Economics of Competitive Advantage

10 Units

In the dynamic global economy, managers are increasingly faced with multifaceted problems where a working knowledge of economic principles can provide useful insights. This course develops economics skills and competencies for problem solving by offering experiential analysis of the challenges that managers’ face and by demonstrating how the application of economic principles informs managerial decision-making. Students are encouraged to use the insights provided by this course - with its emphasis on concepts of competitive advantage and the economics of strategy - to investigate how competitiveness is created in industries and firms. Students develop an understanding of microeconomic principles and their practical application, and use this knowledge to analyse various issues including the impacts of government regulation and policies and the production and pricing decisions within an international business environment.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Business School
Availability Trimester 1 - 2014 (Newcastle City Precinct)
Trimester 2 - 2014 (Singapore) (UoN Singapore)
Trimester 2 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Trimester 3 - 2014 (Newcastle City Precinct)
Trimester 2 - 2015 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Trimester 3 - 2015 (Newcastle City Precinct)

At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge 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.

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
Replacing Course(s) GECO6410 Economics of Competitive Advantage
Transition This course is not available to students who have completed GECO6410 Economics of Competitive Advantage. GSBS6410 will be offered as a replacement course for GECO6410 to continuing students.
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge No prior study in economics is necessary although it will be assumed students have a basic grasp of mathematics.
Modes of Delivery Distance Learning : IT Based
Internal Mode
Teaching Methods Lecture
Assessment Items
  • Examination: Class - Mid trimester
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Group assignments Individual assignment
  • Examination: Formal -
  • Quiz - Class -
Contact Hours
  • Lecture: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components None listed
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for GSBS6410

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