Assistant Professor of Management, Columbia Business School
I teach the “Strategy Formulation” course in the MBA (B6502) and EMBA (B5502) core curriculum. The course is about the determinants of firm performance. It develops an explanation for why some firms perform better than others, and presents the analytical tools required to formulate successful strategies. Students learn to analyze firms’ competitive environments and to design a strategy that specifies appropriate long-term goals for a corporation, the businesses in which it will compete, how it will serve customers better than its competitors, and the capabilities that will be required in the service of these objectives. Learning is primarily through discussion of cases and articles with supporting short lectures and written assignments.
Here’s a short video describing the course:
Strategy Core Course
I also teach an MBA elective “Technology Strategy” (B8570) that covers three broad topics: 1) the strategic dynamics of technology markets (i.e., network externalities, platform strategies, etc.) 2) innovation and technology disruption, and 3) technology and social change.
I currently teach sessions on Strategy and Innovation in a number of open-enrollment and custom Executive Education programs at Columbia Business School.
Netflix had achieved tremendous success over the prior decade through continuous innovation and disruption—even if it meant the cannibalization of its existing businesses. But questions remained as to whether Netflix’s monthly subscription model could continue to sustain the high costs of developing original content in multiple countries. To what degree did original content help Netflix attract and retain subscribers? Could Netflix charge high enough rates and acquire and retain enough subscribers and to justify its content investments? Should Netflix’s strategic focus be third-party content aggregation, or should the company continue to develop itself as a premium brand?
The Walt Disney Company
by Jerry Kim and Stephan Meier
In December 2012, Walt Disney Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Robert A. Iger announced the completion of his company’s $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd., further expanding the company’s footprint in its Studio Entertainment segment. Was Iger navigating the company on a solid strategic course or was he engaged in the same “empire building” that ultimately forced his predecessor Michael Eisner to resign?
Maersk Shipping: Is the Price Right?
by Stephan Meier and Jerry Kim
In early 2012 in the wake of economic uncertainty and industry-wide losses, shipping industry giant Maersk Lines deliberated about its future pricing strategy. Should it continue a strategy of aggressive price cutting as has often worked to its advantage in the past? Or should it consider raising prices for its services despite a weak demand and strong competition?
While there are many stated rationales for a corporation’s diversification and global expansion, numerous academic studies suggest that the majority of these activities fail to enhance shareholder value. This note discusses two essential tests for value creation in corporate scope—the value-added test and the contract test—as well as more recent theories of behavioral economics to guide students in their understanding of what creates long-term value for a firm.
After losing its standing as the world’s best selling automaker and entering bankruptcy, what strategic decisions should General Motors make to regain its competitive position?
Eli Lilly and Company’s CSR Dilemma
by Jerry Kim and Bruce Kogut
In 2003 Eli Lilly and Company’s reputation as a humanistic, philanthropic corporation was in danger of being compromised. Was there a strategy that could put Lilly on a course to meet both its social enterprise and revenue goals?