Finance and corporate strategy

Strategy @HEC Paris


À propos de cette formation

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Why do some firms do better than others and manage to distinguish themselves from their competitors? This is the fundamental question of strategy…
In an increasingly complex, globalized and competitive economic environment, strategic thinking to make companies more competitive, generate growth and create value becomes even more critical.


This certificate will allow you to understand the reasons for the success – or failure – of certain companies and will give you the keys to formulate a strategy but also to implement it.


The program is designed for executives and senior managers who are called upon to formulate, share, apply or simply understand their company’s strategy.


Les objectifs de cette formation

Strategy @ HEC Paris offers you the opportunity to acquire fundamental knowledge in 3 areas of corporate strategy:

  • Business strategy
  • Corporate strategy
  • Strategy implementation


The program will allow you to :

  • Acquire an overall framework and the concepts, methods and tools used in the processes of strategy formulation and implementation,
  • Identify the business situations in which they can be most effectively applied,
  • Understand the limitations of different approaches,
  • Help you understand the reasons for your successes or failures,
  • And to provide tools and frameworks to formulate and implement a strategy for your business more effectively.

Les points forts du certificat

Access premium content while staying in control of your schedule

Discover videos of courses, quizzes, case studies, masterclasses accessible online on a very user-friendly platform. These courses will require 3 to 5 hours of personal work per week.

Benefit from permanent support

Exchanges with teachers and learning coaches continuously via the forum and once a week via webinars. Organisation of physical or virtual meetings to prepare case studies.

Very detailed learning analytics that make you aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

Obtain a prestigious certification

Delivered by a prestigious business school recognized by the largest banks and international companies, after validation of your skills acquired through the 3 case studies and a 2-hour final exam that you can take anywhere in the world, in a Pearson Vue centre.

Expand your network

With 7,000 members, the First Finance Institute alumni community is a very effective network to accelerate your career.



Strategy@HEC Paris

Pierre Dussauge is Professor of Business Strategy at HEC Paris and was Dean of the HEC Paris faculty.
He is the author/co-author of several reference books including Strategor.

Next session :
2 November 2020

Innovative teaching methods for effective training

This program will help you gain perspective and vision when faced with complex problems and strategic decisions, often clouded by the practical acquisition of analytical skills.

The training is composed of 3 courses in MOOC format and a final exam taken in one of Pearson Vue’s centres, present all over the world; it requires 70 hours of personal work, spread over 6 months.

Each of the 3 courses making up the programme takes place over a period of 7 weeks: the first weeks are devoted to studying the programme material. The last weeks of the course are devoted to a case study that summarizes the course topics and counts towards certification.

An important component of the program is the forum, which contributes to collaborative learning and helps you to socialize with faculty and other participants. Regular virtual classes are part of the ongoing support provided by the pedagogical team.
Small group work and encounter sessions are also actively encouraged. Once the course has started, we will put you in contact with other participants from the same city or region.


Classes are open to all. There is no selection process. However, like all HEC Paris programs, it meets a high level of academic requirements and requires a high level of commitment and intellectual rigor.


Beyond certification, the value of your training depends largely on your personal motivation, curiosity and investment in your learning project.


The Business Strategy course will help you understand why, in a given industry, some firms are more profitable than others. What are the success factors? What are the sources of competitive advantage? Learn how to identify strengths and challenges and define a strategy in seven key steps!

Pierre Dussauge
Laurence Lehman-Ortega

  • Key strategic issues
  • The objective and goals of the Business Strategy
  • Key dates of the strategy as a management topic
  • SWOT
#1: Industry Analysis
  • Sectoral determinants of the strategy
  • Porter’s 5 Forces
  • Types of industry
  • The PESTLE model
#2: The value chain
  • Definition
  • One… or two industries: the example of soft drinks
#3: Firm Strategies
  • Generic Strategies
  • Cost and volume strategies
  • Differentiation strategies
  • Experience curve
#4: Costs and Perceived Value
#5: Competitive Dynamics
  • The Pioneer Advantage
  • Game Theory
  • Sources of information on competition
#6: The company's strategic resources
  • Resources and skills
  • Resources for competitive advantage
#7: Innovation Strategies


After identifying the sources of competitive advantage and value creation of a company or sector, this second module focuses on Corporate Strategy to answer the question: how can a company implement profitable growth? Vertical integration, diversification and geographic expansion are different growth options. Alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and organic growth allow these strategies to be followed.

Pierre Dussauge

  • The perimeter and boundaries of the company
  • Expansion modes
#1 : Value creation and governance
  • The principles of value creation
  • « Shareholders vs. Stakeholders »
  • Agency theory: shareholders and managers
#2 : Vertical integration and outsourcing
  • Transaction costs
  • Technological dependency
  • Holp-up
  • Investment in specific assets
#3 : Global competition and international strategy
  • Global and multi-domestic industries
  • Adaptation vs. economies of scale
  • Concentration vs. dispersion
  • Strategies in emerging countries
#4 : Diversification and refocusing
  • Field savings and shared resources
  • The search for synergies
  • The costs of diversification and conglomerate discounting
#5 : Mergers and Acquisitions
  • The great M&As cycles
  • Acquisition premium
  • The challenges of integration
  • Asset disposals and refocusing
#6 : Strategic alliances and cooperation
  • Types of alliances
  • Co-operation
  • Conflicts between allies
  • Networks


There is no good strategy without good implementation.
In this course, you will learn to identify the means of action and levers by which a strategy, once formulated, can be implemented.

Olivier Sibony
Bernard Ramanantsoa
Hélène Musikas
Georges Blanc

  • Components of the implementation of the strategy
#1 : Solve complex strategic problems and sell the solution
  • The importance of knowing how to solve complex problems: the 4S method
  • Posing the problem
  • Structuring the problem
  • Solving the problem
  • Selling the Solution
#2 : Strategic alignment through structure and processes
  • Dimensions of the organizational structure
  • The main types of structures
  • Strategy-structure alignment
  • From hierarchy to networks
  • Management systems
  • Decision-making processes
#3 : Understanding and managing the hidden face of organizations
  • Corporate culture
  • Organizational Identity
  • Leadership and power
#4 : Driving change
  • Combining « soft » and « hard » approaches
  • Different ways of dealing with change
  • Leading change
  • Write an action plan

Conditions for obtaining

The conditions for obtaining the Strategy @ HEC Paris certificate are as follows:

  • Active participation in the three courses making up the academic program;
  • Obtaining a minimum mark of 70/100 in the examination of each of the three courses of the program;
  • Obtaining a minimum grade of 140/200 in the final exam.


The final exam is a 75-minute MCQ without documents and under supervision. Candidates take it at a Pearson Vue centre, which is present in more than 150 countries.

The final grade is equal to the sum of the marks obtained to validate the course examinations and the final exam out of a total of 500 points.


Une formation qui a fait ses preuves

12% of those certified started a new career after completing this certificate

45% have benefited from a concrete advantage in their career thanks to this certificate.

Nicolas Reitzaum
« As with the ICCF online program, the Executive Online Certificate Strategy @ HEC Paris is, in my opinion, based on three fundamental pillars: the pedagogical excellence of the HEC professors, extremely varied weekly case studies, and finally, the linking of all students who create a collective intelligence. »

Assigned a score of :

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Ibrahima Diouf
Executive Online Certificate Strategy @ HEC Paris
« I followed the Strategy @ HEC Paris program when I was thinking about setting up my new company in Dakar, in the office real estate sector. My business plan at the time included promotion and construction. Pierre Dussauge's course opened my eyes: I was going to make a fatal mistake by integrating vertically and doing construction when there are already a plethora of construction companies. I've given up on that idea, and concentrate on the area where I have a competitive advantage, promotion, and making builders compete with each other. »

Assigned a score of :

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