Sample Management Paper on The emergence of star (superstar) firms

Star Firms

The emergence of star  (superstar) firms – firms that operate in multiple markets, enjoy large market shares across the globe, experience persistent growth, exercise enormous market power, and hold a large amount of cash. Understanding the origins, drivers and strategies of star firms sheds light on the secrets of corporate success and offers lessons on how to build a star firm. You will research and write academic literature to explain the origins, drivers, and strategies of star firms and outline managerial lessons for developing successful firms.


  1. Describe star firms, explore the evidence on the effect of a firm’s quality in its early years on its chance of achieving star status, and explain why a firm’s quality at birth critically affects its future performance.
  2. Draw on historical cases to explore strategies that star firms employ to build on their initial success and grow their market. How do these strategies drive firm performance? Examples include R\&D investment and technology
  3. Explain scale economies. And discuss how various static and dynamic scale economies can amplify the effects of a firm’s initial success and growth strategies and thereby enable the firm to rise as a star and dominate the
  4. Suggest managerial lessons that would enable the firm of your choice to achieve star


Important: You must draw a systematic analysis on relevant concepts and theories as per the below:

  • Basics I: Strategy, concepts & history
  • Basics II: Industry analysis – entry barriers
  • Corporate growth strategies – organic growth
  • Corporate design: trade–offs, complementarities & non-convexities
  • Competition strategies – the theory of strategic behavior
  • Corporate failure – failure mechanisms & catastrophic failures
  • Corporate turnarounds, corporate refocusing and restructuring.

It is important to inform the analysis by referring to relevant (secondary) data.

Paper concentration next page ….


Introduction (5%)

  • Introduce star firms,
  • Position the topic and explain its importance and relevance,
  • Outline the structure of the essay structure.


Background (10%)

  • A systematic introduction to star firms,
  • Review the academic literature on star firms and their characteristics,
  • Review the evidence on the role of star firms in the industry / economy
  • Reviewing first and secondary data.


The Foundation Effects (25%)

  • Explore the academic literature to provide evidence on the effect of a firm’s quality in its early years on its future performance,
  • Explain why a firm’s quality in its early days matters for its future performance. You may refer to the role of learning by doing, increasing returns to scale and entry barriers,
  • Discuss possible reasons for initial firm heterogeneity – why are firms born differently, Clear exposition of key concepts.


Strategic Decisions & Growth Strategies (20%)

  • Explore strategies that star firms employ to grow by referring to historical cases. You may focus on a single case to offer an adequately deep historical analysis.
  • Explain how the strategies contribute to firm growth. If you refer to R&D investment, for, example, refer to product innovation, market diversification, process innovation, and link these with the economies of scope, firm productivity and scale, average costs, and growth.
  • Explain how a firm’s quality at birth (e.g., larger size or higher productivity) may affect the success of the firm’s growth strategies.


Scale economies and increasing returns to scale (25%)

  • Explain economies of scale using a simple economic graph
  • Distinguish between static and dynamic scale economies – an example of dynamic scale economies is learning-by-doing, which lowers the firm’s average cost over time.
  • Explain how scale economies amplify a firm’s initial successes, enabling it to grow, dominate and rise as a star.
  • Systematic use of data to inform the analysis.


Application (10 %)

  • Identify managerial lessons that could help a firm of your choice to achieve star status.


Logical structure & Clear exposition (5 %)

  • The piece is logically structured,