Coursera’s Business Level Strategy


ISKANDAR, Andrea Karunia (丘明安)

Coursera’s Business Level Strategy
(xvi + 78 pages: 12 images, 5 tables, 1 appendix)

As more people globally attend university, questions of quality and accessibility remain. In year 2012 the world was introduced to a new innovation in education called MOOC. The biggest MOOC company and arguably the most innovative is Coursera. This work has two aims: (1) to analyze Coursera’s business level strategy and competitive advantage and (2) to assess how Coursera can maintain its competitive advantage sustainably. To achieve this, the following strategic management tools are used, the most important among which being: five competitive forces to comprehend the MOOC industry; competitive strategy and core competency buildup; value chain analysis and business model canvas. Value chain analysis and business model canvas will provide a sense of how Coursera lines up its resources to provide values to various stakeholders while the business model canvas provides insights on how it delivers a variety of values to its varied stakeholders. These two models enrich our understanding in overlapping yet complementary fashion that we may not otherwise would have. It is concluded that Coursera obtains its competitive advantage by building and presiding over a strategic ecosystem for learning that is self-reinforcing and mutually-beneficial. To sustainably maintain its competitive advantage, Coursera needs to keep its aggressive attitude that proactively reinvents the industry and influence the market. Coursera’s success is a combined result of (1) extremely strong core competencies, (2) Silicon Valley cluster effect, and (3) Coursera’s strategic moves in building an ecosystem for learning over which it presides.

Select Bibliography

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This is an abstract of my MBA thesis I write at South China University of Technology 华南理工大学 in 2016. For discussion on this topic and further access to this thesis, feel free to reach me.

This document is now published on ResearchGate with DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2902.8088


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