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Strategic Management: Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage

Strategic Management


This programme provides managers with the basics of strategic thinking and strategic analysis. It is intended to enhance strategic capabilities by demonstrating the tools and techniques that are commonly employed in strategic analysis and to provide a framework for how to maintain a competitive advantage.

The programme emphasises how organisations can use strategy to enhance impact, value and performance. A general outline of the strategy process will be examined and the forces of strategic analysis will be explained. The programme provides an understanding of the economic motivation that underlies successful strategic decisions and how to perceive products, processes, firms and industries in a strategic manner.

By working through real life case studies you will apply analytical tools and frameworks in a wide variety of situations. You will be tackling issues such as competitive analysis, development of new capabilities, value chain analysis and technology convergence.


  • What is strategy and why is it necessary for success?
  • How to understand the changing dynamics of your industry before you can adapt
  • What can you base your competitive advantage on?
  • How to develop strategies for cost leadership and differentiation
  • How to create completely new markets by deploying blue ocean strategies
  • How industries in the new economy (software, electronics etc.) are characterised by fundamentally different dynamics and how managers can understand and exploit them
  • How to structure your organisation to execute particular strategies
  • Why is it important to align your structure to your strategy at all times?
  • Do your various businesses belong together? How do you create synergies across businesses?
  • How to implement strategy


You will be spending two days away from your usual work environment, in the company of world-leading Cambridge faculty members and a diverse, international group of peers. Away from the usual din, it will provide you with the time and space to reflect on your industry, organisation and role within it. It will also allow you to discuss your strategic challenges with a variety of participants and Cambridge faculty. 

On completion of this practical and fast-paced two-day programme you will:

  • Understand how strategy makes the difference between success and failure
  • Be able to understand the dynamics of your industry and how to exploit them better than your competitors
  • Know how to plot creative strategies that lead to competitive advantage
  • Be equipped with the tools and techniques of strategic analysis
  • Have the strategic capabilities to improve your decision-making process
  • Know how to navigate strategic trade-offs in your journey
  • Know how to create synergies across different businesses
  • Learn to exploit network effects and play in a sharing economy
  • Understand the strategic implementation process and possess the tools for implementation of strategy

This programme counts as one course for those completing the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement.

Who should attend

All business managers who wish to acquire a more comprehensive and deep understanding of strategy. The programme is designed for both general and functional managers.

Faculty & speakers

Kamal Munir

Kamal Munir

Reader in Strategy & Policy

PhD (McGill University)

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Sucheta Nadkarni

Sucheta Nadkarni

Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management

PhD (University of Kansas)

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Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
19-20 October 2017 2 days £2,300 + VAT
8-9 March 2018 2 days £2,300 + VAT
18-19 October 2018 2 days £2,300 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £2,300 + 20% = £2,760.

* Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 226KB) (updated 27 October 2015)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 243KB) (updated 27 October 2015)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

The programme gave us the opportunity to gain an overall understanding of what strategy is. The examples given by the lecturers were both brilliant and understandable for all the participants. This generated debate and a very interesting exchange of ideas. Interactivity is favoured and encouraged by the lecturers.
Sabri Ben Salem, Country General Manager, Gallina Blanca Star
I came away with an understanding of how to implement strategy and a set of useful tools.


How should I prepare for the programme?
We recommend that participants think about what makes some organisations more successful than others, paying attention to the strategies that seem to underpin success. They should also reflect on why competitors seem to be unable to imitate industry leaders. Finally, participants should consider how industries differ in terms of their dynamics and whether strategies differ fundamentally across them. 

Does the programme involve any pre-programme tasks?
Programme participants will be sent pre-reading materials prior to the session. It is expected that they would have read the materials and thought about the case studies prior to the start of the programme.

What are the programme hours and is hotel accommodation locally recommended?
Programme hours on both days are 09:00-17:00 with 15-minute coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon and a 60-minute break for lunch. In order to get the most out of the programme, we recommend that participants arrange hotel accommodation nearby. Please contact the admin team for information about recommended hotels.

How many participants are normally on the programme?
Attendee numbers are capped at 25. Experience shows that these participant numbers make for optimum learning outcomes.

Does the programme involve any group work?
Participants are strongly encouraged to be fully engaged in all aspects of the programme, which will include group activities. The Academic Programme Director will ensure that all participants have the opportunity to fully explore and discuss the programme content together.

Is there a requirement to prepare any type of presentation during the programme?
No pre-programme preparation is required. However, there will be opportunities for informal study-group presentations as a result of classroom discussions. 

Will there be any reading to do at the end of Day 1 of the programme for Day 2?
No – all pre-reading materials will be sent before the start of the programme.

Will I be awarded a certificate on completion of the programme?

At the end of the two-day programme, participants receive a certificate of attendance that can be used for CV purposes. 

If I have some questions about applying what I have learned, can I contact the Academic Programme Director after the programme?

Our Academic Programme Director is available to answer any questions participants may have after the programme.

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Nigel Dawson

Senior Open Programme Advisor
Tel: +44 (0)1223 765496

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Nigel Dawson

Version 3.1 (11 August 2017)



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When you register for this programme, please let us know if your organisation is paying for your placement or if you are applying as an individual.


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