Full-Time MBA

Strategic Management

The strategic problems managers face are typically ambiguous and do not lend themselves readily to solutions using formulae or models. Strategic management helps us to understand the practical realities behind organizational decision-making. Strategic management solutions are required to answer questions such as: What products should you make? Which markets should you enter? What type of organization should you build? How should you respond to competitors’ behavior? Which operations should you outsource?

The Chicago Booth curriculum emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach involving psychology, sociology, and economics to develop analytical frameworks that examine the strategic issues managers face. This three-pronged approach provides an understanding of how managers employ the formal and informal relationships that exist between firms in an industry, and devise solutions to the externally-focused questions facing a company. The strategic management concentration builds the skills needed to formulate and implement an organization's key strategies, the results of which will shape the structure and functioning of your firm.


Co-curricular ActivitiesYou'll have the chance to explore activities outside the classroom in numerous ways that will also allow you to build new skills, relationships, and networks. These include:

  • Credit Restructuring, Distressed Investing, and Turnaround Group - The Turnaround and Restructuring Group provides resources to its members, and the Chicago Booth community, to enable a better understanding of the field and improve the competitive position of Chicago Booth students interested in entering turnaround and crisis management. The group sponsors an annual Turnaround and Restructuring Conference. Read about the most recent conference.
  • Corporate Management and Strategy - The Corporate Management and Strategy Group promotes the development of general management and strategy skills among Chicago Booth students. The group helps students develop functional and managerial skills; fosters relationships with companies; facilitates recruiting in corporate management and strategy at Chicago Booth in order to expand students' career opportunities; provides guidance and support to members throughout the recruiting process; provides a forum for students, faculty, and industry experts to exchange leadership and management concepts.
  • Management Consulting Group - Management consulting is one of the most popular career choices of Chicago Booth graduates. The Management Consulting Group is committed to giving you a competitive advantage by providing comprehensive student development, extensive resources, and a wide range of networking opportunities. We strive to assist those within the Chicago Booth community to better understand the consulting industry and provide the tools and resources that are essential to help students make the most informed choices regarding consulting careers.

You’ll have the option of taking courses that address your individual career choices. Samples include:

  • Competitive Strategy - This course applies tools from microeconomics and industrial organization to competitive decision-making. First, you will learn to understand industry economics and the individual position of a particular firm, taking the industry economics as given. Next, you will study issues related to both the vertical and horizontal scopes of firms. Then, you'll be introduced to basic game theory, which is used to analyze issues such as bargaining power, price competition, entry and exit decisions, standard setting, and technological competition.
  • The Strategy Symposium - A group of about 30 students meet faculty, visiting business executives, and others to explore approaches, ideas, and questions about strategy in greater depth. The goals are to develop a better understanding of the methods and techniques of strategic thinking and to explore the design, implementation, and evaluation of strategy. The development of tools and concepts for evaluating strategies both before and after the outcome is known and to seek insights that will improve the process of designing strategy are important.
  • Taking Charge - Taught by former c-level executives, this course focuses on the practical, current, key issues with which general managers often deal when they take over a new assignment. These include: joining a company from the outside to take charge of a subsidiary in need of change; implementing your game plan and choosing your management style; the importance of self-awareness and communications in managing others effectively; making decisions and setting priorities in a turnaround situation; and transitioning a very successful startup into a large corporation - without losing its distinctive culture.
  • Technology Strategy - This course focuses on strategic decision-making in technology-intensive industries. You will learn about a set of conceptual models that help determine which technologies to invest in, when to make the investments, how to capture value from the technology investment, and how to anticipate and respond to competitors and customers. Particular emphasis will be placed on building models for making strategic decisions in the context of significant technology, demand, and competitive uncertainty.

You’ll study with professors who conduct groundbreaking research, consult with businesses, and bring their experiences examining the practical realities behind organizational decision-making into the classroom.

Marianne Bertrand

Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, is an applied microeconomist who has done work on racial discrimination, CEO pay and incentives, and the effects of regulation on employment, among other topics in labor economics and corporate finance.

Eric Budish

Eric Budish, assistant professor of economics and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow, researches auction and matching markets, and more broadly he is interested in the design of market institutions. His most recent work concerns the design of markets that allocate schedules of courses to students, or schedules of shifts to workers. 

Ronald S. Burt

Ronald S. Burt, Hobart W. Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy, studies the social structure of competitive advantage in careers, organizations, and markets. Burt is the author of six books, two software programs, and numerous articles and chapters in academic works.

Harry L. Davis

Harry L. Davis, Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management, studies leadership, strategy, creativity, and innovation. He developed the first core leadership program of any top-rated MBA program in the country and also pioneered the Management Lab.

Matthew Gentzkow

Matthew Gentzkow, Richard O. Ryan Professor of Economics and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow, studies empirical industrial organization and political economy, with a specific focus on media industries. Gentzkow's work has been published in the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review, and Econometrica, and has been covered in major national media. Gentzkow received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2009.

Robert H. Gertner

Robert H. Gertner, Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy and Finance; Deputy Dean for the Part-Time MBA Programs, focuses his research primarily on industrial organization, resource allocation and decision making in organizations, corporate investment, law and economics, and strategic pricing.

John P. Gould

John P. Gould, Steven G. Rothmeier Professor and Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, studies strategy, microeconomics, industrial organization, law and economics, the economics of information, and investment by the firm. Considered an expert in his field, Gould has been called to testify in many court cases and his research has been widely published.

Emir Kamenica

Emir Kamenica, associate professor of economics and Robert King Steel Faculty Fellow, studies a variety of topics in applied microeconomics, including the design of informational environments, behavioral industrial organization, discrimination, and dating and marriage markets. He has published work in the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economic Studies.

Marc Knez

Marc Knez, clinical professor of strategic management, has evolved his research from a focus on applying game- and decision-theory to strategic decision making to a focus on market analysis, strategy development, and organizational structure. His work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Business, and the Journal of Labor Economics.

Neale Mahoney

Neale Mahoney, assistant professor of economics, studies public finance, industrial organization, and health economics. His dissertation examines health insurance markets. Mahoney has worked as an associate at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and on health care reform for the Obama administration. For his research, he has been awarded a National Tax Association Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award (first runner-up) and the Lamport Prize for the best undergraduate thesis in economics at Brown University.

James E. Schrager

James E. Schrager, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and strategic management, completed the first IPO of a US private company in Japan, and has turned around several businesses, including a company with $500 million in sales and operations in 20 countries.

Jesse M. Shapiro

Jesse M. Shapiro, professor of economics, is a research associate in labor studies at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a coeditor of the Journal of Political Economy, and an associate editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. Before joining the Chicago Booth faculty, he was the inaugural Becker Fellow at the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory.

Chad Syverson

Chad Syverson, J. Baum Harris Professor of Economics, researches several topics, including the interactions of firm structure, market structure, and productivity. His work has been published in several top journals and has earned several National Science Foundation Awards, Olin Foundation Grants, and a Brookings Dissertation Fellowship.

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