Managing in the Global Digital Economy

The Wharton School

The Wharton School


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About the course

Companies like Uber, Tinder, Amazon and Airbnb have transformed the digital economy on an international level. What strategies did these platforms adopt, and how were they able to scale globally? How have retailers and news publications changed their business models to keep pace with digital and mobile trends?

Managing in the Global Digital Economy will help you understand digital platforms and their network effects at the local, national and global levels. Mauro Guillén, professor of international management, uses real-world examples to illustrate how you can take advantage of new technology and adopt competitive omnichannel strategies for your business. You’ll also learn about international expansion considerations and the impact of regulations.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a sharper sense of digital innovation and be able to approach global management from a more informed, digitally-savvy point of view.


  • The digital economy accounted for 6.9% of the United States GDP in 2017, and continues to grow.
  • Many economists claim data is more valuable than oil as a commodity.
  • The amount of data created worldwide has grown exponentially, creating demand for cloud storage innovation and data professionals.

Key Program Takeaways

Participants Will Learn How To:

  • Distinguish between one and two-sided networks
  • Analyze the local, national and international effects of digital platforms
  • Craft digital platform strategies based on network effects
  • Advocate for omnichannel strategies that improve user experience
  • Approach international expansion — understanding when to start, what sequence of markets to enter and how quickly to expand

Course Modules


In this module, you’ll explore the growth of digital platforms and examine the increase in the digital populations of different countries and socio-demographic segments. You’ll analyze the emergence of digital firms and learn the importance of detailed analysis of digital access in different parts of the world. Through case studies of companies such as Lego and Amazon, you’ll learn how they achieved successes as digital firms. You’ll also learn how digital currencies propelled Africa to the forefront of the digital economy. By the end of this module, you will have a better understanding of the digital economy and be able to implement successful strategies to propel digital transformation for your firm or organization.


In this module, you’ll examine the fundamentals of network effects, and delve deeper into network analysis with case studies. You’ll learn about the types of digital platforms and gain a better understanding of one-sided versus two-sided network effects through a mapping exercise. By analyzing the case studies of Tinder and Uber, you’ll explore how network effects can unfold at the local, national or global levels. By the end of this module, you will have a better understanding of the nature of network effects and the types of strategies that digital platforms can implement in order to successfully compete.


In this module, you will explore digital transformation within retail, printed media, and financial services. Through close examination of Zara’s retail strategy, you’ll learn about the advantages of the omnichannel approach in online retail sales. By studying the failed digitalization of eBooks and wines, you will better understand the importance of forming a competitive strategy that takes advantage of the potential of new technologies. By the end of this module, you’ll have a richer understanding of both successful and unsuccessful digital transformations and know what strategies are more successful than others.


In this module, you’ll learn about international expansion and its network effects on digital platforms. Through close analysis of the case study of AirBnB, you’ll understand the importance of key decisions such as timing, market sequence, and speed in international expansion. You’ll also analyze the comparisons among Spotify, Apple Music, and Netflix, and learn how margins depend on the threat of substitutes, the degree of competition, and the possibility of new entrants. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to better navigate the risks of international expansion for your organization and develop a more successful digital strategy for your business.


Mauro Guillén

Mauro F. Guillén is the Director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute at Penn, a researchandteaching program on management and international relations. He holds the Dr. Felix Zandman Endowed Professorship in International Management at the Wharton School and a secondary appointment as Professor of S...

Managing in the Global Digital Economy at The Wharton School

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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