Economics Programs at the AGSM

AS WELL AS the programs offered in the Executive Programs, which are outlined below, the Cluster also offers subjects in the the full-time MBA program and the Executive MBA program, as well as offering doctoral study in Economics at the AGSM.

Executive Programs:

Thinking Strategically: Gaining the Competitive Edge in Business

  • Directors: Bob Marks and Robin Stonecash
  • Aim: Strategic thinking is the art of outdoing a rival, knowing that the rival is trying to do the same to you. This program improves managers' capacity to analyse a competitive environment systematically, and have greater confidence in their ability to make strategic decisions. At the end of the program, participants can:
    • Look forward and reason back in order to make better decisions faced with others' possible actions
    • Think through the likely behaviour of others, either rivals or allies, in many situations
    • Use some simple techniques to improve their interactions.
  • Content: Business decision making requires many different skills and knowledge:
    • financial,
    • organisational,
    • marketing,
    • economic,
    • legal, and
    • operational.
    Managers are increasingly having to make decisions in interactive, strategic environments, where their decisions will directly affect the payoffs of their firms' rivals or their allies, and vice versa. In such strategic interactions, there is a further kind of skill: strategic thinking. The emerging science of strategy, or game theory, consists of some simple basic principles, which this subject imparts.
    Often strategic decisions must be made without clear information of others' actions or others' goals. Can managers do better than tossing a coin in these situations? Yes, and game theory provides a framework for showing how.
    The program is not a recipe book for strategies: instead, we develop the ideas and principles of strategic thinking, with some cases as examples, and some exercises to reinforce the principles. Topics include:
    • Strategizing versus economising,
    • How best to approach interactive encounters,
    • How to designing the interaction one is in,
    • How to design contracts,
    • How to design auctions, and how to bid in auctions
    The concept of the simple game tree shows how to factor into one's decision what others know, what you know, and how they will respond. This greatly helps the manager to make better decisions and to justify these decisions to superiors or delegate them to subordinates.
  • Participants: The program benefits middle- and senior-level managers whose operational or strategic decision-making requires them to compete or coordinate in areas including:
    • pricing and marketing,
    • new product development and marketing,
    • corporate strategy,
    • make-or-buy decisions, and
    • staff recruitment.
  • Academic Director: Professor Robert Marks, AGSM
  • Dates:
  • Duration: Two-day residential.
  • Fee: including accommodation, meals, and all program materials.
  • Email:

Managerial Decision Making

This program is a joint offering from Organisational Behaviour and Economics at the AGSM.

  • Directors: Bob Wood and Bob Marks
  • Aim: This program improves managers' decision-making skills, their ability to analyse problems systematically, and their confidence in their own decision making. At the end of the program, participants can:
    • Identify common errors and traps that prevent them from making effective decisions,
    • Use a range of Decision Analysis techniques to improve the effectiveness of their decision making, and
    • Choose the best strategy for making a decision.
  • Content: Managers must constantly make decisions with incomplete information and facing disagreements or conflicts about the values of options and the goals to be pursued. Under the pressure to make decisions, managers will often become trapped into positions they later regret, or make errors which, in hindsight, seem avoidable.
    For important decisions, maintaining confidence in the analysis and being able to defend the choices made are critical to the effectiveness of a manager's performance.
    The topics in this program include:
    • the structure of decision problems,
    • how to assess and deal with uncertainties, conflict, and risk,
    • a description and demonstration of the common errors and traps that can undermine managerial decision making,
    • a checklist of warning signs for identifying and avoiding these common errors and traps, and
    • the demonstration and practice of Decision Analysis techniques, such as influence diagrams and decision trees, that can be easily and effectively applied to a range of managerial decisions.
  • Participants: The program benefits middle- and senior-level managers who have responsibility for operational or strategic decision-making in areas including:
    • resource allocations,
    • staffing,
    • program management,
    • investment,
    • new product marketing,
    • company reorganisation,
    • corporate strategy, and
    • research and development.
  • Academic Directors:
    Professor Robert Marks, AGSM;
    Professor Robert Wood, AGSM.
  • Dates:
  • Duration: Two-day residential.
  • Fee: including accommodation, meals, and all program materials.
  • Email:

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Last Updated 3 May 2000