77978 - Sustainable Business and Green Economy

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The successful student will know the different issues arising in the processes of planning, managing, organizing and executing business strategies. She will be able to show an adequate understanding of the mechanisms, both economic and institutional, upon which business start-ups are based. She will also be able to identify, even in real cases, the main factors leading to the choice of certain organizational structures, strategies and management choices. She will be able to work autonomously by properly using bibliographic sources and basic statistics.

Course contents

After a brief review of the modern theories of the firm, the first module will focus on the functions of enterprise strategy and on the different approaches to the formulation of firms’ strategies and to the design of the organizational structures (even multinational). These structures are oriented toward competitive advantage in the light of the set of environmental and social constraints (Corporate Social Responsibility). The sector-based approach will be compared to that resources and competences based, by focusing on the role of technology and innovation to gain a sustainable competitive advantage, even from the environmental point of view.

The second module will be devoted to the analysis of the nature and sources of firms’ competitive advantage and profitability. Different strategies will be compared (such as differentiation vs cost advantages). Next, we will analyze the evolution of the company's strategic choices during the industry’s life cycle. Finally, the model of the multinational and transnational firm will be discussed, with particular reference to industrial group strategies.

Detailed program

Module I

Firm and strategy

  • Definition, functions and evaluation of business strategy
  • Business strategies and group strategies
  • Organizational structures and strategic management
  • Sector analysis and resource and competence-based analysis
  • Technology and innovation management

Module II

Sustainable firm and the green economy

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Eco-innovation

Profitability and competitive advantage

  • Nature and sources of competitive advantage
  • Advantage of cost and advantage of differentiation
  • Business strategies and evolution of sectors
  • Multinational enterprises
  • Industrial group strategies and diversification


rant, R.M (2016), L'Analisi Strategica per le Decisioni Aziendali, Il Mulino, Bologna, (in particolare, e non ad esclusione degli altri, i Capitoli: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII);

Shilling A. M. - Izzo F. (2017), Gestione dell'innovazione, Mc Graw Hill, Milano, Capitoli 9 e 10.

Supplementary teaching material will be provided by the teaching staff.

Teaching methods

Lectures. Classroom discussions. Exercises.

Assessment methods

Examination will evaluate the following learning objectives:

  • In-depth knowledge of the key approaches to strategic analysis and their links to business theories.
  • Ability to employ such theories to interpret relevant empirical observation of business cases.
  • Ability to formulate strategic recommendations.

Exams are written test, in which students must answer some questions regarding the approaches discussed ("theory questions"). Moreover, students must answer to empirical questions, in which they demonstrate how to apply the theoretical tools for interpretative and predictive purposes.

Attending students are allowed to take part of the exam as a presentation of a case study at the end of the course.

In order to take the test, students need to subscribe through the electronic bulletin boards, with due regard for the deadline provided. Those who failed to sign up by the due date are required to report in a timely manner (and in any case before the official closing of the enrollment lists) the problem with the teaching secretariat. It will be the faculty of the professor to admit them to the test.

Students who pass the exam and need to verbalize the vote in advance of the scheduled date are invited to notify the request to the teacher via e-mail.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations from the teaching staff and supplementary readings available at AMS Campus.

Discussions and exercises (such as feedback tests) will integrate the teaching material.

Office hours

See the website of Giulio Pedrini