of Public Policy
University of Singapore
PP5279 Clusters and National Competitiveness
Tuesdays in MM-SR 2-2 from 9 am to 12 noon
(MM-SR 3-5 10:30 am to12:00 noon on Tuesday, August 11, 2009)
Office : OTH Level 3/Wing A – ACI
Tel. : 6516-7031
A few sessions will be taught by Professor Neo Boon Siong and by Dr. Christian Ketels, Institute of Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School who is visiting the Asia Competitiveness Institute at the LKY School.
This course is intended for post-graduate students of Public Policy, Business, Economic Geography, Economic Development, Regional and Urban Studies as well as others who have an interest in exploring the role of location and clusters in creating competitive advantage for business and prosperity for cities, regions and nations.
This is a distinctive course developed at Harvard Business School by Professor Michael E. Porter and a team of colleagues and is now taught at over sixty universities around the world
. HBS provides an unprecedented amount of content and support for the course
. This includes course materials, videotaped lectures by Professor Porter and by guests and case protagonists who are national or business leaders. These and other materials will be made available to participants through a customized website hosted by HBS.
About the course
This course explores the determinants of national and regional competitiveness from a bottom-up, microeconomic perspective. The course probes the ultimate determinants of a nation’s or region’s productivity, rooted in the strategies and operating practices of locally-based firms, the vitality of clusters, and the quality of the business environment in which competition takes place.
The course examines both advanced and developing economies and addresses the competitiveness of nations and particular clusters. It also examines the role that economic coordination among neighboring countries plays in competitiveness.
The course is concerned not only with government policy but also with the roles that firms, industry associations, universities, and other institutions play in competitiveness. Each of these institutions has an important role in modern international competition. Moreover, the process of creating and sustaining an economic strategy for a nation or region is a daunting challenge. The course explores not only theory and policy, but also the organizational structures, institutional structures, and change processes required for sustained improvements in competitiveness.
Pre-requisite (or concurrently)
Basic Economics course.
A team project and individual class participation are each worth 50% of the total grade.
Each team must choose a country (or a region within a country) and a cluster for analysis. The focus of the project is on the application of concepts to analyze a country and a cluster. Project presentations will start in the later part of the course and further guidelines will be provided in class.
This course deals with a complex subject and is taught using the case method. The case method and the learning value of peer interaction and discussion require extensive advance preparation by participants for each class.
PRE-reading on case method
John S. Hammond “Learning by the Case Method” HBS 9-376-241
Michael E. Porter (2008) On Competition Updated and Expanded Edition, Harvard Business Press
reading for SESSION 4
Michael E. Porter and Hirotaka Takeuchi (1999) “Fixing What Really Ails Japan” Foreign Affairs, May/June, Vol. 78, No. 3, pages 66-81.