Author Archives: Ken

Competitive Advantage Comes From Internal Capabilities

In a nutshell, over my past 10 posts, I have advocated that most private colleges and universities should pursue a focused differentiation strategy based on a unique mission and vision that solves a significant problem for its target customers. My … Continue reading

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Why Do Kids Go to College?

In graduate school, I had a particularly curmudgeonly professor who claimed that college was simply post-adolescent day care, and that parents paid tuition and other fees just to get their kids out of their hair for four years until they … Continue reading

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The Rankings Game

A few months back, I was meeting with one of our alums, and he asked me how I would categorize universities in terms of quality. I was taken by surprise, so I had to think for a minute, and then … Continue reading

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The Limitations of the “Comprehensive” University

There is a prevalent sense among academics that a university is meant to be “comprehensive” i.e. provide a full range of programs and degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. In fact, the dictionary definition of a university is a … Continue reading

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Why Should I Go To Your School Instead of a Cheaper One?

The first half of most Strategic Management textbooks are often filled with the various models of Michael Porter. Around Chapter 4, the Strategic Positioning model is usually introduced: Like many of Porter’s models, Strategic Positioning is easy to grasp, but … Continue reading

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Can Private Universities Compete on Price?

When I began teaching Strategic Management in 2003, Southwest Airlines was just entering the Philadelphia market. This proved to be very disruptive for the dominant incumbent, US Air. Whenever Southwest enters a market, the first impact is that overall fares … Continue reading

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Making Actionable Goals

One more point about actionable goals and objectives before I move on to lesson #4: There are different ways to phrase them, and the best way depends on the institution’s situation. As an example, take a look at this objective … Continue reading

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Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes

There is an acronym that every undergraduate business student knows (or should know). That acronym is SMART, and it is used to determine whether a goal or objective is effective. There is some variation of wording, but the acronym stands … Continue reading

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Where Does “Strategy” Come From?

Once an organization sets out a mission and vision, it can begin the process of creating a strategic plan that is consistent with it’s mission and moves it toward its vision of success. There are a number of ways to … Continue reading

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Why Universities Need Strong, Meaningful Mission Statements

In my previous post, I argued that one reason universities are running into problems is that they have failed to master basic strategic management. Chapter 2 of virtually every Strategic Management text is about Mission and Vision statements, and the … Continue reading

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