Managers and policy-makers make important decisions every day, and, in many cases, the outcomes of these decisions crucially affect the payoffs and well-being of many individuals. This concentration's main goal is to help individuals and organizations make decisions in a disciplined and strategic way. We will accomplish this by introducing and discussing several frameworks and models, and applying 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 and Business Strategy. Game Theory is the main analytical framework to study situations in which outcomes are strategically determined by more than one decision-maker. Situations such as pricing to gain the edge over a competitor, entering-or blocking entry-into a market, or providing incentives to employees, are example of situations covered by this discipline. Business Strategy 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. Both of the Game Theory and Business Strategy classes are built upon a foundation of analytical models as well as extensive discussion of cases and examples. The elective classes in this concentration are Strategies and Processes of Negotiations and Competition, Strategy, and Policy. The Strategies and Processes of Negotiations class introduces students to a number of bargaining and negotiation frameworks, and puts these frameworks to work in a variety of experiments and exercises. This is very much a hands-on-class designed to make you a better negotiator and extract surplus in bargaining contexts. Competition, Strategy, and Policy studies the interaction of firm strategies and the regulatory environment. Competition Policy (AKA Antitrust and Regulation) establishes important constraints on how firms behave and design their strategies in the marketplace. This class scrutinizes the relationship between the firm, their competitors, and the regulatory authorities through the discussion of a variety of frameworks and cases.