This module will provide students with the tools to address strategic challenges facing high technology firms, with a special focus on IT and platform markets. Using case studies, the module will address questions such as: How do technology-based firms develop and manage a resource portfolio? How is technology used to develop business ecosystems, including multi-sided markets? What is the difference between technology risk and business risk and how do firms manage each? How firms develop and execute business models that create sustainable competitive advantage in technology-intensive industries? What are the unique challenges facing firms - particularly startups - in entrepreneurial settings?
The module will be particularly useful for students who plan to work directly in tech-based firms or students who would like to specialize in technology industries as consultants or finance professionals. Each class session will be split between case discussions and an extended business simulation in which student teams compete against each other in managing R&D, production, and marketing at simulated technology firms.
Upon successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:
- understand the economic, technological, and social characteristics of technology industries
- identify and analyze key strategic concerns in technology industries, such as R&D management, network effects, and business model development
- understand the function of multi-sided platforms and how technology facilitates such business models
- understand how entrepreneurs and institutional actors guide the creation of nascent industries
- apply the concepts learned in class to analyze real world business problems and create actionable recommendations for how to address them
- Industry analysis
- Internal resource portfolios
- Product development and positioning
- Two-sided markets and network effects
- Business ecosystems
- Technology standards
- Growth and adaptation
- Business models
- Entrepreneurship and market creation
Class participation 20%
Individual coursework 40% (quizzes + individual case analysis)
Group coursework 40% (simulation performance and write-ups)
Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.
Students will be required to read one case study plus 1-2 articles per week.