SBWL Strategy and Data

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Stra­tegic think­ing and evid­ence-­based ana­lysis are of ut­ter im­port­ance in the world of busi­ness and gov­ern­ment. Too many bad de­cisions are made be­cause of a lack of un­der­stand­ing of basic in­cent­ives and proper ana­lysis of data. The SBWL “Strategy and Data” trains stu­dents’ stra­tegic think­ing and ana­lyt­ical cap­ab­il­it­ies in ap­plied prob­lem-solv­ing. In a prob­lem-­based teach­ing ap­proach, it shows stu­dents how to gen­er­ate data to sub­stan­ti­ate evid­ence-­based ma­na­gerial de­cision-­mak­ing, prop­erly ana­lyze it and draw con­clu­sions. It fur­ther trains them to ana­lyze the in­cent­ives of de­cision-­makers and the mar­ket forces they are sub­jec­ted to, and to pre­dict their stra­tegic be­ha­vior.

The ob­tained com­pet­en­cies will pre­pare stu­dents dir­ectly for the job mar­ket. The main tar­get audi­ence are stu­dents who want to work and ex­cel in pos­i­tions with ana­lyt­ical and stra­tegic roles. This in­cludes con­sult­ants in all fla­vors like cor­por­ate fin­ance (e.g. due di­li­gence work), hu­man re­sources (e.g. in­cent­ive sys­tems), strategy con­sultancy (e.g. ana­lysis of stra­tegic mar­ket pos­i­tion­ing), or sup­ply chain man­age­ment (pro­cess op­tim­iz­a­tion and ne­go­ti­ation hand­ling). It also in­cludes cor­res­pond­ing roles within com­pan­ies, like spe­cial assist­ant to man­age­ment, key pro­ject man­agers, HR man­agers, data ana­lyt­ics spe­cial­ists, risk man­age­ment, forensic ana­lysts, mer­gers and ac­quis­i­tions, or sup­ply chain man­age­ment.

The SBWL “Strategy and Data” builds on the found­a­tions provided in the STEOP/CBK (Grundla­gen der BW/VW, Ange­wandte Mikoröko­nomik, Mathem­atik & Stat­istik) and the com­mon BW courses (e.g. Per­sonal, Führung, Or­gan­isa­tion). The SBWL can provide im­port­ant found­a­tions for the study of other SB­WLs (e.g. En­tre­pren­eur­ship und In­nov­a­tion, Un­ternehmensführung und Con­trolling, Per­son­al­man­age­ment, Ver­hal­tenswis­senschaft­lich ori­entiertes Man­age­ment, Data Science etc).

Struc­ture and courses

The SBWL Strategy and Data will be com­pletely taught in Eng­lish. It com­prises a set of five courses which are all com­puls­ory. All courses will be offered in each semester.

  • The courses Data I and Stra­tegic Think­ing I (full names and con­tents below) will be usu­ally offered in the first half of a semester.

  • The courses Data II and Stra­tegic Think­ing II (full names and con­tents below) will be usu­ally offered in the second half of a semester.

  • The pro­ject course will be offered in the second half of the semester.

Based on this or­gan­iz­a­tion, stu­dents are very flex­ible in their in­di­vidual ap­proach to the SBWL, and can com­plete it in three, two, or even one semester. Ex­em­plary sched­ules are:

On suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the SBWL, stu­dents should be able to:

  • be fa­mil­iar with dif­fer­ent sources of em­pir­ical evid­ence (sur­veys, ex­per­i­ments, field data) and the ap­pro­pri­ate meth­ods to ana­lyze them,

  • demon­strate basic know­ledge and un­der­stand­ing of game-­the­or­et­ical tools and solu­tion con­cepts,

  • ana­lyze stra­tegic situ­ations and the in­cent­ives of play­ers therein, and to de­rive pre­dic­tions about stra­tegic be­ha­vior,

  • evalu­ate and ana­lyze data of ac­tual de­cisions made in stra­tegic situ­ations, and de­rive con­clu­sions,

  • based on these in­sights, for­mu­late re­com­mend­a­tions for policy/strategy in­ter­ven­tions,

  • present and dis­cuss find­ings from that stra­tegic ana­lysis and evalu­ation of ac­tual de­cisions,

  • work col­lab­or­at­ively to ana­lyze and un­der­stand stra­tegic prob­lems and data.

Strategy I + II: Stra­tegic Think­ing and Ana­lysis

The stra­tegic think­ing courses will in­tro­duce the stu­dents to the ana­lyt­ical tools of game the­ory. Un­like stand­ard game the­ory courses, these courses will be or­gan­ized around ap­plic­a­tions of game the­ory (and not around formal game char­ac­ter­ist­ics). Each class will last about 3 hours. At the end of each class, stu­dents will par­ti­cip­ate in classroom ex­per­i­ments where they will be put in busi­ness-­like de­cision situ­ations and make real choices. Home­work assign­ments will con­sist of guided the­or­et­ical ana­lysis of the games played, as well as of ana­lysis of the col­lec­ted de­cision data. The lec­tures will be used for an in­ter­act­ive (cold-c­all-sup­por­ted) in-depth dis­cus­sion of the games and data and to provide the ne­ces­sary the­ory and game-­the­or­etic tools to fully un­der­stand these prob­lems. Stu­dent will be asked to re­flect on the ap­plic­ab­il­ity of the learned con­tent in an on­line blog.


Stra­tegic Think­ing and Ana­lysis I: Stra­tegic be­ha­vior (PI, 2 SWS)

  • Basics of game the­ory, what is a strategy?

  • Mar­kets: Com­pet­i­tion and col­lu­sion, mar­ket struc­ture

  • Mar­kets: Tim­ing and com­mit­ment

  • Bar­gain­ing and ne­go­ti­ation, com­mit­tee agenda set­ting

  • Co­oper­a­tion, com­mon pools and pub­lic goods

  • Re­ward and pun­ish­ment, the car­rot and the stick

  • Co­ordin­a­tion

  • Fin­ite and in­fin­ite ho­ri­zons


Stra­tegic Think­ing and Ana­lysis I: In­form­a­tion (PI, 2 SWS)

  • Ad­vanced con­cepts in game the­ory, im­per­fect in­form­a­tion

  • Repu­ta­tion

  • Private value auc­tions

  • Com­mon value auc­tions

  • Sig­nal­ing and cheap talk

  • Herd­ing and in­form­a­tion cas­cades

Data I + II: Em­pir­ical Re­search and Ana­lysis

After a short in­tro­duc­tion and re­cap of pre­requis­ites, both data courses are centered on spe­cific prob­lem-­based case stud­ies. That is, each case study starts with a man­age­ment/gov­ernance prob­lem that needs to be ad­dressed based on prior em­pir­ical data ana­lysis. Typ­ic­ally, each broader topic/method is or­gan­ized in 2 classes. In the first class we will start with the busi­ness/strategy-re­lated re­search ques­tion, and dis­cuss how to find and/or gen­er­ate data to answer the ques­tion. This is fol­lowed by an in­tro­duc­tion of the re­spect­ive ana­lysis method. In a home­work assign­ment, stu­dents are asked to try out the ana­lysis them­selves. The second meet­ing then dis­cusses spe­cific ana­lysis con­cepts re­lated to the case, and in­cludes prac­tical work with STATA as well as more examples for ap­plic­a­tions of the method.


Em­pir­ical Re­search and Ana­lysis I (PI, 2 SWS)

  • Re­cap: basic stat­ist­ics and econo­met­rics

  • Em­pir­ical iden­ti­fic­a­tion prob­lem

  • Para­met­ric vs. non-­para­met­ric ana­lysis

  • Sur­veys and ques­tion­naire design

  • Sur­veys and dis­crete choice model ana­lysis


Em­pir­ical Re­search and Ana­lysis II (PI, 2 SWS)

  • Lab­or­at­ory and on­line ex­per­i­ments ana­lysis

  • Real-­world field ex­per­i­ments ana­lysis

  • In­stru­mental vari­ables, re­gres­sion dis­con­tinu­it­ies ana­lysis

  • Time ser­ies data ana­lysis

  • Is­sues and pro­spects of big data ana­lysis


Mar­kets and Strategy pro­ject: Put­ting it to work (PI, 2 SWS)

The spe­cific design of this course may vary from semester to semester de­pend­ing on the avail­ab­il­ity of a real-­world busi­ness pro­ject in which stu­dents can ap­ply their stra­tegic think­ing and data ana­lysis skills.

The course com­prises a re­search pro­ject on the ana­lysis of stra­tegic ques­tions with sup­port from the ana­lysis of de­cision data. In case a real in­dustry part­ner is avail­able in that semester, stu­dents will be di­vided in teams which study dif­fer­ent re­search ques­tions.

(For example, if the in­dustry part­ner is an on­line trad­ing plat­form, one team may ana­lyze their selling mech­an­isms (auc­tions etc.), an­other team the design of trader feed­back, a fur­ther team may look at search be­ha­vior of con­sumers, etc. All these ana­lyses will rely on in­form­a­tion and data provided by the in­dustry part­ner and will tar­get stra­tegic re­search ques­tions of dir­ect value to the part­ner.)

The pro­ject usu­ally starts with a kick­off meet­ing in which the in­dustry part­ner is present. After a defin­i­tion of re­search ques­tion and scope of pro­ject, the teams will work inde­pend­ently, un­der close guid­ance of ad­visors. The pro­ject work will res­ult in an in­ter­me­di­ate present­a­tion of pre­lim­in­ary res­ults, a fi­nal pro­ject re­port as well as a pro­ject present­a­tion to the in­dustry part­ner

SBWL entry re­quire­ments

  • Pre­con­di­tions:

    • STEOP: In­tro BWL, In­tro VWL, Math 

    •  CBK: Stats 

    • Or equi­val­ent 

  • 30 stu­dents per term  

  • Re­gis­tra­tion for AG “Ein­stieg in die SBWL: Strategy and Data” in LPIS and

  • Ap­plic­a­tion via in­sti­tute web­site www.wu.ac.at (for Win­ter term 2017/18 until 26 Aug 2017) 

  • Rank­ing: 

    • 70% GPA 

    • 30% entry exam (4 Sep, 6p­m-8:30pm, Audimax) 

      • test­ing lo­gical and quant­it­at­ive skills

If you are en­rolled in any of the fol­low­ing pro­grams, you are eli­gible to ap­ply for the SBWL Strategy and Data:

  • BW

  • IBW

  • WINF

  • Bach­elor WIRE