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Why study competitive markets in an online MBA program?

More than 200 years ago, economist Adam Smith talked about the critical role of competition in a market economy.

His most famous work, “The Wealth of Nations,” was published in 1776, the year that the United States declared its independence. At that time, it took weeks by boat to travel between Europe and the Americas. Smith could not have imagined how modern transportation and communication technologies would dramatically transform the nature of competitive markets.

Understanding global markets

Being successful in business today requires much greater knowledge and understanding of the competitive market than it did just a generation ago. With the Internet and easy access to international shipping within almost everyone’s reach, even a local artisan can have clients who are located halfway around the globe.

In the same way, a software development firm based in Indiana can easily have major clients in India, and vice versa. Many of the economic, political and natural forces that contribute to market conditions are fully global in nature today.

For those working in bigger organizations, keeping up with these developments can often lead a professional to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree. Further, because of its unique flexibility, an online MBA program has become one of the most popular choices.

Important areas of study

While the core of what Adam Smith originally presented in “Wealth of Nations” still holds true, students studying competitive markets today are exposed to a wide range of advanced theories and modern case studies. In an online MBA program, these topics will be examined with an eye toward achieving market success in a very competitive international economy.

For example, when looking at the wide range of factors – market pressures, regulations, evolving technologies, economics conditions and more – that influence industry competition, MBA students will approach the topic to see how those factors would influence business strategies. One of these factors is always the threat of new companies entering a market. This tends to put a downward pressure on prices and profits in a competitive market. In this case, it’s important that business leaders in established companies learn how to use their greater experience in the industry to create barriers that any new company would have to overcome to be successful.

A holistic approach

Finally, to achieve sustained profitability in a very competitive market, it requires that every area of responsibility within a company understands the challenges and is ready to make the right moves. In an online MBA program, the knowledge and tools to be prepared for this are presented in a wide range of courses, such as advanced marketing, financial management, strategy and operations.


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