Why Are Some Firms Able to Sustain Competitive Advantage Over Their Rivals?

This course uses microeconomic principles in the study of the strategic behaviour of the firm. It integrates insights from consumer theory, theory of the firm, industrial organisation and strategy and uses applications and case studies to illustrate how the microeconomic principles apply to the real world. Concepts covered include: demand and revenue analysis; concepts of price elasticity and the dynamics of pricing rivalry; the theory of the firm; analysis of market structure; structure, conduct and performance (SCP) paradigm and industry analysis; economics of scale and scope; strategic behaviour and entry barriers; barriers to replication and cumulative causation in the economics of strategy, strategic positioning and competitive advantage; the sustainability of competitive advantage and “creative destruction”; the economics of decision- making under uncertainty and asymmetric information; and the economics of knowledge creation. The topics will vary from year to year but students can expect to develop skills in the following areas:
1. Economic Decision Making
2. Demand and Supply Analyses
3. Theory of the Firm
4. Market Power and Strategic Behaviour 5. Asymmetric Information and Signalling 6. Incentives and Compensation
7. Technological Change and Innovation
8. Globalisation, Government and Business
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate critical understanding of the assumptions, tools, theories, models and the language of microeconomics.
2. Identify recent developments in applied microeconomics, especially concepts about competitive advantage and strategy, and contemporary policy debates.
3. Apply the microeconomic concepts, theories and models to case studies. 4. Develop and present a critically reflective, well written case analysis.
5. Access and analyse on-line microeconomic data sources.
Course Materials Required Text:
Boyes, W. (2012) Managerial Economics: Markets and the Firm, South-Western Cengate Learning, Boston, Second Edition. ISBN: 978-0-618-98862-4, (Boyes

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