Stanford Graduate School of Business

Strategy Beyond Markets: Building Competitive Advantage Through Government Relations and Public Affairs

Available dates

Aug 16—21, 2020
6 days
Stanford, California, United States
USD 13000
USD 2166 per day


Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Full disclaimer.

About the course

Anticipate and develop strategies to address critical beyond-market forces, from legislation and regulation to activism and the media.

Your company’s reputation takes years to build; yet it can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Thinking ahead can make all the difference. Strategy Beyond Markets combines thinking with doing, providing a comprehensive set of strategic and practical skills to help you both assess your firm’s potential risks and seize new opportunities. You’ll learn invaluable tools and tactics that you can implement the moment you return to work — whether dealing with internal stakeholders, the government, media, or the public.

Strategy Beyond Markets is timely, topical, and essential for anyone developing business strategy. One look at today’s business headlines will convince you. Which is why the program combines real-time cases with cutting-edge academic research and is led by Stanford GSB faculty in partnership with Stanford University’s vice president for public affairs. You will learn, discuss, and collaborate with faculty and peers who share a common goal: to elevate the importance of beyond-market forces and make them more integral to a company’s core strategy. Broaden your thinking with perspectives from Silicon Valley businesses, and discuss practical experiences with senior-level executives from multiple disciplines.

Key Benefits

Gain tools, analytical frameworks, leadership skills, and confidence to proactively manage risk and make a positive impact across your organization.

  • Evaluate and manage risk generated by policymakers and interest groups, stakeholders, and the media.
  • Analyze, integrate, and take ownership of your company’s beyond-market strategy.
  • Formulate and implement strategies to sustain your company’s interests and turn potential threats into competitive opportunities.
  • Dissect real-world cases — from Uber to EU privacy — and learn from their examples.
  • Build a strong network of peers with whom you can share ideas and experiences.

Course Highlights

Innovation and Regulation

A common attitude in Silicon Valley — and among innovators generally — is that the quality of the idea will take care of itself and that the government is irrelevant (not to mention stuffy and bureaucratic). Time and time again, this attitude has been proven wrong. All markets are regulated, and often the rules of the game for a market are set before the market even exists.

Understanding the regulatory rules that are in place and designing a business plan that takes them into account is an important part of business innovation. In this session, you’ll explore how startup and established companies alike can build strategies to account for regulatory constraints, and formulate new business strategies that leverage regulation for competitive advantage.

Crisis Management

What should management do when a crisis focuses the harsh spotlight of public opinion on their organization? Whether it results from a company’s own missteps (think BP) or from strategic activism or media action (think Greenpeace), dealing with crisis is increasingly on the agenda for today's executives.

In this session, you’ll examine the nature of crises and develop a deeper understanding of where they come from, how they evolve, and what you can do about them. You’ll explore the skills and organizational structures required to prepare for, and productively manage, a crisis to avoid bringing lasting damage to a firm's reputation.


In this session, you’ll analyze how self-regulation can be used as a tool to deal with threats ranging from consumer backlash to the threat of future governmental regulation. You’ll also consider several obstacles that arise as companies and industries try to engage in self-regulation. You’ll learn about recent successes and failures in self-regulation, covering issues like privacy, consumer credit, movie ratings, and conflict minerals.

Strategic Corporate Responsibility

Key stakeholders often have conflicting interests. How should a company strike a balance among competing interests? Is trying to strike a balance even a smart strategy? Should that be the objective? What about the business’s responsibility to its shareholders? And, regardless of whether the goal is to benefit shareholders or a broader set of stakeholders, how should a company assess the effectiveness of its corporate social-responsibility initiatives?

In this session, you’ll assess these questions by analyzing a global pharmaceutical company’s key decisions about intellectual property, pricing, and delivery of new AIDS drugs in developing countries.

Who should attend

  • Senior-level executives with at least 10 years of experience — from any size company, any industry, and any country
  • Executives from large global companies that face challenges in a variety of different institutional arenas
  • Leaders of startups or smaller organizations seeking creative ways to build competitive advantage
  • Examples of appropriate roles: senior functional leaders transitioning into general management, division-level leaders who will soon assume corporate-level positions, and leaders driving strategy in the C-suite

Trust the experts

Steven Callander

Research Statement Steve Callander’s research interests lie at the intersection of business, politics, and society. As a researcher, he uses the tools of game theory to build models of political and economic institutions (legislatures, bureaucracies, markets, etc.) to understand how they work, h...


Ken Shotts

Research Statement Professor Shotts uses game theory to analyze how elections and political institutions influence policy choices made by government officials. He has published papers on presidential leadership, racial redistricting, term limits, and the politics of regulatory enforcement. He is...


Sarah Soule

Research Statement Sarah A. Soule's research examines state and organizational-level policy change and diffusion, and the role social movements have on these processes. She has recently published papers on how protest impacts multi-national firm-level decisions regarding divestment in Burma, and...


Neil Malhotra

Bio Neil Malhotra is the Edith M. Cornell Professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Political Science. He serves as the Louise and Claude N. Rosenberg, Jr. Co-Director of the Center for Soci...


Saumitra Jha

Research Statement Saumitra's research focuses upon understanding the effectiveness of organizations and innovations that societies have developed to address the problems of violence and other political risks, and to seek new lessons for fostering peace and development. So far, his research has ...


David Demarest

Bio As Stanford’s senior public affairs official, David Demarest reports to the President of the university and is responsible for directing community initiatives, and overseeing communications, government relations and special events. Demarest served four years as an assistant to President Geo...


Course reviews

Strategy Beyond Markets (SBM)

Downloadable files