Louis A Thomas

Louis A Thomas
  • Associate Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2111 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: competitive strategy, game theory, industrial organization economics

Overview

Education

PhD, Harvard University, 1992; AM, Harvard University, 1990; BA, Yale University, 1986

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 1992-present

Other Positions

Associate, Booz (Allen & Hamilton, 1991-92; Associate, McKinsey & Co., 1988

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Teaching

Current Courses

  • MGMT784 - Managerial Econ & Game

    MGMT784002

Past Courses

  • MGMT211 - COMPETITIVE STRATEGY

    This is an advanced course in competitive strategy. The course will apply the tools of industrial organization economics and game theory to examine the strategic decisions that managers make. We will examine those decisions concerning pricing, capacity investment, advertising, new product introductions, and research and development. Emphasis will be placed on the strategic interaction among rival sellers. In particular we will look at the various methods of entry deterrence and strategic commitment. The course will attempt to integrate traditional economic models with case study materials.

  • MGMT223 - BUSINESS STRATEGY

    This course encourages students to analyze the problems of managing the total enterprise in the domestic and international setting. The focus is on the competitive strategy of the firm, examining issues central to its long- and short-term competitive position. Students act in the roles of key decision-makers or their advisors and solve problems related to the development or maintenance of the competitive advantage of the firm in a given market. The first module of the course develops an understanding of key strategic frameworks using theoretical readings and case-based discussions. Students will learn concepts and tools for analyzing the competitive environment, strategic position and firm-specific capabilities in order to understand the sources of a firm's competitive advantage. In addition, students will address corporate strategy issues such as the economic logic and administrative challenges associated with diversification choices about horizontal and vertical integration. The second module will be conducted as a multi-session, computer-based simulation in which students will have the opportunity to apply the concepts and tools from module 1 to make strategic decisions. The goal of the course is for students to develop an analytical tool kit for understanding strategic issues and to enrich their appreciation for the thought processes essential to incisive strategic analysis. This course offers students the opportunity to develop a general management perspective by combining their knowledge of specific functional areas with an appreciation for the requirements posed by the need to integrate all functions into a coherent whole. Students will develop skills in structuring and solving complex business problems.

  • MGMT711 - COMP STR/IND STR

    This is a course in analyzing competitive interactions. The course emphasizes a vision of strategy in which each competitor simultaneously chooses its strategy, taking into account the strategies of its opponents. Crucial to this vision is the anticipation of the moves of your opponent and, in particular, the expectation that your opponent is (almost) as smart as you are. Equal attention will be given to the development of techniques for analyzing competitive interactions and to the application of those techniques. Game theory and the economics of industrial organization provide the basis for the theoretical constructs developed in the course. Topics that will be explored include: market failures and profitability, competitive bidding, signaling, entry deterrence, agenda setting, regulations, and price wars.

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In the News

John Nash’s Legacy Lives on in Business Strategy

With his work in game theory, late Nobel laureate John Nash transformed the field of strategy formulation in organizations. The millennial generation will help unlock the full value of his ideas, say Wharton experts.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2015/05/27
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