Towards an Integrated, Holistic Approach to Teaching Strategy

William M Donaldson


The debate over whether it is best to teach strategy using theory or practical examples such as cases continues to rage in academia. This article seeks to move our discipline beyond the debate. By utilizing a holistic approach including both methods, embracing systems thinking, and adding simulation to drive engagement, a strategic management course can, and should, become a more impactful experience for the student. An integrated, holistic method more closely resembles the leading edge of the discipline proposed by scholars and practiced in leading companies. This paper offers arguments for both approaches to teaching strategy, suggests a more integrated approach, shares an example of how to teach strategy using an integrated approach at an undergraduate-only business school using a current course, and concludes with the challenges of adopting such an approach.


Strategy, strategic management, pedagogy

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