Business Growth Strategy

About this course: Get the tools you need to analyze, evaluate and recommend specific actions organizations can take to grow their value and avoid common growth pitfalls. Learn to determine how best to build value, whether by scaling existing markets, entering established markets or creating new markets through innovation and acquisitions. Apply these concepts in case studies of industry leaders JetBlue, Starbucks, Intel Corporate Venturing and Tata Motors.

Created by:   University of Virginia
  • Michael Lenox
    Taught by:    Michael Lenox, Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer
    Darden School of Business
  • Jared Harris
    Taught by:    Jared Harris, Samuel L. Slover Research Chair in Business Administration
    Darden School of Business
Basic Info
Course 3 of 5 in the Business Strategy Specialization.
Commitment4 weeks, 2-5 hours/week
How To PassPass all graded assignments to complete the course.
User Ratings
Average User Rating 4.7See what learners said
Growth through Scaling
Strategic growth is intentional, proactive, and consistent with a company's purpose. Taking advantage of economies of scale--growing a business by doing more of what it's already doing--is a conceptually easy but operationally complex approach to business growth. In this module, you will learn the Scenario Planning tool to identify and evaluate opportunities to scale an organization. With this tool, you'll have an effective means to understand when and where to grow and how to get there. The Starbucks case provides an opportunity for you to practice this tool and apply key concepts.

13 videos9 readings
  1. Reading: Course Overview
  2. Reading: Course Requirements
  3. Reading: Get to Know Your Classmates
  4. Reading: Using the Discussion Forums
  5. Video: Growth Strategy
  6. Video: Why Grow?
  7. Video: Strategy and Growth
  8. Video: Growth Alternatives
  9. Video: Growth Risks
  10. Video: Growth through Scaling
  11. Video: Scenario Planning
  12. Video: Scenario Planning Step 1
  13. Video: Scenario Planning Steps 2 and 3
  14. Video: Scenario Planning Steps 4 and 5
  15. Video: Module Lessons
  16. Video: Strategist's Toolkit: Scenario Planning
  17. Reading: Starbucks Corporation
  18. Discussion Prompt: How do you recommend Starbucks move forward?
  19. Video: Starbucks Case Debrief
  20. Reading: Week 1 Slides
  21. Reading: Introduction to Strategic Analysis
  22. Reading: Common Terms, Strategy Analytics, and Gathering Strategic Intelligence
  23. Reading: The Strategist's Toolkit: Table of Contents
Graded: Growth through Scaling
Growth through Entry
Growth through entry--whether by offering new products in existing markets or offering the same products in new markets--doesn't happen in isolation. Multiple firms compete for these markets and so any discussion of growth through entry has to look at the impact of rivalry. In this module, you'll learn how to apply game theory to analyze, assess, and respond to competitors. With the payoff matrices tool, you'll be able to evaluate options and determine an effective position. The JetBlue vs. American Airlines case gives you an opportunity to apply this tool and deepen your understanding of how to identify potential rivals and determine an appropriate response.

9 videos2 readings
  1. Video: Entry and Rivalry
  2. Video: Using Game Theory to Understand Rivalry
  3. Video: Using Game Theory to Understand Cooperation
  4. Video: Identifying Potential Rivals
  5. Video: Pre-entry Strategies
  6. Video: Post-entry Strategies
  7. Video: Module Lessons
  8. Video: Strategist's Toolkit: Payoff Matrices
  9. Reading: The Battle for Logan Airport: JetBlue versus American Airlines
  10. Discussion Prompt: Did JetBlue make the right choice?
  11. Video: JetBlue vs. American Airlines Case Debrief
  12. Reading: Week 2 Slides
Graded: Growth through Entry
Growth through Acquisition
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are common--but rarely successful--ways firms attempt to grow their business. In this module, we'll show you the pros and cons of M&A, suggest valid alternatives, and outline effective M&A strategies. Using the Acquisitions Analysis tool, you'll be able to assess the impact of a potential M&A and avoid common pitfalls of this type of growth. Through an analysis of the Tata Motors case, you'll have a chance to apply this tool to determine an effective growth strategy.

13 videos2 readings
  1. Video: Growing through Acquisition
  2. Video: Pros and Cons of Acquisitions
  3. Video: Pitfalls of Growth Through Acquisition
  4. Video: Why Firms Overpay for Acquisitions
  5. Video: Alternatives to Acquisition
  6. Video: Identifying Successful Acquisition Opportunities
  7. Video: Acquisition Analysis
  8. Video: Strategic Benefit: Value of the Target
  9. Video: Avoiding Overpaying
  10. Video: Acquisition Analysis: Opportunity Costs
  11. Video: Module Lessons
  12. Video: Strategist's Toolkit: Acquisition Analysis
  13. Reading: Tata Motors Limited: Ratan's Next Step
  14. Discussion Prompt: Does Tata's decision make strategic sense?
  15. Video: Tata Motors Case Debrief
  16. Reading: Week 3 Slides
Graded: Growth through Acquisition
Growth through Innovation
Introducing new ideas, processes, and products that disrupt the market is another common growth strategy. In this module, we'll unlock the keys to innovation, from building an innovative capability to appropriating value from innovation to determining an innovation strategy. Using the Real Options Analysis tool, we'll show you how to grow through innovation and good practices for doing so. The Intel Corporate Venturing case provides an opportunity for you to practice this tool and apply course concepts to a real-world scenario.

12 videos3 readings
  1. Video: Growing through Innovation
  2. Video: Innovation Strategies
  3. Video: Developing an Innovative Capability
  4. Video: Keys to Innovation
  5. Video: Organizing for Innovation
  6. Video: Appropriating Value from Innovations
  7. Video: Intellectual Property Protection
  8. Video: Complementary Assets
  9. Video: Determining an Innovation Strategy
  10. Video: Module Lessons
  11. Video: Strategist's Toolkit: Real Options Analysis
  12. Reading: Intel Corporate Venturing
  13. Discussion Prompt: How should Peter Hake proceed?
  14. Video: Intel Case Debrief
  15. Reading: Week 4 Slides
  16. Reading: Assignment Overview
Graded: Growth through Innovation
Graded: Growth Strategy Analysis
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University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is distinctive among institutions of higher education. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, and located on a World Heritage site in Charlottesville, the University sustains the ideal of developing, through education, leaders who are well-prepared to help shape the future of the nation. The University is public, while nourished by the strong support of its alumni. It is also selective; the students who come here have been chosen because they show the exceptional promise Jefferson envisioned.

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