Transcript of "Syllabus Competitive Analysis - Volpato "
Syllabus of “Competitive Analysis”
(Giuseppe Volpato, Andrea Stocchetti)
Purpose of the course
The course aims at providing concepts and tools for the analysis of industry characteristics and
evolutionary traits, together with theoretical and operational instruments for the competitive
analysis at a business level. The learning objectives are: a) acquiring a critic view of strategic and
competitive analysis; b) developing the ability to define the current and prospective competitive
scenario in a industry; c) identifying an effective and efficient competitive strategy related to the
industry structure and the specific firm’s situation.
Students are expected to have basic notions of microeconomics, business administration and
The course is divided into two parts, made of ten lectures each. The first part will focus on
industrial structure and competitive analysis, while the second part will be related to techniques of
competitive analysis at the business level.
First Part – Giuseppe Volpato
The most relevant epistemological problems concerning Economics and Business Economics
The dialectic relationship between Economic Environment & Economic Theory
The Model: Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) – A critical Assessment
The concept of Industry – Definition of Industry’s Boundaries
Economies of Scale
Economies of Scope
Economies of Learning
Vertical Integration and Decentralization
Content and exams:
Part 1: Giuseppe Volpato
Industrial Structure and Competitive Analysis
1. Different Views in Industrial Economics
1.1 The Harvard School
1.2 The Applied Industrial Economics (J.S. Bain)
1.3 The Chicago School
1.4 The Game Theory School
1.5 Contestable Market Theory
1.6 The Strategic School
2. Pure Market Models
2.1 Perfect Competition (Definition, Equilibrium, Implications).
2.2 Monopoly (Definition, Equilibrium, Implications).
2.3 Oligopoly, (Definition, Equilibrium, Implications).
3. The Structure-Conduct-Performance Model
3.1 Assumptions of the Model
3.2 Functioning of the Model
3.3 Critical Evaluation of the Model
4. From Pure Models to Empirical Models
4.1 The Marshallian lesson: the Industry concept
4.2 Why do we need the “Industry” concept?
5. The concept of “Industry” and its use
6.1 Definition of “Industry”
6.2 Entry Barriers
6.3 Exit Barriers
6.4 Instability of Industry Boundaries
6. Competitive Advantages
6.1 Economies of Scale
6.1 At Plant level
6.2 At Firm level
6.2 Economies of Scope
6.3 Learning Economies
6.4 Other Sources of Advantages
7. Product differentiation
7.1 Definitions of product differentiation
7.2 Vertical and Horizontal differentiation
7.3 Product positioning
8. Industry concentration
8.1 Definitions of concentration
8.2 Measures of concentration
9. Vertical Integration and Network Relationships
9.1 Make or Buy Decisions
9.2 The “Quasi-Vertical Integration”
9.3 Vertical Relationships vs Network Relationships
10.1 Concept and measures of diversification
10.2 Diversification between opportunities and threats
Written exam: paper on an issue to be agreed with the teacher
Reference Books on the course topics are:
Volpato G. (2008), Concorrenza Impresa Strategia, il Mulino, Bologna, III ed.
Morvan Y. (1991), Fondements d’économie industrielle, Economica, Paris, II ed.
Scherer F.M. (1980), Industrial Market Structure and Economic Performance, Houghton Mifflin,
A list of recommended readings will be suggested at the beginning of the course.
Part II – Andrea Stocchetti
Tools and Techniques for Business Competitive Analysis
- Introduction to Business Competitive Analysis
- The competitive positioning concept; Ideal Product and Product Positioning Analysis
- Product competitiveness analysis
- The portfolio analysis approach: insights about BCG Growth-Share Portfolio Analysis, GE
Business Screen Matrix, the MCC matrix.
- Product Life-Cycle Analysis
- SWOT Analysis and the “competitive advantage” concept
- Customer Satisfaction Analysis
- Importance – Performance Analysis
- Value Chain Analysis
Reference Book on the course topics is:
- Fleisher C.S, Bensoussan B (2002), Strategic and Competitive Analysis: Methods and Techniques
for Analyzing Business Competition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River
A list of article will be provided in electronic version at the beginning of the course; students are
required to study these article in order to be able to describe and discuss them both during lectures
and in the final exam.
Exams and evaluation
The final degree will be the weighted average of degrees obtained in four areas:
- homework 10%
- discussion and participation during lectures 20%
- surprise test 30%
- final exam 40%
The surprise test will take place during one of the scheduled lesson and it will consist in a written
exam (series of question and/or problems) to be developed in one hour and related to topics &
article previously studied.
The final exam will consist in a written report and a discussion.