Strategy and Environment
Our strategy and environment faculty publish pioneering work on emerging markets, entrepreneurship, corporate governance, alliance and merger strategies and corporate responsibility that bring a fresh, relevant foundation for understanding the material they teach. You'll develop expertise in strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, global market entry and management, business model innovations and organizational change.
The management component at Rice Business consists of two areas: strategy and environment and organizational behavior.
Each area contributes to the foundation, opportunity and achievement of our students. The management faculty — renowned in their fields — furnish a roadmap of standards for the growth of business and business education today. Visit Rice Business Wisdom for examples of our strategy and environment faculty's peer-reviewed business research presented in a compelling, quick-to-read package.
There's never been a better time to connect with the management program at Rice.
Why Rice Strategy and Environment?
The Strategy and Environment area at Rice Business takes a unique approach in integrating the market and nonmarket environments of an organization to facilitate the formulation and implementation of its strategy.
Strategy is primarily directed towards improving and sustaining the performance of a firm, and it involves the establishment of an organization’s goals and objectives, formulation of its competitive and growth strategies, development and allocation of strategic resources, organization of internal and external governance arrangements, and measurement of organizational performance.
The study of strategy examines issues that are of interest to general managers — those who are responsible for the overall performance of multi-functional business units or multi-business firms.
Major topics include: the external environment and structure of the industry in which firms compete, the pursuit of competitive advantage through positioning; competitive dynamics; the creation and leverage of firm resources and capabilities; entry into new product or geographic markets; technological or organizational innovation; governance of a firm; alliances and acquisitions; diversification, and portfolio management.
We define both environment and organization broadly. Environment includes market and nonmarket dimensions that impact strategic management. Organizations may be in the business, governmental, or nonprofit / social enterprise sectors of the economy.
The Strategy and Environment area includes specialists in traditional areas like competitive strategy, international management, management of alliances or acquisitions, technology and innovation, corporate governance as well as business ethics / corporate social responsibility, business-government relations, public / nonprofit management, and social enterprise. There is increasing emphasis on and interest in ecological sustainability.
The MBA core curricula include courses in the fundamentals of business or corporate strategy, business ethics / corporate social responsibility, and business-government relations. Apart from core courses we offer a range of electives in some of the specific areas highlighted earlier.
Top Strategy Electives
Below are just a few of the most popular strategy courses.
A study of how public policy influences the private competitive environment of the firm. The course examines the major political institutions and actors — Congress, the president, interest groups, the media and administrative agencies — that shape U.S. public policy. Students analyze business political strategies and formulate several of their own.
The course examines the merger and acquisition process from the perspectives of buyers and sellers. Attention is paid to the internal (make) versus external (buy) growth opportunities and their value consequences. The course also analyzes the M&A transaction process through the study of cases. An additional focus will be in the interaction of strategic planning, value planning, financial strategies and investment decisions.
An overview of the economic and political environment of international trade, foreign investment and competitiveness, focusing on institutions that affect international commerce.
Students will learn the most common methods managers use to gain insight about customers and markets as well as the objectives/advantages/disadvantages associated with different research designs such as qualitative methods, surveys and experiments. Students will not learn specific analytic methods but rather how to design studies to yield valid results.
This course examines the broad subject of law as it relates to business and is designed to help the student develop “legal astuteness.” That is, the ability to communicate effectively with counsel and to work together with counsel to solve complex problems and/or to protect and leverage the firm’s resources. It is designed to be a guide to understanding how the law impacts daily management decisions and business strategies, to spotting legal issues before they become legal problems, and to using laws and legal tools to marshal resources and manage risk.
Companies with strong reputations gain competitive advantage. However, reputation is not a tangible attribute of a firm, but rather an intangible asset held in the minds of the firm's constituents. The goal of this course is to provide students with analytical tools to assess how an organization can build, damage, and repair its reputation.
This course focuses on examining various strategies that companies can adopt to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. The course will use a variety of real-life cases of companies and supplement them with relevant readings, lectures or other exercises, as necessary.
This course, led by Rice Business faculty, takes place in an international business setting and consists of a combination of lectures by local university faculty and business leaders and site visits to companies in the region. Students have the opportunity to meet with corporate executives, investors and scholars to discuss opportunities and challenges of doing business in the country. The objectives of the course are to further an appreciation of the opportunities and obstacles of doing business in different parts of the world, increase sensitivity to cross-cultural issues, and broaden perspectives on issues dealing with global business. Department permission required. Repeatable for credit.
The course deals with strategic management topics of interest to ventures that operate in technological ecosystems. Topics covered include platforms, network effects, coping with disruptive innovation, and how technology can create new markets and revolutionize existing ones.
The energy industry is global in nature. This course is designed to equip you and your organization with the skills, knowledge and sensitivity required to successfully manage foreign market entries in the energy industry. This course will cover the following issues: (1) how to mitigate political risk in the global environment, (2) how to choose foreign entry strategies, (3) how to manage partnerships with local firms, (4) how to manage relationships with local stakeholders, and (5) the environmental concerns in the global energy industry. The course is structured around cases and newspaper articles to highlight the relevance and applications of the course concepts. We will also have guest speakers from major energy companies join us and share their experiences and insights.
Rice Business Wisdom
Based on research by Professor Anastasiya Zavyalova
Based on research by Professor Alessandro Piazza