This concentration's main goal is to help individuals and organizations make decisions in a disciplined and strategic way.  It introduces several frameworks and models, and applies them in a variety of environments.  Although the emphasis is on business and policy applications, the frameworks are versatile enough to apply to strategic decisions in general.  Excelling in business and policy-making is all about correctly diagnosing a problem or position, making the best decisions to improve upon this position, and sustaining this improvement over the long run.  This concentration will equip students with the right tools to accomplish these goals.

       The required classes in this concentration are: 

  • Game Theory: This is the main analytical framework to study situations in which outcomes are strategically determined by more than one decision-maker.

  • Business Strategy: Class focuses on firm and organizational decisions that go beyond the day to day realm.  Decisions such as how to create value for customers, how to position a product, or where to draw the boundaries of the organization, all fall within the domain of this discipline.

    The elective courses in the concentration are:

  • Strategies and Processes of Negotiations: Known as ECO 528;  This course is geared towards developing negotiation skills that are important in both the economic and business world, as well as in day to day life.  The class focuses on both theoretical and applied aspects of bargaining and negotiations. In the theoretical part, we will discuss what factors affect negotiation strategy and success. For example, what are the relevant alternatives if an agreement is not reached?  Or, how can a negotiator change the bargaining parameters to improve her position? In the applied part, we will discuss various case tudies and use exercises to practice and hone negotiation skills.

  • Competition, Strategy and Policy: Known as ECO 798;  Understanding the legal and regulatory environment and properly responding to the constraints it introduces, is vital to firm success.  This class discusses firm decision-making under various forms of competition, and explores how behaviors and outcomes are influenced by policies and regulations.  The class also covers models of firm behavior under imperfect information, and the optimal design of contracts and incentives. To accomplish these goals, we rely on microeconomic theory, industrial organization, game theory and competitive strategy as well as extensive empirical evidence and case studies.

  • Business Models and Innovation Strategy: Known as ECO 798; In a rapidly changing economy, business paradigms are constantly being reinvented.  Businesses no longer compete in traditional dimensions, such as price, quality, and marketing strategies.  Instead, entrepreneurs constantly innovate and reformulate entire business models as they disrupt established industries and practices.  This course is designed to intersect three main areas of interest: (a) Business Models, (b) Innovation Strategy, and (c) Competitive Strategy.  We explore each of these areas and their interactions by discussing analytical models, assessing empirical papers, and analyzing a number of case studies.  The main goal is to help students acquire tools and develop analytical skills for making strategic decisions in dynamic competitive environments, where innovation and conventional paradigm disruptions are keys to success.

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