Strategic Business Management

This program introduces you to the basic concepts and tools of strategic business management. We cover the overall framework within which managers make decisions. Next, you explore the notion of strategy and how it relates to competitive advantage.

You discover different strategic tools to evaluate environmental threats and opportunities, including the industry competitive forces analysis. You learn how to identify company strengths and weaknesses and how to develop competencies. Finally, you study the strategic positioning of a company in its industry and the necessary factors responsible for strategy execution.

Note: the program was previously titled Fundamentals of Strategy.

Program Benefits

  • Develop the skills to perform external and internal analyses for companies and to evaluate the dynamics of competition
  • Build strategies using appropriate frameworks and tools
  • Understand the basics of strategy implementation and control
  • Earn a Certificate of Participation from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

Topics Covered

  • Strategic management
  • Competitive advantage
  • External analysis
  • Internal analysis
  • Competitive positioning and business strategy
  • Strategy implementation

Who Should Enroll

Business owners or employers from any industry who are interested in developing the skills needed to analyze and create strategy. There are no prerequisites, but a basic understanding of management and accounting principles is desired.

Special Discount Offer

Pair this program with Advanced Business Strategy: Gaining a Competitive Edge and receive 15 percent off your registration on this new offering. After successful registration in Strategic Business Management, email for a unique passcode to take advantage of the discount toward Advanced Business Strategy.

Program Information

Program Dates

October 2–3, 2019
Instructor Mohsin Habib
November 18–19, 2019
Instructor Sharon A. Mertz
March 30–31, 2020
Instructor Mohsin Habib
May 11–12, 2020
Instructor Areen Shahbari
August 24–25, 2020
Instructor Mohsin Habib

Class Times

2019 Class Times: 9am-5pm
2020 Class Times: 8:30am-4:30pm

Program Fee

2019 Program Fee: $2,850
2020 Program Fee: $2,895


One Brattle Square
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.


Mohsin Habib is an associate professor of management at the University of Massachusetts. He received the 2010 JoAnne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award from Harvard Extension School, where he teaches courses on strategy, international management, and business ethics. His research explores the relationship between foreign direct investments, factors specific to a country, and the strategy of multinational corporations. Habib holds a PhD in strategic management with an emphasis on international strategy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Sharon Mertz is an international business professional with more than 30 years of experience in strategic consulting and management. As a former research director at Gartner, Inc., she was published for work directed towards business executives, investors, and product management within a global market. Before joining Gartner, Inc., she was an associate partner at IBM, working with the global research organizations to evaluate emerging business opportunities. She is an accomplished keynote speaker and has addressed audiences at both commercial and academic conferences internationally including the Academy of International Business Conference. She received a doctorate in international business with an emphasis on business strategy from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Areen Shahbari is a social entrepreneur, a business consultant, and a lecturer on entrepreneurship, strategic management, marketing, and effective communication at Harvard University Extension School and Simmons School of Business. She provides consulting services to local and international entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, leads travel courses that focus on women leadership and entrepreneurship, serves on business and entrepreneurship panels, and leads workshops and training on networking, negotiation, entrepreneurship, communicating across cultures, and persuasion. Shahbari has taught in the United States, Chile, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Turkey, and Mexico. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Cactus Int., a company that she founded in 2013 to promote women entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Read More about Areen Shahbari