• Unit 1: Introduction to Strategy

    Before designing a winning strategy for your organization, let's first review some definitions. This unit will define key terms related to the course. You will see the terms explained in more detail as you navigate the course. However, it is critical to start with a good solid foundation. A few key terms discussed in this unit are strategy, markets, firms, and management. This unit describes how firms must navigate the marketplace and remain competitive. Management often wants to identify their competitors; however, this would be a risky mistake. There are vast considerations companies need to address to create a winning strategy.

    A great example of how corporations make moves in the marketplace comes from Microsoft and Google, two well-known tech companies. They are competitors, but they do not compete in all of the same markets. Google primarily competes in the search engine market, where Microsoft has also started to devote more resources with a new "decision engine" called Bing. Likewise, Microsoft competes in the operating system market, and Google has recently diverted resources to compete in this market with Chrome OS. However, competitors do not always compete in the same markets. For example, Apple competes in many markets with Google and Microsoft but makes these companies' products available on its platform. Apple does not have a search engine, so it allows Google and Microsoft to compete on the iPhone. Identifying markets and industries gives a firm the foundation to develop goals and strategies. Microsoft may aim to take 5% of the search engine market from Google and then create a plan to accomplish this.

    This unit focuses on topics such as those mentioned above. However, the course will also look at how other smaller businesses and departments might design strategies at different levels within a firm.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 2.5 hours.

    • 1.1: Definition

      • 1.1.1: Strategy

      • 1.1.2: Markets

      • 1.1.3: Firms

    • 1.2: Strategic Hierarchy

    • 1.3: Industry Analysis

        • 1.3.1: Industry Classification Systems

        • 1.3.2: Porter's Five Forces

      • Unit 1 Assessments

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