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Industry Analysis and Competitive Strategy

Code: 102312 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501572 Business Administration and Management OT 4 1
2501573 Economics OT 3 2
2501573 Economics OT 4 1


Emili Grifell Tatjé

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


There are no pre-requisites.

This is a self-contained course, although a variety of basic concepts from the fields of Business Economics, Strategic Management and Microeconomics will be used. The course clearly aims at valuing business strategic performance. To this end, the course intends to show how theoretical concepts, which may apparently seem complex in the first instance, can easily be applied to analyze business and industrial activity.

Objectives and Contextualisation

At the end of the course, the student is expected to have achieved a series of objectives, among which is the knowledge of the concepts and instruments commonly used in industrial analysis. The subject also seeks a good understanding of the company's mechanisms for generating value and transforming, partially or totally, this value into business profits. Other objectives are the evaluation of the business competitive strategy, quantification of value creation associated with the strategy, and the understanding of value sharing and appropriation mechanisms.


    Business Administration and Management
  • Capacity for adapting to changing environments.
  • Capacity for independent learning in the future, gaining more profound knowledge of previous areas or learning new topics.
  • Capacity for oral and written communication in Catalan, Spanish and English, which enables synthesis and oral and written presentation of the work carried out.
  • Delegate decision making to the workers and provide them with the necessary incentives so that those decision arte taken in the interest of the company as a whole.
  • Demonstrate initiative and work individually when the situation requires it.
  • Identify company competition, how they interact among themselves and the optimum strategies that can be drawn up in each case to stimulate competitivity.
  • Identify the positive contributions that companies make to society, developing socially responsible management and encouraging the development of objective instruments that allow for the measurement and valuation of such contributions.
  • Lead multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, implementing new projects and coordinating, negotiating and managing conflicts.
  • Organise the work in terms of good time management, organisation and planning.
  • Select and generate the information necessary for each problem, analyse it and take decisions based on that information.
  • Take decisions in situations of uncertainty, demonstrating an entrepreneurial and innovative attitude.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to improve relations with clients and suppliers, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of those relations for both sides: company and client or supplier.
  • Delegate decision making to the workers and provide them with the necessary incentives so that those decision arte taken in the interest of the company as a whole.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the processes for the implementation of company strategies.
  • Identify company competition, how they interact among themselves and the optimum strategies that can be drawn up in each case to stimulate competitivity.
  • Transmit company, department or work objectives clearly.
  • Value ethical commitment in professional practice.

Learning Outcomes

  1. A capacity of oral and written communication in Catalan, Spanish and English, which allows them to summarise and present the work conducted both orally and in writing.
  2. Adapt the formulation and implementation of strategies to different settings, family companies or recently-created companies.
  3. Analyse the main motivation systems in companies.
  4. Apply knowledge about market structures to identify companies' possible competitors and the ways in which they can compete with each other.
  5. Apply the processes of formulating strategies to specific cases.
  6. Assess ethical commitment in professional activity.
  7. Assess the effect of different strategies on the competitiveness of a company.
  8. Assess the importance of long-term commercial relationships with clients (relationship marketing).
  9. Assess the interaction between strategic formulation and the internal organisation of companies.
  10. Assess the main marketing concepts and tools.
  11. Back up business strategy decisions.
  12. Capacity to adapt to changing environments.
  13. Capacity to continue future learning independently, acquiring further knowledge and exploring new areas of knowledge.
  14. Classify the different ways in which a company can compete.
  15. Demonstrate initiative and work independently when required.
  16. Design effective motivation policies.
  17. Draft business plans.
  18. Explain the origin and assess companies' contribution to social welfare.
  19. Identify the differences in the marketing applied to different economic sectors or types of organisations.
  20. Lead multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, implement new projects, coordinate, negotiate and manage conflicts.
  21. List the basic stages and processes in the formulation and implementation of a business strategy.
  22. List the main competitors of a company.
  23. Make decisions in situations of uncertainty and show an enterprising and innovative spirit.
  24. Organise work, in terms of good time management and organisation and planning.
  25. Perform a critical assessment of the economic efficiency and distribution of wealth problems generated by companies.
  26. Relate the business strategy to the objectives of the company and its breakdown into departments or units.
  27. Select and generate the information needed for each problem, analyse it and make decisions based on this information.


The subject considers the firm as the basic unit of analysis. Its main objective is to contribute to the understanding of how the firm generates value and which are the causes that explain the difference in the value generated between firms. Accordingly, we use the concept of business models, which is increasingly being used in the field of strategic management. With the notion of business model (and/or strategy), we try to highlight the strong association between the organization and its environment, the importance of being able to correctly identify both internal and external organizational factors, eventually finding out the corresponding interrelationships. The course will not stay in the abstraction domain. It claims that it is possible to apply theoretical concepts, so that they become useful instruments for business strategy and, by extension, to the industries to which they belong to. The subject also develops benchmarking tools based on economic concepts.

1. An example to help us think about productivity, technical change and social costs

2. Recovering and revisiting some theoretical concepts

3. Productivity as a central concept. How can we measure it?

4. Measures of business financial performance: An Introduction. 

5. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA).

6. Business benchmarking: Technology of Best Practice.

7. Business benchmarking: Cost.

8. Productivity and the financial performance of the firm.

9. How the firm creates value: (Unit) Value Creation.

10. How the firm creates value: Dynamic Value Creation.

11. An introduction to business strategy.

12. Business models and the strategy of the firm.

13 Business models: Representation.

14. Business models: The Cases of Walmart and Kmart.   


The course aims at analyzing business strategic decisions within an industry context, and within the rigorous framework provided by the economic theory.

 This implies that we need to:

1. Discuss basic concepts and theories.

This is going to be developed through classroom sessions and additional readings.+

2. Work out problems and practical exercises to reinforce the understanding of previously discussed concepts.

Practice sessions will be carried out in the classroom.

3. Apply concepts to analyze specific real problems.

Case studies and examples obtained from the economic media will be provided.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classroom sessions 17 0.68
Lectures 32.5 1.3 3, 4, 5, 7, 14, 22, 18, 11, 19, 26, 25, 9
Type: Supervised      
Tutorials 15 0.6 3, 4, 5, 7, 16, 19, 26, 10, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Study of theoretical concepts, solving exercises and working out of cases 83.5 3.34 3, 4, 5, 7, 16, 19, 26, 10, 9


The course assessment will consist of:

A final exam (please consult the Faculty's academic calendar). In this exam the student will be assessed on the basis of all the concepts discussed throughout the course. This exam is essentially envisaged as a filtering device to pass the course, with a minimum mark of 3.5 (three point five). In case that the mark obtained in the exam is 3.5 (three point five) or more, the examination mark will count as much as 40% of the course final mark. The remaining 60% will be based on the student's performance during the course.

If the mark of the final exam is lower than 3.5 (three point five), this is the course final mark.

The course is passed when the final mark is equal or higher than 5 (five).

Student's performance during the course. A good performance throughout the course requires: i) class attendance and student active participation. Class attendance will be monitored and is expected to be no less than 80%; and (ii) programmed exercises and activities. They consist of (ii.1) a collection of problems that covers the main topics of the subject with a maximum weight of 45%. These problem sets can be solved by a group of 2 or 3 students; (ii.2) the Activity: create your own exercise, is compulsory although its maximum weight is 15%. Important: this activity is mandatory and it is not possible to pass the course if the Activity: create your own exercise is not submitted, regardless of the mark of the final exam and the rest of assignments of the subject. This is an individual activity. The student shows what he/she has learned and how it can be used as a tool for analyzing the industry reality and the competitive advantage among firms. All these aspects (i) class attendance and (ii) the delivery of programmed exercises and activities will be supervised during the course and result in a mark, which count for as much as 60% (45%+15%) of the coursefinal mark. 

Those students not showing up in the final exam will be considered 'not-submitted' ("no-evaluable"). 

At the end of the course the final mark will be disclosed. The student final mark is the result of weighting the three aspects object of evaluation: the final exam (minimum mark of 3.5); the collection of problem sets and the mandatory activity (create your own exercise). The weight of the exam is 40% and the weight of the collection of problems and the activity is the remaining 60%.

 A re-evaluation will be held for those students who, having not passed the course, have obtained a course final mark between 3.5 and 4.9.

 The re-evaluation will consist of doing another final exam, comprising all the concepts developed during the course. The student's performance during the course will not be re-evaluated. The final mark of the re-evaluation process is only given by the re-evaluation exam.

As a result of the re-evaluation the maximum course mark will be 5 (five).


Calendar of evaluation activities

The dates of the evaluation activities (exercises in the classroom, assignments, ...) will be announced well in advance during the semester.
The date of the final exam is scheduled in the assessment calendar of the Faculty.
"The dates of evaluation activities cannot be modified, unless there is an exceptional and duly justified reason why an evaluation activity cannot be carried out. In this case, the degree coordinator will contact both the teaching staff and the affected student, and a new date will be scheduled within the same academic period to make up for the missed evaluation activity." Section 1 of Article 115. Calendar of evaluation activities (Academic Regulations UAB). Students of the Faculty of Economics and Business, who in accordance with the previous paragraph need to change an evaluationactivity date must process the request by filling out an Application for exams' reschedule https://eformularis.uab.cat/group/deganat_feie/application-for-exams-reschedule
Grade revision process
After all marking activities have ended,students will be informed of the date and wayin which the course marks will be published.Students will be also be informed of the procedure, place, date and time of grade revision following University regulations.
Retake Process
"To be eligible to participate in the retake process, it is required for students to have been previously been evaluated for at least two thirds of the total evaluation activities of the subject." Section 3 of Article 112 ter. The recovery (UAB Academic Regulations). Additionally, it is required that the student to have achieved an average grade of the subject between 3.5 and 4.9.
The date of the retake exam will be posted in the calendar of evaluation activities of the Faculty. Students who take this exam and pass, will get a grade of 5 for the subject. If the student does not pass the retake, the grade will remain unchanged, and hence, student will fail the course. 
Irregularities in evaluation activities
In spite of other disciplinary measures deemed appropriate, and in accordance with current academic regulations, "in the case that the student makes any irregularity that could lead to a significant variation in the grade of an evaluation activity, it will be graded with a 0, regardless of the disciplinary process that can be instructed. In case of various irregularities occur in the evaluation of the same subject, the final grade of this subject will be 0". Section 10 of Article 116. Results of the evaluation. (UAB Academic Regulations).
The proposed evaluation activities may undergo some changes according to the restrictions imposed by the health authorities on on-campus courses.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Activity (create your own exercise). 15% 0.3 0.01 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 1, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 21, 18, 11, 19, 20, 24, 23, 26, 27, 25, 6, 10, 8, 9
Final Exam 40% 0.8 0.03 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 1, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 21, 18, 11, 19, 20, 24, 23, 26, 27, 25, 6, 10, 8, 9
collection problem sets 45% 0.9 0.04 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 1, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 21, 18, 11, 19, 20, 24, 23, 26, 27, 25, 6, 10, 8, 9



Grifell-Tatjé, E. and C.A.K. Lovell (2015), Productivity Accounting. The Economics of Business Performance. Cambridge University Press: New York.

Besanko, D., D. Dranove, M. Shanley and S. Schaefer (2017), Economics of Strategy, John Wiley and Sons. 6ª Ed.

Bogetoft, P. (2011), Performance Benchmarking. Measuring and Managing Performance. Springer: New York. 5.ª Ed.

They are the latest editions available.



Brandenburger, A.M. and H.W. Stuart (1996), "Value-Based Business Strategy". Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 5(1): 5-24.

Brea-Solís, H., R. and E. Grifell-Tatjé (2019), "A Business Model Analysis of Kmart's Downfall," International Journalof Retail & Distribution Management  47(2): 111-128. 

Brea-Solís, H., R. Casadesus-Masanell & E. Grifell-Tatjé (2015), ”Business Model Evaluation: Quantifying Walmart’s Sources of Advantage,” Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal 9(1), 12-33.

Casadesus-Masanell, R., & Larson, T. (2009). “Competing through business models (D).” Harvard Business School, Case 710-410.

Casadesus-Masanell, R., & Ricart, J. E. (2008). “Competing through business models (A).” Harvard Business School, Case 708-452.

Casadesus-Masanell, R., & J. E. Ricart (2010),”From Strategy to Business Models and onto Tactics,” Long range Planning 43: 195-215.

Casadesus-Masanell, R., & J. E.Ricart (2011). “How to Design a Winning Business Model.” Harvard Business Review 89(1-2), 100-107.

Chesbrough, H. & R.S. Rosenbloom (2002), “The role of Business Model in Capturing Value from Innovation: Evidence from Xerox Corporation’s Technology Spin-Off Companies,” Industrial and Corporate Change 11(3):529-555.

Estache, A. & E. Grifell-Tatjé (2013), “How (un) even was the distribution of the impacts of Mali’s water privatization across stakeholders?” Journal of Development Studies 49(4), April: 483 – 499.

Garcia-Castro, R. & R.V. Aguilera (2015), "Incremental Value Creation and Appropiation in a World with Multiple Stakeholders," Strategic Management Journal 36: 137-147.

Garcia-Castro, R., J.E. Ricart, M.B. Lieberman and N. Balasubramanian (2018), "Business Model Innovation and Replication: Implications for the Measurement of Productivity" in E. Grifell-Tatjé, C.A.K. Lovell and R. Sickles, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Productivity Analysis, Oxford University Press: New York. 

Grifell-Tatjé, E. & C.A.K. Lovell (1999), "Profits and Productivity”. Management Science. 45(9), September: 1177 – 1193.

Grifell-Tatjé, E. & C.A.K. Lovell (2013), “Advances in Cost Frontier Analysis of the Firm,” in C.R. Thomas and W. Shughart II (ed.), Oxford Handbook in Managerial Economics. Oxford University Press: Oxford: p 66 – 88.

Grifell-Tatjé, E., and C.A.K. Lovell (2018), “The Business Foundations of Social Economic Progress,” Business Research Quarterly, 21(4). 278-292 .(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2340943618303244)

Grifell-Tatjé, E., C.A.K. Lovell and R. Sickles (2018), "Chapter 1. Overview of Productivity Analysis: History, Issues and Perspectives,” in E. Grifell-Tatjé, C.A.K. Lovell and R. Sickles, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Productivity Analysis, Oxford University Press: New York.

Hashimy, L., G. Jain and E. Grifell-Tatjé, 2022, “Determinants of Blockchain Adoption as Decentralized Business Model by Spanish Firms – An Innovation Theory Perspective,” Industrial Management & Data Systems (available online at the website of the journal)

Lefebvre, M., S. Perelman & P. Pestieu (2018), "Productivity and Performance in the Public Sector," in E. Grifell-Tatjé, C.A.K. Lovell and R. Sickles (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Productivity Analysis. Oxford University Press: New York.

Williamson, P.J. (2010), “Cost Innovation: Preparing for a ‘Value-for-Money” Revolution,” Long Range Planning 43: 343-353.

Winter, S.G. & G. Szulanski (2001), "Replication as Strategy," Organization Science 12(6), Nov/Dec: 730-743.


The subject will provide the solfware if needed.