DRE 3004 Strategy I: Foundations of Strategy


DRE 3004 Strategy I: Foundations of Strategy

Responsible for the course
Gabriel R G Benito

Department of Strategy and Logistics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Strategic management is a broad field of research with multiple disciplinary foundations, especially economics, organization theory, sociology, business history, and organizational behavior. Advanced students need to know these foundations and their impact on the strategy field as well as more recent developments in the field. This course aims at providing an in-depth understanding of how strategy research has evolved, with an emphasis on the seminal contributions to the field of strategic management.

Learning outcome
Upon completion of this course, the students should have gained:
· In-depth knowledge about the most important theoretical roots of the field of strategic management, broadly defined;
· a thorough understanding of the historical background and evolution of a number of key topics in strategy research today;
· a better understanding of appropriate theoretical roots on which to anchor their own academic research.

This course is the first in a sequence of three core courses in strategy. The next two courses will: (1) go deeper into the analyses of key issues in strategy, and (2) look into theories and issues on the research frontier in strategy. This course is not required but strongly recommended for the other two courses. “Foundations of Strategy” is mandatory for PhD students specializing in strategic management at BI Norwegian Business School.

Admission to a PhD Programme is a general requirement for participation in PhD courses at BI Norwegian Business School.

External candidates are kindly asked to attach confirmation of admission to a PhD programme when signing up for a course with the doctoral administration. Other candidates may be allowed to sit in on courses by approval of the courseleader. Sitting in on courses does not permit registration for courses, handing in exams or gaining credits for the course. Course certificates or confirmation letters will not be issued for sitting in on courses.

Compulsory reading
Andrews, Kenneth R.. 1987. The concept of corporate strategy. 3rd ed. Irwin
Barnard, Chester I. 1938. The functions of the executive. Harvard University Press
Chandler, Alfred D. 1962. Strategy and structure : chapters in the history of the industrial enterprise. MIT Press
Cyert, R. & March, J.G.. Reprinted 1992. A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Penrose, Edith. 2009. The theory of the growth of the firm. 4th ed. Oxford University Press
Pfeffer, Jeffrey & Gerald R. Salancik. 1978. The external control of organizations : a resource dependence perspective. Harper & Row
Porter, Michael E. 1980. Competitive strategy : techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. Free Press
Thompson, James D. 1967. Organizations in action : social science bases of administrative theory. McGraw-Hill
Williamson, Oliver E. 1975. Markets and hierarchies: analysis and antitrust implications : a study in the economics of internal organization. Free Press

The listed set of seminal books are preparatory readings, which the students should have read in advance of the course. The set may be subject to changes. The preparatory readings are considered as mandatory. The course literature also comprises selected journal articles and book chapters. A detailed syllabus with exact references to manadatory books and articles will be made available in advance of the start of the course.

Recommended reading

Course outline
Economic foundations
Organizational foundations
Sociological foundations
Business history foundations
Leadership and organizational behavior foundations

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
The course is structured as 10 three-hour sessions, each with one main theme. The course is taught primarily as research seminars where students and faculty interact in a combination of presentations and discussions. The students must have read the assigned readings before each seminar.

Specific individual work tasks (e.g. a presentation of a book or article) will be given to each course participant, and must be completed satisfactorily. In addition, active participation in all scheduled sessions is expected.

Working hours: 180 student hours.

    Term paper (about 20 pages).
    Evaluation: A-F.

    The paper should be original work, and be written specifically for this course.

    Examination code(s)
    DRE 30043 evaluation will account for 100 percent of the grade in DRE 3004.

    Examination support materials

    Re-sit examination
    Re-takes are only possible at the next time a course will be held. When the course evaluation has a separate exam code for each part of the evaluation it is possible to retake parts of the evaluation. Otherwise, the whole course must be re-evaluated when a student wants to retake an exam..

    Additional information
    Honor Code
    Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

    Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.