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Applied Strategic Management

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
1 year, 2, 3 module


Lapin, Max

Course Syllabus


MODULE 1 The course aims to understand the nature of corporate business research, to explain which kind of business problems might need research study. To learn what value chain organizational blocks are used by corporations in their models and research to take decisions. To learn to implement the mechanism of logical thinking and analysis of the corporation value chain in function with examples of how data and analysis mechanisms apply logic and mathematics in business. The course is related to the application of research techniques for business using market-based research design, forecasting tool, evaluating risk and return in business considering multiple perspective for effective decision making in business. The course is oriented to a practical implication. MODULE 2 The course aims to understand algorithm for analyzing the company's business model, strategy and reporting. A framework for the strategy analysis via value chain, financial analysis and market sizing will be provided. To run real life cases of Russian companies’ strategies. To research on a given company and to prepare a write-up with a subsequent discussion in class. All will have an opportunity to research on their own. For a banking company, to present the market-sizing approach, and basic financial analysis of the opportunity. To dissect the value chain, the growth factors, the limits of growth as defined by the obtainable market and to talk unit economics as well. For a services company, to look into the customer life time value, the cost of acquisition and a business model. To dissect its financials and to explain how a loss-making business may have a high valuation. For a metals and mining company, to look into the pricing spreads between the feed mix and the outputs. To discuss logistical shields and the natural hedge. For a digital company, to understand its financial potential and venues of further growth. The course is oriented to a practical implication.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to apply Corporation Value Chain
  • Be able to use professional tools for making business research
  • Learn how to apply MECE (Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive) issue tree for business decisions
  • Develop skills to take effective business decisions by considering multiple perspectives
  • Be able to do basic research on the company's business model, strategy and reporting through annual reports and the press releases
  • Be able to find its Value Chain in investor presentations and by own research
  • Understand its products, answer the questions what is the market size, what is the customer value
  • Learn how to find the Money from Products in the Value Chain
  • Know how to find in Strategy presentations and earnings call minutes the Company’s competitive advantages
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to apply research methods for business purposes, viz.: o to calculate TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) o to implement Continuous Improvement model o to apply Export & Import Parity Pricing o to consider on a Corporation Value Chain o to organize decision -making process on investments o to analyze life time value of a customer in Marketing o to get acquainted with factor analysis in Finance
  • Understand how companies prepare forecasts and plans
  • Evaluate return and risk in particular companies
  • Be able to create a one-pager write-up summary on any one of the analyzed companies with the value chain map
  • To know how to search the information to answer the questions
  • What is happening to the vertical integration of the company? Before, now and then
  • How wide is the range of the company’s products and why?
  • Who are its customers? How are they changing?
  • Where are its money? What products or segments generate profits?
  • And finally, identify how the company beats competitors.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Corporation Value Chain, its structure. Methods of applied research and Cases accordingly
  • MECE (Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive) Issue Tree o Purchasing: Category Management, TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) o Tender Process
  • Operations: Production Planning, Maintenance Management, Ongoing Improvement
  • Sales: Pricing Decisions, Volumes Delivery, Product PnLs
  • Strategy: Value Chain, Alternatives, Prioritization
  • Investments: Valuation, Capex Planning, Capital Structure
  • Marketing: Market Sizing, Channel Selection, Conversion Funnel
  • Finance: Reporting, Analysis, Value Management
  • HR & Career: Selection, Talent Management, EVP (Employee Value Proposition),Career Choices
  • Step 1. General overview. Highlighting business blocks and value chain.
    The output of this step is a block diagram of the top-level company business. Limits of horizontal diversification and vertical integration.
  • Step 2. Clarification of the value chain
    At the exit, you already understand how the company works and what drivers it depends on
  • Step 3. Getting the client's perspective.
    The output is a comparison of the product map and their strengths / weaknesses against competitors.
  • Step 4. The actual reporting
    The result is a reading of the statements already with an understanding of how the company works.
  • Step 5. Search for a competitive advantage
    At the exit, getting a synthesis in the mind, when the business model and strategy formed into a picture, which is strengthened by financial analysis and then compared with competitors
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Exam (Final Test)
  • non-blocking Midterm Test
  • non-blocking In-class Participation
  • non-blocking Homework
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.25 * Exam (Final Test) + 0.25 * Homework + 0.25 * In-class Participation + 0.25 * Midterm Test
  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.25 * Exam (Final Test) + 0.25 * Homework + 0.25 * In-class Participation + 0.25 * Midterm Test


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Andrew S. Grove. (2015). High Output Management. Vintage.
  • Osterwalder, A., Clark, T., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business Model Generation : A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=335366

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Angela Duckworth. (2016). Grit : The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Scribner.
  • Colvin, G. (2011). Talent Is Overrated : What REALLY Separates World Class Performers From Everybody Else. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
  • Daniel Goleman. (2006). Emotional Intelligence : Why It Can Matter More Than IQ: Vol. 10th anniversary ed. Bantam.
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb. (2018). Skin in the Game : Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life: Vol. First edition. Random House.