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Strategy - MBA Electives


MBA Elective Courses


M&As, Alliances and Corporate Strategy (MAACS)

This course explores the challenges that firms face when choosing their corporate strategy to compete as multi-business units. It explores the various modes available to the firm in detail, such as M&A, alliances and joint ventures. The objective of the course is to give you a thorough understanding of corporate strategy, M&As, and alliances, and to give you a set of tools for making good corporate strategic decisions, and for using M&A and alliances.

Digital Transformation of Society, Industries and Companies (A)

How will digitisation fundamentally affect society, industry structures, business models and the way companies are managed? Based on examples of industries going through the digital transition such as travel and tourism, telecom, and media, this course explores what strategies both incumbent players and Internet companies follow to conquer or keep their place under the sun. 

ORG 2.0

Digitalization is changing how we do organization design. This elective will bring you to the current frontiers of organization science and the tools used to (re)-design organizations. The tools are diverse and cover Perception (i.e. analyzing data to know what is happening in the organization now), Prediction (i.e. what is likely to happen in the future, based on predictive analytics) and Prototyping (i.e. what is likely to work based on pilot tests and experiments).

Real Estate

This course provides a general understanding of the Real Estate Industry and present a detailed analysis of the drivers behind successful Real Estate investment strategies. Students will use both a theoretical approach and case studies to explore Real Estate markets from different perspectives (investment, development, microeconomics and finance) with focuses on asset class and typology of investors.

Strategies for Asia Pacific (SAP)

Many firms see great sales potential in Asian markets, but few have come even close to realizing it.  The key challenge has been a lack of familiarity with Asian markets and appropriate strategic and managerial responses.  Managers asked to plan and run operations in Asia often lack an understanding of how these markets work, how to formulate entry strategies, and how to manage people and operations under conditions that are very different from those in the West, but also in other parts of Asia.  Objective of this course is to help participants gain a competitive advantage by addressing these challenges.

Strategy and Investing for Impact

This course focuses on employing business as a force for good. Market-driven economic growth has raised living standards worldwide. But society still faces critical challenges like climate change and rising inequality. Resolving these is a job not just for non-profits, development agencies or governments: businesses can also play a role, often by going beyond just philanthropy and standalone CSR programs to embedding impact considerations into their strategy. The overall goal of the course is to learn how to best align social and environmental goals into an organization’s strategy, and to study practical examples of how to build financially viable, effective and scalable market-based solutions to meet societal needs. 

Strategy Lab

The course provides students with a practitioner's view of how consultants tackle projects (based on Petros' 19-year experience in consulting), while at the same time honing your strategic thinking and analytical skills. This will be accomplished by tackling a business case (based on a real world project), developing a presentation for the management team and the board of the client and presenting your strategy. The course will also touch upon a number of other topics including

  • Styles of Competition – how diversified conglomerates create value
  • Beating the Unbeatable supplier – how to negotiate with challenging suppliers
  • The rule of Three and Four – an alternative perspective on industry stability

Strategy, Structure and Incentives

A skilled architect can look at a building’s blueprint and know instantly whether the building will stand or collapse. A skilled manager must be able to look at a company’s “blueprint” – its organisational structure and incentive systems – and know instantly whether the company will succeed or struggle in executing its strategy. In this course, you will gain a framework and tools for rapidly diagnosing an organisation’s key strengths and vulnerabilities, based on three key questions. First, strategy – what business should we be in? Second, structure – who should make key decisions? And third, incentives – how should we measure and reward performance?

Technology & Innovation Strategy

Technology change and innovation affect every domain of business, changing the face of industry at an accelerating pace. Yet few accurately understand these patterns, leading to failure that undermines companies, projects, and careers. In this elective we explore the fundamental questions of technology and innovation in order to provide students the foundations to think and speak intelligently in a changing technology environment. In the class we attempt to explore the puzzles of innovation, such as why great companies fail, when customers reject new innovations, why inventors create but don’t capture value, how platforms and ecosystems change the nature of competition, and other topics related to how technology changes the world.

The Art of Communication

If you want to succeed on all levels in today’s business world, excellent communication and presentation skills are absolutely vital. The GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey 2017 once again shows Communication Skills as the number one requirement from recruiters when they look to hire you.

Whether you are delivering a key message one to one, to a team, to the board, or to stakeholders, pitching to potential clients for that crucial contract, launching a start-up, new product or service, being interviewed for a new job or a promotion, or presenting at a conference or live event, people need to be convinced by what you are saying. This is achieved by the winning combination of the right content and the right delivery.

This course provides a real opportunity to make powerful and visible changes to your style. It will provide you with the physical techniques to communicate effectively and the tools to analyse and understand the requirements of your audience. It will help you strike the right chord with maximum impact.

Blue Ocean Strategy

This course provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of Blue Ocean Strategy created by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, and an opportunity to systematically apply the fundamental methodology for creating and capturing blue oceans to simulated business settings. The course is organized in sessions that alternate between theory case discussion (using theory-based videos to introduce frameworks and tools) and computer simulation (providing an innovative, fun and effective way to apply frameworks and tools and to bridge the gap between theory and practice).

A Blue Ocean Strategy certificate will be issued by the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute for participants who have successfully completed the two dedicated Blue Ocean Strategy courses: The Blue Ocean Strategy Elective in P4 and the Blue Ocean Strategy Study Group in P5.

China Strategy

This is a course in collaboration with Chinese executives and foreign expatriates to provide first-hand experience and insights about competitive strategy, innovation and business practice in China. This course will help you understand how Chinese businesses think, behave and grow and why multinationals develop, adjust, and change their strategies and practices for China. This course will be of great interest to future global business leaders, management consultants, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs who would like to (or have to) develop business in China, assist Chinese firms to excel in national or global battles, or develop multinationals' competitive strategy for China.

Digital Transformation of Society, Industries and Companies (B)

The course is a follow on of the lecture series “Digital transformation of society, industries and companies” part A. Students will get hands on experience with real life projects for tech companies, startups or incumbent companies going through the digital transition on a variety of topics.

Industry and Competitive Analysis (ICA)

The course studies how firms can create investor value (above-normal returns) through the development and implementation of competitive strategies. To that end, we discuss and apply the key analytic concepts, models and tools so that you may develop a competitive advantage in competitive strategy analysis. The course uses cases that span a wide variety of industries and situations, including the strategic challenges of disruption, digital platforms, and eco-system dynamics. The course is recommended if you want to pursue careers requiring the analysis and determination of strategic decisions for companies and the assessment of long term profit opportunities within an industry.

Blue Ocean Strategy Study Group

In today’s overcrowded industries, competing head-on results in nothing but a bloody “red ocean” of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. While most companies compete within such red oceans, this strategy is increasingly unlikely to create profitable growth in the future. Blue Ocean Strategy argues that tomorrow’s leading companies will succeed not by battling competitors, but by creating “blue oceans” of uncontested market space ripe for growth. Such strategic moves - termed “value innovation” - create powerful leaps in value for both the firm and its buyers, rendering rivals obsolete and unleashing new demand. In this course, groups of participants conduct independent research projects that require them to apply the ideas and analytic frameworks underlying the creation and capturing of blue oceans of new market space to strategic moves of their choice. The major objective here is to learn how to apply the theory, tools, and methodologies of blue ocean strategy to real business situations. Good examples of real-world cases resulting from this application can be found in our book Blue Ocean Shift.

A Blue Ocean Strategy certificate will be issued by the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute for those MBA participants who have successfully completed the two dedicated Blue Ocean Strategy courses: The Blue Ocean Strategy Elective in P4 and the Blue Ocean Strategy Study Group in P5.

Dean’s Innovation Projects

Sponsored by INSEAD’s Dean Ilian Mihov, Deputy Dean Peter Zemsky and Dean of Degree Programmes Urs Peyer, this course is an opportunity for students to be part of the overall INSEAD MBA experience by integrating your learning from across your MBA experience to recommend how to drive innovation and change in INSEAD. This also deepens project leadership and management skills, including interaction with key stakeholders.

Global Strategy

Companies need to manage the tension between two opposing forces in cross border strategy. On the one hand, as globalisation has increased over time, strategic opportunities and challenges are no longer isolated within national borders. On the other hand, important differences still persist across countries, both in terms of local market opportunities and in terms of locational advantages/disadvantages for competing globally. Recognising this tension, the course will focus on the geographic element of a company's strategy. The class will study multinational corporations (MNCs) in the context of both developed markets and emerging economies. The emphasis will be on understanding strategic issues that managers of MNCs face, and on applying tools and frameworks that help address these issues.

Doing Business in Middle East

Understand how businesses work in the Middle East through activities such as company visits and networking sessions with alumni. This module takes place over several days in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Students will get deeper insights on topics such as human capital policies, investment management, sovereign wealth funds, etc. in the UAE/Middle East.

Live Action Learning Projects

Student groups of five to six participants will be matched with companies active in the Middle East region. They will analyse an important strategic challenge or opportunity for their company, produce a recommendation in a presentation, and reports will be delivered at the module’s conclusion. The project will permit students to deepen their understanding of concepts and techniques acquired from the core courses in the MBA programme.

Strategy Execution

In the fast-paced environment of business today, organisations must plan for and deal with change. Ideal for students who aspire to hold leadership positions in future, this course focuses on the process of leading strategic change across a variety of organisational levels and business contexts.

Integrating Performance and Progress

Apart from competence to make good decisions, character also matters when one makes choices on strategy, operations, and governance that will drive contributions to progress. Philosophy is fundamental to notions of progress and in this course, students will understand four core principles that help them understand why and how enterprise and its leaders are implicated in progress. Building on these philosophical principles, there will be further discussions on seven specific precepts that will enable students to better integrate performance and progress.

Business as a Force for Good

The idea of business as an agent of change and a purveyor of positive values is gaining traction and legitimacy around the world. Can we use the power of business to address the world’s most pressing challenges? Can we use the wealth of knowledge and experience that has accumulated as a result of decades of research in business and management to produce positive outcomes for society?

In this practicum-style course, run entirely out of Fontainebleau, we will use the tools and insights gained in the different core classes to help Unjani Clinics NPC, a South African not-for-profit organization running a network of primary healthcare clinics that delivers accessible, affordable, high-quality services to low-income communities, grow and become more self-sustained.