A83220 Doing Business Around the World

Scuola di Economia e Management
Academic Year 2015/16 Second Semester

Docente TitolareAnna Paola Della Valle
Office"Torre" (main tower), 7th floor

Learning Objectives

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

(a) To identify and analyze firm-specific objectives and organizational, pricing and marketing strategies tailored to business success or other firm objectives under specific market structures.

(b )To address the extent to which government intervention into markets in the form of antitrust enforcement and/or regulations may affect the specific structure of the market and firm strategy.

(c)To develop a focused, well-defined lobbying/public affairs strategy. 

Course Prerequisite (no exceptions): The course is meant for graduate students in economics who have a solid foundation in microeconomic theory and industrial organization.  Undergraduate students are generally not admitted in this course.  However, undergaduates who are in their final year of coursework can occasionally be admitted to the course but only upon permission of the instructor. 

Course Content

This is a course in applied industrial organization.  As such, it includes a review of the main models of market structure as a basis for analyzing and discussing real world decision-making by market participants, including firms, consumers and government regulators.  The aim of the course is to give students a strategic understanding of the behavior of firms and other market participants in economies across the world.  It does so by focusing on ways in which firm-specific strategies influence market structure, as well as ways in which firms choose strategies in response to the structure of the markets in which they operate.  Within this context, the government can play an important role in influencing firm behavior, market structure and market outcome.    

The lectures will make extensive use of real-world examples and case studies to illustrate and analyze these relationships and interactions, including:

  • Hollywood strategy: what movies to release and when
  • Boeing/Airbus: whether to develop new large-body aircraft
  • Collusion pays off--until you’re caught: vitamins, flat screens, beer.
  • The Italian highway system: a public/private partnership
  • Eastern Europe: privatize, liberalize—too much too soon? 
  • Monopolization antitrust suits: Microsoft and Intel
  • Cheap chinese imports: rationales for and against trade restrictions
  • Bayer, Coca-Cola, Gucci: the power of brand name
  • Zegna, Ferrero, Armani:privately held and proud of it

The course may feature guest speakers who are experts in their respective fields.  

Past Guest Speakers:

  1. Luxury goods: Anna Zegna, Image Director Zegna Group, President Zegna Foundation
  2. Banking: Dr. Eugenio Namor, Professor LIUC, President Anthilia Capital Partners
  3. Equity Research: Fabrizio Malavolti, Hammer Partners
  4. Lobbying in ETFs and taxation: Dr. Federico Sidoti, consultant Ecomunicare

Workshop in Lobbying Strategies: The course includes a separate mandatory workshop of 20 hours taught by Prof. Stefano Massa.  The workshop offers students an in–depth analysis of the role of lobbying and public affairs as a business strategy using a practical case study approach and in-class simulations. 

Course Delivery

The course will run under a lecture format requiring active students’ involvement. Students are responsible for LEARNING the assigned lecture material and for PROVIDING a meaningful contribution to the discussion led by the instructor. Enrollment in this class involves a commitment from students to dedicate the time and energy required to be prepared and active class participants.  

Students are invited to extend their reading and research of lecture topics to papers, articles, blogs and interviews through personal search on the internet, news and academic media.

Students are responsible for consulting on a regular basis the website of the course on “my.liuc.it” where lecture materials and course updates are posted. No excuses accepted for any failure during the course due to a delayed consultation of the website.  

Course Evaluation

Attending students: The overall course grade will be 70% (21/30 points) from Prof. Della Valle's portion of the course and 30% (9 points) from the Laboratory in Lobbying Strategy taught by Prof. Massa. 

The grade for Prof. Della Valle's portion of the course will be based on class attendance and participation (20%, 4 points), group projects (50%, 10 points), midterm written exam (15%, 3 points) and final written exam (15%, 4 points).

The grade for the laboratory will be based on class attendance and participation (50%, 4.5 points) and in class group presentation (50%, 4.5 points). 

Class participation: Class participation is measured by class attendance, answers to instructor’s questions and active participation in class discussions.

Group project: Student groups will prepare an in-class presentation and written report on a real-world case study or hypothetical business strategy of their choosing relevant to the content of the course.  Professors Della Valle and Massa will meet and communicate with each of the groups to approve and discuss the topic.   

Group projects should meet the following requirements:  

1. Identify an interesting and useful research question of historical or contemporary value to industry or government policy and decision makers in business strategy, management, marketing or lobbying.

2. Develop the framework and analysis which provides the context for answering the research question(s).

3. Collect and analyze relevant data and information.

4. Present the group project to the class in a well-constructed, interesting presentation.  The class is your audience!

Midterm and Final exams: The midetrm and final are each two-hour written exams in which students will be required to answer questions related to the course material.

Note: Attending students are strongly urged to take the final exam on the first available exam date following the end of classes (primo appello) when all of the course material is fresh in their minds but may choose  to take the exam on the second available exam date (secondo appello).  Beyond those dates, students who have not completed the course requirements will be considered to be non-attending and required to submit to the corresponding grading guidelines for non-attending students (see below.)  

Non attending students:

Due to the nature and structure of this course, students are strongly discouraged from following this course if they cannot attend classes.  However, those students who wish to do so can take a non-attending student exam which will be based on comprehensive knowledge of the following:

1. All of the material (lecture slides, notes and readings) posted on MY LIUC for the course. For materials relating to the laboratory portion of the course on lobbying strategy the non-attending student should contact Prof. Massa avvocatomassa@hotmail.com.

2. The contents of Lynne Pepall, Dan Richards, George Norman, Industrial Organization: Contemporary Theory and Empirical Applications, 4th Edition, January 2008, Wiley-Blackwell, all chapters except Part VII Network and Auctions.  The exam for non-attending students will include questions aimed at assessing the student’s preparation in applied microeconomics and industrial organization.

In addition to the final exam, non attending students will prepare and submit two individual papers: the first on a topic relating to Prof. Della Valle’s portion of the course and the second relating to the lobbying portion of the course. Non-attending students should contact Profs. Della Valle and Massa regarding the nature, scope and choice of the paper topics.  The individual papers are in lieu of the group projects for attending students.  

Note: Preparation for and fulfillment of the exam and paper requirements for non-attending students is extremely demanding and should not be taken lightly. 

Grading for non-attending students will be determined as follows:

50% final exam (15 points).  The final exam is a 3-hour written exam consisting of  questions worth 12 points from Prof. Della Valle's section of the course and questions worth 3 points from Prof. Massa's lobbying workshop.

50% papers (15 points of which 9 for Prof. Della Valle's paper and 6 for Prof. Massa's paper.)



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