Universität Wien FIND

040044 SE Seminar on Small Business Strategy (MA) (2018W)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 4 - Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 05.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Studierzone
Friday 12.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Studierzone
Friday 19.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Studierzone
Friday 11.01. 11:30 - 14:45 Studierzone
Friday 18.01. 11:30 - 14:45 Studierzone
Friday 25.01. 11:30 - 14:45 Studierzone


Aims, contents and method of the course

This seminar aims at investigating the challenges of small firms in their respective business environment and activities. Thereby it needs to be discussed, what kind of strategic actions small firms have to be implemented in order to position themselves e.g. against potential and current competitors. Further, it will be analyzed, how these firms are able to establish legal barriers to market entry for sustainably safeguarding a profitable business segment. In addition to this, we want to explore small firms’ strategic decision-making with respect to product differentiation, pricing behavior, brand management, efficient negotiation management, employee policy, as well as delegation of processes.

More precisely the seminar participants will have to solve one specific issue that they will independently investigate from the viewpoint of one particular, exemplary small firm concerning one strategically important decision. In order to achieve this and based on substantiating literature, students will first have to elaborate on determinants, which have to be taken into consideration during the decision-making process. Building on this, they are supposed to contact an existing company of their choice for disclosing to what degree the previously defined determinants apply to the decision-making process of that firm and what potential other influencing factors prevail. This type of analysis requires seminar participants to engage in face-to-face interviews with employees, which hold relevant decision-making competencies within the selected firm.

The intended goal of the seminar is to encounter strategic decision-making processes by means of practical examples, namely a truly existing company. Furthermore, this respective decision should be embedded, discussed, and evaluated against the background of a scientific, microeconomic framework. For doing this, econometric, experimental and theoretic work from current economic literature – particularly from applied industrial organization and strategic management literature – will be discussed. In this way, different methods as well as their application are explored. Eventually, this approach will yield a well-founded result that can be deployed as a starting-point for an in-depth discussion during the seminar presentations.

Assessment and permitted materials

The evaluation consists of three components: Presentation (35%), term paper (35%), and final exam (30%).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

• Mazzeo, Michael J., Paul Oyer and Scott Schaefer (2014): Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners, Business Plus, 2014.
• Literature related to the specific topics will be announced at a later point in time.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Tu 04.06.2019 12:47