This half-term course focuses on operational decisions that are integral to a firm’s ability to achieve and sustain economic profitability. The course considers both commitment decisions (e.g., capacity and capability bets) and hedging decisions (e.g., managing risk with flexible capacity, global sourcing, etc.). The tension between these two approaches — prudent hedging vs. high-risk commitment — is explored, particularly in the context of competition. The role of aligning operational decisions with a firm’s strategy is also covered, again with particular emphasis on surviving in a competitive landscape.
The course is case intensive, but there are specific assignments with quantitative analyses. Analytical concepts, including the basic economics behind modern strategy theory, are introduced as needed.