View all programs within: Business Acumen, Strategy

Creating and Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage

Jun 20, 2016 - Jun 24, 2016Philadelphia, PA$10,250
Sep 26, 2016 - Sep 30, 2016Philadelphia, PA$10,250
Formerly Strategic Thinking and Management for Competitive Advantage.

Program Overview

In today’s global economy, the hardest challenge facing executives is creating a competitive advantage—and maintaining it. A disciplined focus on strategy has become crucial for success.  Creating and Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage is designed to help you evaluate your current strategy, and provide you with the tools to create and implement new strategies.

Wharton faculty, led by Harbir Singh and Nicolaj Siggelkow, co-directors of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, apply their field-based research and the latest strategic insights to help you broaden your perspective on how to make your organization more competitive.

Emphasizing the importance of strategic leadership, this program presents a comprehensive approach to strategy development that stresses the importance of tradeoffs and fit in achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage. Participants will discuss a variety of options for growth including alliances, acquisitions, and internal corporate ventures.

In sum, this program provides executives, who have responsibility for creating or implementing strategy in the organizations, with well-tested tools and frameworks that will clarify and enhance their strategic thinking.

Session topics include:

  • Sources of Competitive Advantage
  • Hypercompetition and Dynamic Strategy
  • Leadership and Strategic Thinking
  • Managing Acquisitions
  • Strategic Alliances: Partnering for Advantage
  • Competitive Advantage and Firm Value

Impact & Experience

Through highly interactive lectures, exercises, and case studies, both in the classroom and in smaller work groups, this deep dive into strategy will examine how companies have created competitive advantage in a global context.

A highlight of the program is the Strategy Audit, a powerful tool which provides a systematic way to analyze your firm’s strategy through a comprehensive analysis. The audit will help you and your team assess both current and future strategic initiatives.

Additionally, hands-on exercises include mapping a firm’s “system of interconnected choices” to depict core and supporting activities and their interdependencies. These strategy maps help managers understand underlying tradeoffs, prioritize resources, and anticipate the ramifications that arise when firms engage in change initiatives.

Overall, you will learn how to:

  • Tailor the planning process to the needs of individual business units
  • Enhance your ability to assess the strategic impact of the moves of your competitors and how to maintain competitive advantage
  • Understand the general drivers that create and sustain competitive advantage
  • Start the process of mapping your organization’s system of interconnected choices
  • Coordinate strategy across multiple lines of business

Who Attends This Program

Creating and Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage is designed for senior- and mid-level executives responsible for strategy planning, implementation, and business development. Executives who are moving into this role and wish to get a head start on the process will also benefit.

Participants in this program are a diverse group of strategy leaders from varied industries, backgrounds, and geographies who share their biggest challenges with the class. Faculty tailor the program content to address these issues, so participants enjoy a learning experience that truly resonates with them and meets their learning needs.

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus specific tools and frameworks they can use to make a meaningful strategic impact within their companies or organizations.

To further leverage the value and impact of Creating and Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants to this program.


  • Nicolaj Siggelkow, PhD

    Academic Director

    David M. Knott Professor, Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Competitive strategy, firms as systems of interconnected choicesSee Faculty Bio

  • Harbir Singh, PhD

    Academic Director

    Mack Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management; Vice Dean for Global Initiatives, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Corporate governance, corporate restructuring, management buyouts, strategies for corporate acquisitionsSee Faculty Bio

  • Lawrence (Larry) Hrebiniak, PhD

    Emeritus Associate Professor, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Organizational adaptation, strategy formulation and implementationSee Faculty Bio

  • Martin Ihrig, PhD

    Adjunct Associate Professor, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, InnovationSee Faculty Bio

  • Ian MacMillan, DBA

    The Dhirubhai Ambani Professor, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Director, Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Entrepreneurship, new venture management, strategic managementSee Faculty Bio

  • Michael Useem, PhD

    William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management; Editor, Wharton Leadership Digest; Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Corporate change and restructuring, leadership, decision making, and governanceSee Faculty Bio

Program Logistics

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change. Contact a member of the Wharton Executive Education Client Relations team for more information on course specifics and to discuss how this program can meet your professional development needs. Please contact them by email or by phone at +1.215.898.1776.

Plan Your Stay


The week I spent in this program was one of the more productive weeks of my career. The program is a near-perfect blend of diverse faculty, current and relevant theory, and solid fundamental strategic analysis. The tools I acquired will pay dividends for years to come.”
Shane Peery, Chief Financial Officer, Cherokee & Walker, Inc.


Brian O'Day

“A key takeaway of Wharton’s program is focusing on the structure of the strategy process and how to arrive at a strategic decision — how to best outline, prioritize and present a strategy  to the leadership team and to decision-makers to move that strategy to the next level. The framework and decision models we learned were very beneficial.

At Hershey Entertainment & Resorts we own and operate a number of businesses, all located in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  These businesses include: an amusement park, luxury hotel, conference center hotel, camping resort, country club, spa, independent restaurant group, AHL hockey team and other entertainment and leisure businesses.  Our biggest challenges are the market dynamics and the continuing changing business landscape — in our case, guest expectations married with our financial expectations as we look at how to continue to grow and what areas to grow in. How do we position our businesses that best leverage our strengths and how can we expand on those business strategies?  

The day before I left to attend Wharton, we finished our budget for 2016, so the timing was perfect to go out and start applying these concepts. I would recommend this program to decision makers who have multiple businesses or leaders whose scope crosses a lot of different landscapes. For example, IT would be a great fit to attend this kind of program.”
Brian O’Day, General Manager, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts


James Goad

“I recently took on a new strategy role covering our U.S. operations and I wanted a refresh of my strategic planning skills and some more up-to-date frameworks. The quality of Wharton’s faculty really stood out – they were incredibly impressive, very experienced and engaging teachers.  There were a lot of good leadership lessons coming from the content. Those leadership lessons stuck with me and I refer back to those all the time in terms of how I approach a particular issue or problem in the organization and my ability to influence people to make the right decision. 

At AXA US we have a very growth-oriented strategy focused on how to grow our business within key customer segments. We believe the opportunity we have in this market, and the demand for our products and services, has never been greater. We have a pretty large regulatory change coming that is still uncertain and we expect will cause challenges across the industry. I’ve applied frameworks used in Wharton’s class to practical problems and opportunities we face – the frameworks have enabled me to draw different conclusions than I would have traditionally done without the course. I would definitely recommend this program to senior people who are transitioning into a strategy role.
—James Goad, Head of Corporate Strategy, AXA US

View all programs within: Business Acumen, Strategy

Back To Top