85005 - Scenario Analysis

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

“Scenarios are discrete internally consistent views of how the world will look in the future, which can be selected to bound the possible range of outcomes that might occur.” (Michael Porter in “Competitive Strategy”). Scenario analysis may range from more quantitative (simulation models) to more qualitative approaches (the building of “alternative worlds”). At the end of the course the student is able a) to manage tools for planning scenarios and interpreting their implications b) integrate the analysis of broad societal and technological trends into organizational strategies.

Course contents

1) Introduction: Strategic Management

2) The Resource-Based View of the Firm

3) Strategic Management and Scenario Analysis

4) The Concept of Structure

5) Tools to analyze dynamical systems.

A. Causal Loop Diagrama

B. Positive Feedback Loops

C. Negative Feedback Loops

D. Stock and Flow Diagram

E. The Analysis of Structure-Behavior Relationship

6) Resource-Based View of the Firm and Properties of Resource Accumulation Processes.

7) Asset Mass Efficiency

8) Asset Erosion

9) Asset Interconnection

10) Time compressione diseconomies:

A. Material Delays

B. Information Delays: ‘Psychological smoothing’.

11) Causal ambiguity and non-linearity.

12) Computer Modelling, Simulation and Scenario Analysis

13) Problem Analysis.

14) Building a Qualitative Model.

15) Building a Quantitative Model.

16) Test of the model.

17) Defining an Experimental Simulation Protocol.


Sterman, J. D., (2000), Business Dynamics, System Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. Irwin McGraw-Hill.

Teaching methods

Lectures and classes

Assessment methods

Written examinations.

Office hours

See the website of Edoardo Mollona