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Home » Course Catalogue » MBA Electives » RSM2018H – Strategy in Emerging Markets (Summer Intensive 2022)

RSM2018H – Strategy in Emerging Markets (Summer Intensive 2022)

General Information


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Applicable Emphases:
(m) = Main, (s)= Supplemental

  • Global Management (s)

Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Global Management (c)
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship (c)

Instructor Bio

Adrian holds a Professorship in Economics, Finance & Strategy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and he is the Founding Director of the Centre for African Management and Markets (CAMM). Adrian studies competitive strategy in developed and emerging markets, the dynamics of competitive environments, and how business strategy contributes to ongoing corporate success and social impact. He teaches courses in competitive strategy, economic development, finance, and operationalizing strategy in emerging markets. Adrian has worked across emerging markets, including Brazil, Chile, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda, advising firms on market entry and corporate strategy. Over the past twenty-five years, alongside his academic career, Adrian established and grew an investment firm, developing client markets and investment models. The business was sold to a listed entity in 2017, and in in 2021 he joined multi-family investment office, Genera Capital.   

Adrian holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (cum laude), MCom (cum laude) and a PhD (Economics) for which he was awarded the Economics Society of South Africa’s Founders Medal.  He is a UNESCO laureate, a matriculant of Linacre College (Oxford) and has completed programmes in Capital Markets at New York’s Columbia University; competitive strategy at Harvard Business School in Boston; Machine Learning at Stanford; and Game Theory at the University of British Columbia.

Adrian is a member of various industry bodies, including the Academy of International Business, the Strategic Management Society, and Investment Analysts Society. Since 2017, Adrian has chaired the investment committee of MeTTa Capital’s venture capital fund.     

Target Audience

The course Strategy in Emerging Markets is relevant for students who plan to work for firms that operate in emerging markets, or firms that compete with businesses in emerging markets. The course is also relevant to students who plan to work as consultants in emerging market contexts. We will examine businesses from the perspective of firms based in emerging markets, with a key focus being understanding new business models and the identification of new markets in the context of emerging economies.  The concepts in the course are relevant for students who manage businesses as they build on their home bases to expand around the world, as well as for students who will manage businesses that compete with emerging market firms, whether in Canada, other home markets, or in global markets. The core point, from whichever perspective, is to understand the dynamic nature of competitive strategy across industries in emerging markets, including cases in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe.


Eight evening sessions across two weeks.

Course Mission

The course focuses on strategies that firms based in emerging market economies around the world are adopting to compete in their home markets and, increasingly, in regional and global markets beyond their boundaries. The course also considers frameworks for identifying new markets through the development of new models in emerging markets, where emerging markets are defined as countries that have established moderate degrees of market-based infrastructure, including labour markets, property rights, legal transparency, capital markets, regulatory frameworks, governance, and physical infrastructure. These markets are wide ranging – captured by acronyms including the CIVETS, NEXT11 and BRICS – as well as the Fragile Five, reminding us that dynamic economies present exceptional opportunity, but this does not come without challenges of context and country dynamics. Gathering the evidence and arguments together, a key tenet of this course is that, quite simply, emerging markets represent some of the greatest business opportunities.

Firms based in these countries are adopting strategies that partly reflect what we have come to think of as traditional business strategy, but these business models also incorporate important elements of strategy that arise from the distinct conditions of the emerging market context in general and, in particular, their home countries. The course explores similarities and key differences of business strategy in these emerging market environments, identifying new markets and building new models.

Course Scope

We will explore multiple factors that create differences in kind and intensity of strategies in emerging markets. Four dominant issues arise at the centre of the factors: dynamic competitive advantage; complex management of resources; inherent uncertainty; and political strategy. In turn, these issues lead to a range of questions involving value chain positioning; supply chains and human resources; cost structure pressures; business model innovation; and other dimensions of competitive strategy. We will explore how firms based in emerging markets have developed strategies to deal with these issues, sometimes successfully, other times struggling to compete effectively at home and abroad.

In order to capture the pragmatic, action-oriented nature of strategic management, I teach this course through the To capture the pragmatic, action-oriented nature of strategic management, this course is taught through the case method, supplemented with readings, lectures, class guests, and discussions. Our objective is for you to develop and synthesis your approach to identifying and solving the key problems that you face as business managers in building, managing or advising businesses in emerging markets.

Evaluation and Grade Breakdown

ComponentDue DateWeight
Class ParticipationOngoing10%
Class Preparation AssignmentsOngoing20%
Learning JournalsMay 19, 11:59 pm35%
Term PaperMay 26, 11:59 pm35%

Required Resources

The instructor will provide a course pack consisting of cases about firms based in a range of emerging markets across industries, as well as a set of supplemental readings about how to adapt and transform the general concepts of strategy to these settings. In addition, the instructor will provide data to help compare, and contrast the institutional and strategic development of the market environment in different countries.

Last Updated: 2022-06-28 @ 11:17 am