Course Description: 

This course provides doctoral candidates with a foundation in the strategy literature. Drawing on strategy traditions that vary from positioning to dynamic capabilities, a primordial aim of the seminar will be to explain variation in firm and industry performance.

Each session during the seminar is intended to expose doctoral candidates to the seminal literature on the topic with a view to encouraging them to write a research paper of publishable quality in peer review journals. Topics covered in the seminar include general areas such as the resource-based view of the firm, industry evolution and dynamics, strategy-related theories of the firm, and diversification and vertical integration.

Given the relatively short nature of the course, we will not cover all areas of strategy but participants are encouraged to develop further readings and exploration based on the literature covered in this seminar.

This is a doctoral seminar. And based on the premise that everyone has both something to learn (even the instructors) and something to teach, classes will be conducted on a workshop basis.  Shared learning, cross-pollination of ideas and reflective insights will be a major part of these joint-learning experiences. 

Learning Outcomes: 

Participants will develop a thorough mastery of the seminal research literature strategy. This involves


  • Evaluating the importance and validity of theory and empirical evidence in academic research on strategy


  • Developing a comprehensive synthesis of the main intellectual traditions in the strategy literature


  • Developing a thorough literature review of current research


  • Applying relevant parts of the extant literature in their own ongoing research agendas

Six (6) Analytical Summaries (40% of grade) – each week, participants will be asked to prepare an analytical summary (3-5 pages) of the articles assigned as reading for that session. The summary will focus on the theme of the session rather than being a general critical analysis. These must be submitted before class starts. The instructor will provide preliminary feedback after the session and participants are expected to revise the summary and resubmit a week later for further feedback.


Research Paper (empirical or theoretical) drawing on a theme in global business (45% of grade) – You will be expected to write a research paper based around your current research on the doctoral program. You will be expected to draw on the literature covered in this seminar with a view to publication in a peer-reviewed journal. You will be expected to submit a draft paper for feedback from your instructors before re-submitting for grade. To get an ‘A’ grade, the paper will have to be accepted for presentation at a reputable, academic conference.


Class Participation (15% of grade) – as this is a doctoral seminar, participants are expected to be fully engaged intellectually, attend all sessions, be prepared to constructively evaluate each other’s contributions and seek innovation in thinking. It’s a tall order, but it is a necessary expectation.