Business Strategy


In this course you will learn how organizations create, capture, and maintain value. In doing so, you’ll develop an understanding of how and why this process is fundamental for sustainable competitive advantage. You will be able to better understand value creation, and capture and learn the tools to analyze both competition and cooperation from a variety of perspectives, including the industry-level (e.g., five forces analysis) and the firm-level (e.g., business models and strategic positioning).

You will be able to:
– Understand how managers coordinate different functional areas, resources, and systems inside a company and align them with the external environment to enhance overall performance
– Recognize strategic management tools and frameworks and apply them to real business contexts
– Process diverse business and industry information to diagnose strategic issues, evaluate strategic alternatives, and formulate a coherent and actionable strategic plan
This course is part of Gies College of Business’ suite of online programs, including the iMBA and iMSM. Learn more about admission into these programs and explore how your Coursera work can be leveraged if accepted into a degree program at

How customers rated this product


( Based on 25.0 reviews )



Romain Vetter

Romain Vetter 7 years ago

Great insight on business strategy which will enable me to conduct better analysis in my daily work. I highly recommend this course and this specializat

Tom Wonica

Tom Wonica 6 years ago

I really enjoyed the case studies in this course and the education on various frameworks felt like I could immediately use the material in real world scenarios. Highly recommended course materials.

Emmanouil Kalaitzakis

Emmanouil Kalaitzakis 6 years ago

Excellent class! Highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn the basics of business strategy. Professor Somay is a subject matter expert and his lectures are wonderful. Many thanks!


Siri 6 years ago

Although the professor did a good job of bringing in examples and real-world business strategists, it would have been great to encourage more women into business by including female entrepreneurs or bosses in his interviews and examples. I understand that there are far more men than women in the highest levels of corporate leadership, but professors have a unique opportunity to change that by amplifying their voices and encouraging the next generation of business students to include women in leadership.

Ekene Meniru

Ekene Meniru 5 years ago

Highly recommended course for anyone looking for foundational and advanced knowledge of strategy. Prof. Somaya did an excellent job. I really enjoyed the peer review assignments as it helped to grasp and deepen knowledge gained after each module.

Jennifer Nybo-Byrd

Jennifer Nybo-Byrd 5 years ago

Wonderful course. I got out of it exactly what was promised. The professor is very good at communicating the concepts and providing details. I found that I often disagreed with his analysis of the case wrap-ups… but appreciated the views. Overall, wonderful professor and great class.

Hamza Lokhandwala

Hamza Lokhandwala 4 years ago

I am really honored to review this course. The course and the Professor was really having a high practical approach. 4th Module was little bit confusion although it was a great time doing the course.

Zaw Zaw Oo

Zaw Zaw Oo 4 years ago

This research based specialization has provided the fundamental knowledge and essential skills in from daily strategic leadership to Managing organization effectively; you will see how the course is precise and concise that leads the potential leverage for achieving your organization’s goals and sustaining its long-term success.

Elena Lyubchich

Elena Lyubchich 4 years ago

Great course and especially professor Somaya is a brilliant teacher, always coming up with interesting cases, metaphors and constant willing to share as much as possible with students. Deepest appreciation and gratitude to the whole course Team!

Leslie Pave

Leslie Pave 4 years ago

The lectures were great, but the assignments didn’t offer much in the way of learning. I think the rubrics need to be revised.

Rizka Islami Ratnasari

Rizka Islami Ratnasari 4 years ago

The course was interesting at the beginning and quite challenging because of its case study and quiz but the next modules is getting more boring because of out dated case studies and no quizzes in the middle of module

Francesco R

Francesco R 3 years ago

Great to waste time due to idiots that give you low marks on purpose, in spite of the quality of your assignments. Thanks, Coursera.



After taking this course, I have learnt following,
Solutions to the business challenges under the study of 1st course, that we can have better results after setting and communicating cleared mission and vision according to the business model to the whole organization so that individual’s efforts can convert in to one FORCE towards the accomplishment of common objectives & sustainability of business model. And how to get internal coherence towards the business module and overall strategic fit within the organization and outside challenges under the definition of V A R S framework. A new thing to me that strategic intent for team can also play a vital role in high achievements.
Solutions to the business challenges under the study of 2nd course, for sustainably of business model and profitability the analysis of industry are most important to take corrective actions and future decisions. Study and understanding of PESTEL framework and Five Forces made more clarity to take relevant and correct decisions. There was lot of material and support to understand that how we can make a successful strategic fit between internal strength, activities and capabilities with external environment or requirements.
Solutions to the business challenges under the study of 3rd course, here in course it is an ample study, material, lecture and case study to understand that how we can keep sustainable competitive advantages to reduce or minimize the challenges of five forces which always keep the company’s profitability low or high cost of business. There is learning over best strategic fit of activities, resources and capabilities along best use of value chain and network chain to develop best economic value added.
Solution to the business challenges under the study of 4th course, there is the best-case study to understand the best application of generic strategies, after the study of this course we can make best use to determine the generic strategy but here we will apply the study of 2nd and 3rd courses as well. Cost leadership and differentiations both are back bone of current ear businesses, this study will support us a lot of over generic strategies and will lead towards strategy renewal as well while evaluating internally activities, resources and capabilities with external challenges. Now we are much confident after this study that we can identify stuck positioning of company, then can recommend over strategy renewal so accordingly to the industry to keep strategic positioning.
Business strategy demonstrates the FIT among different activities, functions and capabilities within the company, enables the manager to add value and to capitalize business opportunities and helps to ALIGN internal strengths with the external environment for business sustainability. It briefs and guides over business strategic TOOLs that how a manger can use such well described frameworks and can ANALYSE environment & industry to DEVELOP competitive edges for sustainability and strategic positioning and leads towards strategy renewal in case of stuck in middle.

Deleted Account

Deleted Account 3 years ago

The lectures are way too political. The constant push for climate change initiatives is the instructors political viewpoint, it is not business strategy. It’ would be one thing to mention climate change once or twice in reflection of some business customers views. A business has to take many customers views into consideration, even when you don’t necessarily agree. But most customers have political views far less extreme than academia. Harping on and nagging the instructors political views distracts from the on subject content and seriously degrades the value of the course.
I wanted to learn more about formal business strategy. As a small business owner, I don’t always know the formal names of the concepts. It is good to learn the lingo.
Instead, I am realizing why so many college graduates need to be deprogrammed, like they were in a cult, before real world businesses can bring those graduates to client meetings, Alienating half of one’s customer base with extreme politics is a stupid business strategy.
Keep the politics out. Focus on business strategy like the course advertises.

Corina Hernandez

Corina Hernandez 3 years ago

Mr. Deepak Somaya has been the best lecturer I’ve encountered thus far, his method of teaching is commendable and always explains himself well with lots of examples. I found the course interactive, with examples easy to understand yet challenging. I highly recommend this course.

Ivana Prayitna

Ivana Prayitna 3 years ago

It is really awesome experience to learn about Business Strategy with such clear explanation and clear connection between theory and application. I really enjoying myself to learn and also to do assignments because it pushes me to research the case. Thank you so much, Professor Deepak Somaya and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign!

Rahul Maheshwari

Rahul Maheshwari 3 years ago

Too much video editing. Repetitive videos in the beginning. Doesn’t seem like a course from a reputed university. Theoretically okay, but also applicability to one’s own team/function/division is a question mark. Was looking for something more actionable

Izabela Kazana

Izabela Kazana 3 years ago

Business Strategy is an exceptionally well designed online course. The knowledge and skills learned in each Module can be immediately applied in daily work. It also provides great resources to broaden the knowledge. The case studies are both informative and extremely engaging. Thank you.

Anant Saraf

Anant Saraf 3 years ago

Course is worth taking time. Deepak somaya has well explained the concepts. Peer review assignments were worth to take, without that course has no value. One must do all peer review assignments with effort, without copying or writing from somewhere else. you will definitely learn a lot from this course.

Dr. Rajeswari Mahankali

Dr. Rajeswari Mahankali 3 years ago

I found the course to be very useful with lot of value addition and learning. The content and videos were very well designed with updated inputs, precise and knowledgeable. Contemporary case studies were given that enhanced our enthusiasm and contributed to learning. Peer review was a very effective way of learning as I could understand the view point of others. Overall it was a wonderful experience. Thanks a lot Coursera and Prof. Deepak Somaya.

Gabriel Daniel Okulaja

Gabriel Daniel Okulaja 2 years ago

Quite engaging and resourceful .The lectures are so simplified to enable you have a good grasp of the subject matter, and e.g’s given, for case studies resonate with your day to day activities.
The lecturer and CEO’s brought in,are such a wonderful lot and i do owe them a lot to getting though this stage.


SUBHABRATA DAS 2 years ago

Highly recommended course material. Really enjoyed solving the case studies. The learning from the course on different frameworks was immense. Also the feedback from the peers provided more insights.

Luis Alberto Estrada-Duque

Luis Alberto Estrada-Duque 2 years ago

Professor Somaya shows a well developped understanding of strategy and mastership in the way of teaching it. He is a wonderful professor who mixes utile dulci as the classic poet said. Thanks to Professor Somaya, to the University of Illinois and to Coursera. I had a wonderful experience

Ndudi M. Mwabueze

Ndudi M. Mwabueze 1 year ago

I count myself priviledge to have taken the course and l enjoyed every bit of the lectures, executive opinions, and case studies. The course is very insightful, educative and practical.
Thank you.

Filippo Marangoni

Filippo Marangoni 1 year ago

I had studied industry strategy at the university but this course has been excellent at refreshing and updating my previous knowledge according to current times and main companies competing in the marketplace. I have expecially appreciated VARS framework to evaluate any business model, the necessity to keep internal analysis in line with external one and the knowledge about how to write a memorandum professionally. This course was very time-intensive because a pile of assignments guiding you to improve your knowledge seriously. Last but not least Professor D. Somaya has prepared an excellent course and his passion about this topic helps you to get involved.

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