Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Regional Competitiveness and Industry Clusters Capstone Course

PA 8081(7)

An Economic Development Workshop for Humphrey Institute and Carlson School Graduate Students
Spring Semester 2010 รข€¢ 3 Credits
Thursdays, 6:00 to 8:30 p. m.

Course Syllabus 2010

Instructors: Lee Munnich, Senior Fellow, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; Kris Nelson, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA); Burke Murphy, Metro Administrator, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)

This capstone workshop course is part of a Regional Competitiveness Project being conducted for the Twin Cities Regional Council of Mayors and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Three teams of graduate students will prepare economic development strategy reports for the Regional Council of Mayors, and two teams will prepare strategy reports for regional clients in Greater Minnesota. Each strategy report will focus on a regional industry cluster and consist of three parts: 1) a diagnosis of a regional industry cluster, 2) a vision for the future, and 3) an action plan in accord with that vision.

While this workshop is designed as a capstone workshop to meet Humphrey Institute requirements, graduate students from the Carlson School of Management are strongly encouraged to participate in this workshop. The Regional Council of Mayors and DEED are particularly interested in drawing from the joint business, planning and public policy talents of the two graduate programs in developing a regional investment strategy for the Twin Cities and linking that strategy to Greater Minnesota.

The topic for the Spring 2010 capstone workshop course is Microeconomics of Competitiveness: Firms, Clusters, and Economic Development. This workshop is based on a case-study course developed by Professor Michael Porter and a team of his colleagues at the Harvard Business School. The course explores the determinants of national and regional competitiveness building from the perspective of firms, clusters, sub-national units, nations, and groups of neighboring countries. It focuses on the sources of national or regional productivity, which are 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 competitiveness at multiple levels - nations, sub-national units such as states or provinces, particular cluster, and neighboring countries. 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. In modern competition, each of these institutions has an important and evolving role in economic development. Moreover, the process of creating and sustaining an economic strategy for a nation, state 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.

The course is taught using case studies drawn from all major regions of the world. Part of the purpose of the course is to expose students to some of the most successful countries and regions. In addition to cases, there are readings, a series of video lectures by Michael Porter, and videotaped appearances by guests who are national, regional, or business leaders involved in the cases studied.

For further information contact: Lee Munnich, or (612) 625-7357

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