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

Past Courses

  • EAS 499 - SENIOR CAPSTONE

    The Senior Capstone Project is required for all BAS degree students, in lieu of the senior design course. The Capstone Project provides an opportunity for the student to apply the theoretical ideas and tools learned from other courses. The project is usually applied, rather than theoretical, exercise, and should focus on a real world problem related to the career goals of the student. The one-semester project may be completed in either the fall or sprong term of the senior year, and must be done under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member. To register for this course, the student must submit a detailed proposal, signed by the supervising professor, and the student's faculty advisor, to the Office of Academic Programs two weeks prior to the start of the term.

  • 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.

  • MGMT653 - FIELD APPLICATION PROJ

    FAP is an experiential-based course where learning is done outside of the classroom. It is unique in its lack of a classroom setting all meetings take place in a professor's office in small teams of 4 to 6 students. Teams are faced withreal-time issues of outside organizations and work with faculty and host managers to construct innovative solutions. Solutions are integrative and cross-functional in nature. We encourage creative thinking giving students wide access towhat we call "area of expertise" faculty. Depending on the project scope we help students arrange meetings with professors who are experts in their field. Host organizations range from large multinational firms to start-ups. A significant percentage of the projects are with non-profits and organizations focused on social causes. Format: Teams (4-6 members) meet with faculty on a weekly basis (30-45 minutes). There are also 3-5 meetings with host managers. In addition to meeting with aFaculty Head, students are given access to "area of expertise" faculty. These faculty members are chosen based on their specific expertise. The final deliverable consists of an oral presentation and a written document. Requirements: Weekly team meetings with faculty project head and a final PowerPoint report and presentation.

  • 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.

  • MGMT784 - MANAGERIAL ECON & GAME

    The purpose of this course is to develop students' abilities to apply game theory to decision making. Development of the tools of game theory and the application of those tools is emphasized. Game theory has become an important tool for managers and consultants in analyzing and implementing tactical as well as strategic actions. This course will primarily focus on examples useful for developing competitive strategy in the private sector (pricing and product strategy, capacity choices, contracting and negotiating, signaling and bluffing, takeover strategy, etc.). Game theory can also be used to address problems relevant to a firm's organizational strategy (e.g., internal incentives and information flow within a firm) and to a firm's non-market environment (e.g., strategic trade policies, litigation and regulation strategy).

  • MGMT891 - ADVANCED STUDY-SMGT

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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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