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Foundations of Business Strategy

University of Virginia via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Strategic Management
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 5-6 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 4 weeks long

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Overview

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Develop your ability to think strategically, analyze the competitive environment, and recommend firm positioning and value creation. In this course, we will explore the underlying theory and frameworks that provide the foundations of a successful business strategy and provide the tools you need to understand that strategy: SWOT, Competitor, Environmental, Five Forces, and Capabilities Analyses, as well as Strategy Maps. We'll apply these tools in case studies of industry leaders Google, Redhook, Piaggio and Apple.

Syllabus

Introduction to Strategic Analysis
Welcome to the first module in the Foundations course. In this module, we'll discuss the meaning and importance of business strategy to an organization's competitive positioning. You'll learn about the strategic analysis and the SWOT, competitor, and environmental analysis tools and then apply these tools in the Google case study. Enjoy learning!

Analyzing Industry Structure
Hello and welcome back. In this module, we'll explore how to assess an industry's structure and how the competitive dynamics in an industry affect profitability. We'll go into depth with the five forces tool, a common and highly influential analytical framework. You'll get a chance to apply this tool in the Redhook case study. Enjoy analyzing!

Analyzing Firm Capabilities
Welcome! In this module, we'll examine the tangible and intangible assets that form an organization's strength. We'll show you in depth how to complete a capabilities analysis and how to use this analysis to guide decision making. In the Apple case study you'll get a chance to apply this tool. Happy analyzing!

Determining Competitive Position
Welcome to the final module. In these lessons, we'll explore firms' competitive positioning relative to rivals and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of four generic competitive positions firms occupy. We'll use an easy and intuitive tool--strategy maps--to visually communicate information about firm positioning, and discuss which position is best for a particular firm to see maximum value. Then apply what you've learned in the Piaggio case study. Happy analyzing!

Taught by

Michael J. Lenox

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Reviews for Coursera's Foundations of Business Strategy
4.0 Based on 21 reviews

  • 5 stars 48%
  • 4 stars 19%
  • 3 stars 24%
  • 2 star 5%
  • 1 star 5%

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  • 1
Vijayakumar N
5.0 4 years ago
by Vijayakumar completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Hi. FOBS is one of the courses I have enjoyed learning most. Globalization and liberalization has increased the uncertainty in the business environment. Any organization that wants to survive and grow on a continuous basis needs strategic management. The course introduces students to the various tools that can be used by a strategist to analyse the industry structure, firm structure and competitive dynamics to evaluate the current position of a firm and to develop a better competitive position for the future. It covers the various ways an organization can position itself viz a viz its competi…
3 people found
this review helpful
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Scott O
4.0 4 years ago
by Scott completed this course.
Compared to the other courses I've taken, Foundations of Business Strategy proved much less time-consuming, with required readings limited to very short chapters from a forthcoming book by Lenox (and when I say "short", I mean it's more a pamphlet than a book, with chapters only a few pages long), and a business case each week. The professor encouraged discussion of each case, both in small groups and in the discussion forum, and each week recorded a debriefing that made reference to students' comments in the forum; however, the only assignments that needed to ber turned in before the final pr…
4 people found
this review helpful
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Krassimir K
4.0 4 years ago
Krassimir completed this course.
The course gives a basic tool-set for analysis of competitive positioning of a firm. It introduces a nice set of fairly visual tools which might be helpful for a presentation at management level. Experienced lecturer! It touches very briefly upon interesting topics from macro-economics (e.g. Ricardian economics in the context of competitiveness) but unfortunately does not go into the necessary detail. As a mathematician I was so sorry to see a meaningful plot demonstrating some macroeconomic equilibrium shown for a few minutes and disappearing without being properly defined and explained.

The course includes video lecturing, discussion groups, test quizzes, and a peer-reviewed final project (3-15 pages analysis of the competitive position of a firm, chosen, researched and written by each student).
2 people found
this review helpful
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School B
3.0 4 years ago
School completed this course.
Michael Lenox of UVA’s Darden School of Business puts together a very basic business strategy course for students who have no experience in the field at all. The lectures are clear, succinct, short, but lack depth. But I believe that was Lenox’s intention, as the course was designed for people with no background, and it is perfect for them.

The final assignment was probably the only worthwhile exercise. It could have been more beneficial if there was more detailed feedback on the assignment, but regardless it was good practice using the toolkit.
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great class especially in that it includes actual consulting work being done - you apply directly what you learned in the course to a real-world problem situation of a company partnering with the course.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
It's a very nice course to start with, It might seem too easy for those with more knowledge in the subject, but I think that it's a very good start for those of us that just started exploring the Business subject.
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Pete O
5.0 2 years ago
by Pete completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
It's hard to find good intro courses on business strategy...but this was typical high University of Virginia / Coursera standard
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
You have to see this video improve your skills about business strategies and read about it, its will helps you.
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Pablo S
2.0 4 years ago
Pablo completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Adtya A
3.0 4 years ago
by Adtya completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
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Hengchew C
3.0 2 years ago
by Hengchew completed this course.
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Andrei H
4.0 3 years ago
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Younes B
5.0 2 years ago
by Younes completed this course.
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Christian V
5.0 2 years ago
by Christian completed this course.
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Zoltan S
4.0 3 years ago
Zoltan completed this course.
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Pedro T
3.0 3 years ago
by Pedro completed this course.
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Rebecca K
1.0 3 years ago
Rebecca is taking this course right now.
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John W
5.0 3 years ago
John completed this course.
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Moayad M
5.0 3 years ago
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Huang T
5.0 3 years ago
by Huang is taking this course right now.
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