Games of Chance and Strategy - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Games of Chance and Games of Strategy

Course Number 1210

Professor Elon Kohlberg
Fall; Q1Q2; 3 credits
28 sessions
Exam

Educational Objectives

The goal of this course is to introduce students to some of the great ideas underlying the analysis of competition. These ideas provide a powerful way of thinking about strategic choices and about the dynamics of competitive interactions.

Course Content and Organization

The concepts presented in the course come from game theory, economics, elementary probability, and evolutionary biology. These concepts are analytical, that is, their definition and applications require logical reasoning. However, we will present them in a form that does not require mathematical techniques beyond basic high-school algebra.

The course will consist of readings, exercises, discussions, and lectures. The readings will be expositions of the ideas of probability, risk, profit-maximizing choices in games of chance, strategic choices in multi-person games, and game-theoretic equilibrium. While we will not have business cases, the class discussions and the student papers will provide opportunities to apply the concepts in the business world.

Career Focus

The course may be of interest to future consultants, investment bankers, and venture capitalists, as well as to students who intend to assume leadership roles in charting the strategic course of their organizations.