Business Strategy – Competitive Advantage

Competition is at the heart of modern business, and determines the behaviors of companies, professionals, and potential customers. Gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage takes more than great timing or a single solution. Sustainable advantage requires a well-designed and well-executed strategy. This course is designed to give you the tools and frameworks to develop and execute a successful competitive strategy.

In this online course, you’ll learn how to evaluate your strategy, and how to identify internal, external, and dynamic opportunities to gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, you’ll learn to assess the strategic impact of your competitors’ moves, and understand what drives and sustains a competitive advantage, while identifying organizational barriers to change.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to assess and redesign your current strategy, and develop strategies for effective implementation to give your firm a competitive advantage.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to evaluate your present and future strategic environment
  • How to identify the differences between organizational effectiveness and strategic positioning
  • How to map core and supporting activities of your firm and how they interact with each other
  • How to locate organizational barriers to strategy implementation and organizational change
  • How to engage in a strategic planning process that works

Why Study Competitive Advantage?

In the modern era, evaluating your firm’s competition and adjusting your strategy is an absolute necessity. A competitive advantage sets a company apart from its competitors, and sets distinctions to the customer. Prices, brand loyalty, culture, product design, and overall strategy are all informed by competitive analysis. The competitive advantage empowers your business to grow, even as your competition innovates.

Program Details

Start Dates: 

6 weeks

2-4 hours per week

Program Format:
100% Online

Program Tuition:

Overview of Modules:


  • What is strategy?
  • The difference between organization effectiveness and strategy
  • The importance of tradeoffs
  • The value chain
  • Interactions among strategic choices
  • Mapping your firm’s activity system


  • The concept of “value”
  • Industry analysis
  • Willingness-to-pay and cost drivers for different customer segments
  • Your value proposition
  • Strategic positioning


  • The origins of your firm’s strategy
  • Drivers of strategy evolution
  • Barriers to organizational change (perception, knowledge, motivation, and coordination challenges)
  • Disruptive technological changes


  • Creating new strategic possibilities
  • Identifying conditions for success for each possibility
  • Designing empirical tests
  • Selecting strategic possibilities
  • Important shifts in mindsets

Faculty for this Course

The Business Strategy: Competitive Advantage course is taught by Nicolaj Siggelkow, PhD, the David M. Knott Professor at the Wharton School, and a co-director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management.

Professor Siggelkow has been the recipient of numerous Wharton MBA and Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Awards. Among his awards are the Class of 1984 Award, which recognizes the faculty member with the highest teaching rating in the MBA classroom, the Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Teaching Award, the Wharton Award, and the Wharton Graduate Association Student Choice Award.  His research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, the Journal of Industrial Economics, Management Science, Organization Science, and Strategic Organization.

His research focuses on the strategic and organizational implications of interactions among a firm’s choices of activities and resources. He studied Economics at Stanford University and has an MA in Economics and a PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University and Harvard Business School.

Research Interests:

  • Strategic and organizational implications of interactions among a firm’s choices of activities and resources
  • How firms grow, develop, and adjust actions over time


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The Wharton School is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

The Wharton School is accredited by IACET