategy staff. Companies participating in the practicum typically recruit at Georgia Tech, and this course offers an opportunity for students to position themselves for internships or full-time positions.

MGT 4220 - Integrative Management Experience

This course serves as the Integrative Management Capstone course for undergraduates at the Scheller College of Business. As such, the learning objectives include:

  • Acquiring tools and frameworks for formulating and implementing strategic decisions inside an organization.
  • Integrating knowledge gained throughout the management curriculum, understanding how the various parts of a business fit together, and how the different parts can be managed in strategic consistency for a firm to operate in a winning fashion.
  • Gaining practical experience – through case studies and simulation – in formulating and implementing business strategies.
  • Honing skills in presenting and justifying decisions to internal and external stakeholders.

MGT 4803 - Behavioral Economics

Behavioral economics enriches traditional economics by providing it with more realistic psychological foundations. In the course, we study some of the most robust and important findings of the field and examine their implications for individual decision-making, marketing, finance, and management. The course material can be interpreted as serving two goals simultaneously: 1) recognizing the systematic mistakes you (and all of us) make, and 2) using the tools of behavioral economics to solve firm problems.

MGT 4803 - Global Strategy

Global Strategy is generally about global strategic management and fundamentally about general management. Strategy informs general managers’ decisions about diversification across industry boundaries; global strategy similarly informs general managers’ decisions about diversification across national borders.

This course is designed for students with an interest in companies that either (1) serve or plan to serve customers in multiple countries or (2) compete against companies operating in multiple countries; however, students with a general interest in global strategy can also derive significant benefit from this course.

MGT 4803 - Managerial Economics & Strategic Behavior
This course introduces Game Theory. It is designed to provide business undergraduate students with an understanding of the theory of non-cooperative games. We will cover the main forms of representing a game as well as the techniques to solve games. An important part of this course will be dedicated to applications in managerial decision-making. For instance, we will examine the behavior of firms in oligopolies and analyze industrial and corporate policies in an international environment. Previously taught as Special Topics MGT 4803 Game Theory & Strategic Behavior. No credit is allowed for both MGT 4803 Game Theory & Strategic Behavior and
MGT 4803 Managerial Economics and Strategic Behavior.   

MGT 4803 - Intellectual Property Strategy
This course is a special topics course in firm strategy, surveying the economic, management, and legal issues associated with the protection of intangible assets by the modern firm, and the capturing of competitive advantage from innovation. The course is designed both to teach and foster discussion about important topics associated with the strategic management of intellectual property (including protection strategies, enforcement and litigation, IP monetization, startups and entrepreneurship, university technology transfer, and managing the large-company portfolio, among others), but also to give the student a formal experience in analyzing the way in which legal, technological, and competitive realities dictate the modern company’s IP environment. The grading for the course is based upon written and spoken components.

MGT 4803 - New Venture Strategies
This course is about creating ventures that are (1) based on or enabled by technological innovation and (2) launched as startups or formed within companies.  While covering the venture creation and innovation process from conception to execution, the course emphasizes venture strategy for entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders.  MGT 6165 takes a multidisciplinary approach to the theory and practice of venture creation.  Objectives of the course are to help students (1) understand and apply the strategic process of venture creation and (2) improve their skills in generating and finding ideas for new ventures, creating and identifying opportunities, evaluating venture proposals, designing and planning ventures, organizing resources, staffing ventures, building teams, communicating persuasively (in oral and written formats), and developing systems to control risk and enable growth.  The course involves case studies, exercises, and lectures. 

MGT 4803 - Strategic Entrepreneurship
This course’s objective is to hone your skills in using tools and frameworks of strategic analysis to analyze strategic problems and to formulate recommendations for entrepreneurial firms. It will not cover business plan development, entrepreneurial finance, or strategy implementation and is thus a complement to (rather than substitute for) courses focusing on these issues. Prior or simultaneous completion of Strategic Management 4195 is strongly recommended but not a formal requirement.

Today’s entrepreneurs and managers need to be able to recognize opportunities and cope with challenges created by technological developments, and entrepreneurial activity is particularly important in technology-intensive industries. As such, this course will focus primarily – though not exclusively – on technology-based startups. This course covers three broad sets of topics:

  1. Strategic perspective on the entrepreneurial process. The first part of the course applies a strategic lens to key issues facing aspiring entrepreneurs and new ventures, including the creation and evaluation of opportunities, strategies to deal with uncertainty, the acquisition and development of resources and capabilities, and challenges in growing the firm.
  2. Competition and strategic interactions. The second part focuses on the external environment and on strategic interactions with competitors. We will consider strategies to overcome barriers to entry, to compete against well-resourced incumbents, challenges and opportunities in markets characterized by network effects, and strategies to sustain competitive advantage over time.
  3. Cooperation, open innovation, and crowd-based business models. Complementing the traditional strategy focus on competition, the third part considers cooperative strategies in broader networks of players. Among others, we will analyze when startups should cooperate with incumbents in bringing technologies to market, or how entrepreneurs can prosper within broader business eco-systems. We will also discuss emerging developments in crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and open-source production, many of which involve particularly high degrees of “openness” and cooperation.

MGT 4803 - Technology Innovation Practicum
The Technology Innovation Practicum course focuses on concepts and frameworks for understanding technology innovation within both corporate innovation and entrepreneurial ventures. This course develops skills in analytical methods from prerequisite courses and introduces activities, approaches, methods, and processes for customer-demand projection and business-model design.

Students interested in entry-level positions with consultancies, technology startups, or global technology enterprises should consider this course.

Graduate students, along with faculty and industry mentors and coaches, supervise undergraduate students in this course, giving undergraduate students the opportunity to work with graduate students in hierarchical teams.

After completing MGT 3659: Foundations of Strategy (ACCT 2101 or MGT 3000 prereq), students wishing to complete the Strategy & Innovation concentration must take 6 classes earning a grade of “C” or higher in all courses to complete the concentration. Please note that due to the experimental learning elements of the concentration and the schedule of speakers, several of these courses must be offered in the late afternoon and evening. 

GROUP A: Take all 3 courses:

All students must take all three Group A courses. (Note: Pre-requisites are in parentheses. Pre-requisites will not be waived.)

GROUP B: Choose at least 2:

(Note: Pre-requisites are in parentheses. Pre-requisites will not be waived.)

GROUP C: Choose 1 if you choose 2 in Group B:

(Note: Pre-requisites are in parentheses. Pre-requisites will not be waived.)

Strategy and Innovation Certificate (Non-BSBA Majors Only)

Non-business school students wishing to complete the Strategy & Innovation certificate must take 4 classes earning a grade of “C” or higher in all courses to complete the certificate. Note that some courses require pre-requisites which students will be required to take. No course waivers will be offered.

After completing MGT 3659: Foundations of Strategy, students wishing to complete the Strategy & Innovation will need to complete the following requirements:

GROUP A: Take all 3 courses:

All students must take all three Group A courses. (Note: Pre-requisites are in parentheses. Pre-requisites will not be waived.)

GROUP B: Choose 1 of the following:

(Note: Pre-requisites are in parentheses. Pre-requisites will not be waived.)