72908 - Strategic Alliances and Network

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The objectives for this course are:

·       To help students to develop a deeper understanding of the meanings of the different types of alliances and networks and to gain insights into several companies' use of alliances and networks.

·       To provide students an understanding of what makes alliances and networks strategic and critical to achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.  And, how industry structures relate to alliances and networks.

·       To underscore the importance of basics in effectively approaching and addressing the complex nature of cooperative strategies.

·       To recognize what are the key ingredients of a ‘learning through partners' strategy and apply them to different functional areas and different fields.

·       To learn a variety of concepts and frameworks concerning organizational conflict management, the choice of a business partner, and some sub-processes of negotiation.

·       To provide access to tools that students can use in their future careers for effectively designing, managing, and evolving alliances and networks.

Course contents

This course teaches students an understanding of various definition and examples of alliances and networks from existing management literature and from a set of example cases that illustrate collaborative strategies in many different settings and markets. This course also explores drivers of alliances and networks through a series of cases and presentations by leaders of companies involved in cooperative strategies at the strategic level. Among the topics covered are:

· What strategic alliances and networks are, why companies use them.

· The role of alliances and networks in business competition and in different industrial settings.

· The design of strategic alliances and networks, including the choice of partner and of structure.

· How alliances and networks are designed and managed over their lifetime.

Readings/Bibliography

Required readings of articles available from: https://virtuale.unibo.it/course/view.php?id=15542

Teaching methods

This is an applied, case-based course. Conceptual understanding is developed through:

·       Lectures by instructor .

·       Readings from books and articles on the theory and practice of alliances and networks. Readings are designed to provide a starting point for analyzing the case, but extension of the ideas is encouraged, as they will be applied in an integrative fashion in the discussions.

·       Case studies of prominent cooperative strategies. Given the nature of the course, we will also apply the lessons from the cases to understand the challenges and implications of relevant recent and on-going deals, in a setting that approximates the management teams typically charged with such tasks.

·       Team case analysis intended to give you the opportunity to apply your learning from this course to relevant and interesting contexts.

·       Guest lecturers by expert practitioners to help students familiarize with the many challenges of designing and managing alliances and networks from a variety of organizations.

Assessment methods

Students can decide not to attend the course. Course materials are the same, both for attending and not attending students. To be considered in attendance, a student must be present in the class for at least 80% of the total number of lessons.

Students not attending lectures cannot ask for a thesis in this subject.

Final test. Not attending students will be evaluated with a written test combining multiple choice and open questions (maximum score: 30). Oral exams are not possible.

Attending students will be evaluated with a written test (with a reduced number of questions) combining multiple choice and open questions (maximum score: 26), and two teamwork activities (rewarded with a maximum of 4). Oral exams are not possible.

Team case analysis. Attending students will be requested to distribute in groups of six-seven. The list of group members is due at the end of the first lesson. The team is expected to (criteria for grading): a.- analyze the case, identify key problems/strategic issues, and logically apply the course material to the phenomenon under investigation; b.- provide a thorough and rigorous quantitative and/or qualitative analysis of the phenomenon; c.- draw implications and suggest realistic, workable, well-supported recommendations for high-level executives; d.- outline an implementation plan and discuss which insights are generalizable and under what conditions.

The outcome of the team analysis is a report (Word document) and a Powerpoint presentation. The project report should have no more than 2,500 words (tables and graphs do not contribute to the word count). Students can decide the format and the structure of the report. The PPT presentation should convey the key messages to an audience of high-level businessmen and potential investors (approximately 15 slides). Detailed guidelines for project works will be delivered during the very first session.

Class participation and discussion. Informed and engaged participation is an essential part of this course and is expected from everyone. Students will be required to participate in lively class discussions that will be personally challenging. Students are expected to prepare the assigned cases and readings prior to each class . Discussion questions for the case will be set prior to each session, to enable you to focus your attention. Some of the cases are subjected to a number of interpretations. Thus, meeting with a study group will therefore be an integral part of your learning. Evaluation of class participation will emphasize the mastery of concepts and critical thinking skills of application, synthesis, and evaluation. Active engagement means that student is listening carefully to the comments of his peers and seeking opportunities to make comments that move the class discussion forward.

Teaching tools

The teacher will provide students with further readings and insights on critical topics related to the management of innovation and technology.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Lipparini