A93118 Entrepreneurship and Regional Competitiveness

Scuola di Economia e Management
Academic Year 2013/14 First Semester

Docente TitolareFernando Giuseppe Alberti
Office"Torre" (main tower), 5th floor
Phone0331 572201

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course the student will be able:

  • To understand the fundamentals and variables that determine the competitiveness
  • To discriminate relevant levels of competitiveness and the interrelationship between them
  • To identify the characteristics of the business environment in order to enhance productivity, efficiency and social achievements
  • To learn through the use of case studies of competitive success that have taken place in different real situations

Learning targets

At the end of the course the student will be able:

  • To decide on the location of greatest potential in the process of internationalization
  • To define strategies to improve the competitiveness of enterprises and their location
  • To establish the role of entrepreneurial processes in competitiveness
  • To deepen the study of a situation or case that is of your interest

Course Content

This course is concerned with the determinants of regional competitiveness and economic development viewed from a bottom up, microeconomic perspective, i.e. firms and clusters.

  • The strategies of firms, the vitality of clusters, and quality of the business environment in which competition takes place are what ultimately determines a region’s productivity.
  • This course covers both developing and advanced economies, and addresses competitiveness at several levels: nations, states or cities within nations, clusters, and groups of neighboring countries.
  • A major theme of the course is that competitiveness and economic development is affected by entrepreneurial policies at all these levels.
  • The course will explore not only theory and policy, but also the nature of the organizational structure and institutions for sustained improvements in competitiveness.

Course Delivery

The course will be taught using the case method developed at Harvard Business School, together with readings, lectures, videos and guests. Case studies will focus on global firms, clusters and strategies for competitiveness. The case method requires extensive advance preparation for each class, and a significant part of the course grade will be based on participation.

The course also involves a major team project involving the competitive assessment of a particular cluster.

Professor Michael E. Porter together with other faculty from the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School may be involved both in video-recorded or remote live sessions.

Students are responsible for consulting on a regular basis the website of the course accessible via “my.liuc.it”, where updates, additional material and slides about the course are posted. No excuse accepted for any failure during the course you may incur into due to a delayed consultation of the website.  

Sessions will run for three hours with a short break – A typical topic lecture/guest discussion runs for 45-60 minutes – A typical case discussion runs for 75-90 minutes. For sessions in which a distinguished guest is attending or for sessions complemented by video resources, you may be asked  to stay for an additional 15 minutes   

Optional review / Q&A sessions for interested  students during  Instructors’ office hours.  

There will be a wrap-up session at the end of the course. 

Course Evaluation


  • Class participation: 30%
  • Group project: 70%
  • Attendance adjustment: downward 
  • Class participation: students with insufficient class participation midway through the course will be notified. 
Group project 
  • Instructors reviews 
  • Class discussion of projects presentations 
  • Faculty comments and final mark 
Criteria for evaluating class contribution
  • This is a course about a framework for thinking
    • The cases are intended to allow the class to explore the concepts 
    • The “answer” is less important than the thinking process 
  • Analytical rigor is highly valued 
  • No outside-of-case data is allowed or rewarded 
  • Raise your hand to participate 
  • Build on previous contributions 
  • Be concise; marshal evidence; show your logic'' 
  • Integrate across facts, issues, and cases 
  • Take a constructive approach and tone 
  • Be prepared for follow up questions' 
  • Participate while not speaking 
  • No questions to the instructor are appropriate during the case' discussion'' 
  • What if you are not called on?

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