Firm Strategy and Innovation Management

Firm Strategy and Innovation Management
Master Analyse et politique économiqueParcours Économie des transitions, de l'innovation et des connaissances


This course equips you with essential insights into the Theory of the Firm, emphasizing its connection with modern strategic management. Structured in three distinct segments, the curriculum begins with an in-depth exploration of the foundational theories of the firm. It then progresses to contemporary theories and their application to current challenges businesses encounter. The final segment focuses on case study resolution, designed to enhance soft skills, presentation abilities, and practical application through case studies.

Business Case (23h – COWAN Robin, University of Strasbourg):

In this part of the course, students will solve business cases by applying the theories they learned from the other part of the course. This part deals with real (historical) cases that firms have faced in strategy. In that sense it is very “hands on”. We will use a modified version of the “case method” used in places like Harvard Business School, among others. Especially in group work, the ability to distribute work among themselves and to present in a professional manner will be evaluated. Communication, analyzing, and managing soft skills will be developed during this part of the course.

Theory of the firm (11h – WOLFF Sandrine, University of Strasbourg) :

This course segment explores the reasons behind the existence of firms, their role in the economy, and the challenges of organizational structure and management. It contrasts two main approaches: (i) the contractual theories of the firm comparing firms with market mechanisms and pointing their benefits and limitations for resource allocation ; (ii) the competence-based theories of the firm which view the firm as a portfolio of skills and routines. The discussion extends to the economic theories of the firm including agency theory and the role of transaction costs and property rights in defining firm boundaries. Additionally, the evolutionary theory of the firm and the concept of core competences, dynamic capabilities and routines are explored, highlighting how firms adapt and evolve in response to changing environments and develop competitive advantages.

Strategy and modern theories of the firm (11h – BURGER-HELMCHEN Thierry, University of Strasbourg) :

This course segment introduces students to modern theories of the firm, with a particular focus on the transformative impact of technology and new organizational concepts. It begins with the Attention-Based View (ABV), which examines how firms manage and direct their focus in complex environments. The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into business practices is analyzed for its role in reshaping strategies and operations. Network Theory is explored to understand the firm's value creation within interconnected ecosystems of partners and customers. The course also introduces the Platform Theory, emphasizing how digital platforms disrupt traditional business models by facilitating direct interactions among users, service providers, and consumers. Additionally, the effects of the gig economy on traditional employment and organizational boundaries are discussed, reflecting on how technology-enabled work arrangements redefine firm structures. Through these topics, students gain insights into the contemporary challenges and opportunities firms face, equipped to navigate the evolving business landscape.

Compétences visées

  • Capacity for oral and written communication in English, which enables synthesis and oral and written presentation of the work carried out

  • Understand and present the main concepts of the various theories of the firm and apply them to current issues and phenomena

  • Analyze information critically to make informed decisions, especially in situations of uncertainty, fostering an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset

  • Perform a critical assessment of the problems related to economic efficiency, resource allocation and wealth creation by companies

  • Device adapted managerial insights


  • Sciences économiques
  • Sciences de gestion et du management


Responsable(s) de l'enseignement