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 a variety of frameworks and models, and applying them in many managerial, entrepreneurial, and policy 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 ECO 525, Strategic Decision Making and Game Theory; and ECO 526, and Business Strategy. Game Theory is the main analytical framework to study situations in which outcomes are determined by the strategic interaction of multiple decision-makers. Situations such as pricing to gain the edge over a competitor, entering-or blocking entry-into a market, using information strategically, or providing incentives to employees, are examples of topics 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 and capture value in various market settings, how to position and differentiate a product for profitability, how to identify and exploit competitive advantages, 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 ECO 528, Strategies and Processes of Negotiations; ECO 798, Competition, Strategy, and Policy; and ECO 798, Business Models and Innovation Strategy. Strategies and Processes of Negotiations introduces students to a number of bargaining and negotiation frameworks and models, and puts them to work in a variety of experiments and exercises. This is a hands-on-class designed to make you a better negotiator and develop the skills to extract surplus in bargaining contexts. Competition, Strategy, and Policy studies the interaction of firm strategies and the legal and regulatory environment. Competition Policies (AKA Antitrust and Regulation) establish 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 various frameworks and cases. Business Models and Innovation Strategy introduces students to models and tools to make decisions in dynamic competitive environments, where innovation is the key to success. In a rapidly changing economy, competitive paradigms are constantly reinvented, and businesses no longer compete in the traditional dimensions. Instead they innovate and reformulate entire business models, based -among other things- on networks, platforms, and "eco-systems." This class familiarizes students with these issues using a case-based approach.