UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0080: Corporate Strategy

Taught by
Masters, level 7
MM Route B only, SOM PGT affiliates
Term 1
Delivery method
3-hour lecture (x 10 weeks)
Final examination (3 hours) 70%, Group Assignment 30%
Previous Module Code

Course overview

Most large companies, and many quite small ones, are not single businesses but groups, comprising a portfolio of separate business units and one or more levels of corporate management. This module addresses the corporate strategies that such companies use to compete as a collection of multiple business units.

The module consists of two parts: A business strategy asks: For a single business, which business model should we choose to compete effectively? This introduction gives the essential tools for the second part (corporate strategy), which asks: Which businesses should we be in, and how can we enter these businesses and exit from others? How should we organize to create value across the different businesses?

The overarching goal of this module is to enhance students’ competencies in making and executing strategic decisions, by providing the tools and skills to conduct strategic analyses in a world of high complexity and uncertainty.

Learning outcomes

The objective of this course is to give you a set of tools for making good (corporate) strategy decisions. Upon successful completion of the module, a student should be able to:

  • Describe the business model of a company

  • Conduct a competitive analysis of an industry

  • Suggest a value innovation for a company

  • Understand the difference between business and corporate strategy

  • Select among alternative diversification moves

  • Select among alternative divestiture moves

  • Recommend a basic organizational structure for a company

  • Recommend an appropriate role for corporate headquarters

  • Analyze the rationale for a merger or acquisition

Topics covered

  • Competitive advantage

  • Business models

  • Industry analysis

  • Value curves

  • Corporate advantage

  • Diversification

  • Divestitures

  • Organization design

  • Corporate headquarters

  • Alliances

  • Mergers and acquisitions

Assessment summary

Final examination (3 hours) 70%, Group Assignment 30%

Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.

Essential reading

Phanish Puranam and Bart Vanneste. 2016. Corporate Strategy: Tools for Analysis and Decision-Making. Cambridge University Press.

Other readings are provided on Moodle.

Past versions of this module

MSIN0080 18/19

MSING025 17/18

MSING025 16/17

Last updated Wednesday, 26 June 2019