Illinois Tech

Competitive Strategy

1,522 already enrolled

Included withCoursera Plus


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals


(29 reviews)

Intermediate level

Recommended experience

32 hours to complete
3 weeks at 10 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace
Progress towards a degree

What you'll learn

  • Analysis of a company's opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses.

  • Different types of competitive strategies and how to choose them.

  • How do today's companies achieve long term success and profitability.

Details to know

Earn a career certificate

Add to your LinkedIn profile


13 assignments

Taught in English

See how employees at top companies are mastering in-demand skills


Earn a career certificate

Add this credential to your LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV

Share it on social media and in your performance review


There are 4 modules in this course

Welcome to Competitive Strategy. In this course, we will cover the topics of: What is Competitive Strategy?, Competitive Advantage, and Choosing a Competitive Strategy. The 21st century competitive landscape is characterized by rapid technological change, increasing globalization, and intense competition. To succeed in such a challenging environment, companies need to have an effective competitive strategy to be successful over the long run. We will begin the process of developing such a strategy in this module by analyzing external factors that impact a company's performance. We will learn how to identify opportunities and threats in the macro-environment and to analyze forces that affect an industry's profitability. After completing this module, you will have a clear understanding of what competitive strategy is and how to analyze the external environment.

What's included

7 videos5 readings4 assignments1 discussion prompt

In this module, you will learn what competitive advantage is and how companies can generate it with a good competitive strategy. Competitive advantage is the firm’s ability to generate greater Economic Value Created (EVC), which is the difference between the maximum price customers are willing to pay for the company’s products or services (WTP) and the firm’s cost of producing and selling the product (COST), than the competitor’s EVC. The company’s internal resources help create competitive advantage when deployed with an effective strategy to exploit opportunities in the external environment. You will learn that certain resources which are valuable, rare, inimitable, and for which the company is well organized to exploit, can lead to sustainable or longer-term competitive advantage – which in turn drives long-term profitability. Finally, you will learn how to analyze the value chain activities and understand how they help generate competitive advantage. At the end of the module, you will learn how to analyze internal resources, how companies generate sustainable competitive advantage, and understand the role of the value chain.

What's included

4 videos4 readings4 assignments

This module describes the different competitive strategies like differentiation, cost leadership, and best-cost strategy. You will understand how companies use these approaches to create a superior EVC and enjoy a sustainable competitive advantage. Differentiation strategies generally focus on increasing the WTP while Cost Leadership strategies stress reducing COST. Best-cost strategy aims to increase WTP and reduce COST simultaneously. You will also learn how to do the SWOT analysis by comparing external opportunities and threats with internal strengths and weaknesses. You will learn how a company can develop an optimal competitive strategy by matching internal strengths with external opportunities. Using a fictitious mini case, you will learn how the external analysis in Module 1 and internal analysis in Module 2 all come together to help companies identify an optimal competitive strategy. At the end of Module 3, you will learn the various competitive strategy alternatives available to companies, how they lead to competitive advantage, and how a company could identify the optimal competitive strategy for a given situation.

What's included

4 videos4 readings4 assignments

This module contains the summative course assessment that has been designed to evaluate your understanding of the course material and assess your ability to apply the knowledge you have acquired throughout the course. Be sure to review the course material thoroughly before taking the assessment.

What's included

1 assignment


Instructor ratings
4.7 (7 ratings)
M. Krishna Erramilli
Illinois Tech
2 Courses1,857 learners

Offered by

Illinois Tech

Recommended if you're interested in Business Strategy

Get a head start on your degree

This course is part of the following degree programs offered by Illinois Tech. If you are admitted and enroll, your coursework can count toward your degree learning and your progress can transfer with you.

Why people choose Coursera for their career

Felipe M.
Learner since 2018
"To be able to take courses at my own pace and rhythm has been an amazing experience. I can learn whenever it fits my schedule and mood."
Jennifer J.
Learner since 2020
"I directly applied the concepts and skills I learned from my courses to an exciting new project at work."
Larry W.
Learner since 2021
"When I need courses on topics that my university doesn't offer, Coursera is one of the best places to go."
Chaitanya A.
"Learning isn't just about being better at your job: it's so much more than that. Coursera allows me to learn without limits."

Learner reviews

Showing 3 of 29


29 reviews

  • 5 stars


  • 4 stars


  • 3 stars


  • 2 stars


  • 1 star



Reviewed on Oct 1, 2023


Reviewed on Dec 15, 2023


Reviewed on Oct 6, 2023

New to Business Strategy? Start here.


Open new doors with Coursera Plus

Unlimited access to 7,000+ world-class courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs - all included in your subscription

Advance your career with an online degree

Earn a degree from world-class universities - 100% online

Join over 3,400 global companies that choose Coursera for Business

Upskill your employees to excel in the digital economy

Frequently asked questions