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Teaching materials


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Teaching Material on Competitiveness and Development

Outline (.pdf) (.doc)

Scheme of work

MODULE 1 - Introduction
This module provides a general introduction to the concept of competitiveness, in particular the different definitions and the historical evolution of the concept. It presents the main characteristics and dimensions of competitiveness (world, country, region, company, and individual levels; static versus dynamic concept; absolute versus relative concept; economic, political and social factors in competitiveness) while drawing attention to the fact that competitiveness is an extremely multifaceted concept. The module also gives first insights into the analysis of competitiveness from a developmental perspective, and provides activities/exercises for students.

MODULE 2 - Different dimensions of competitiveness of nations
This module introduces different theoretical models of competitiveness and their respective rationales, as well as the main actors involved in creating and raising a nation's competitiveness. The selected models include both microeconomic and mainly macroeconomic concepts, and qualitative and quantitative ones (Porter/World Economic Forum; IMD model of competitiveness, OECD's work on competitiveness; systemic competitiveness). The emphasis is placed on the systemic approach which then constitutes the basis of Module 4. The module concludes by proposing an activity/exercise and discussion questions for students.

MODULE 3 - Assessment and measurement of competitiveness
This module provides an overview of the different possibilities to measure competitiveness. The first part is dedicated to macroeconomic and microeconomic indicators, such as price and cost competitiveness; real exchange rates; export market shares, and trade balances and the export/import ratios. In the second part, the module explains various rankings used to assess competitiveness at a national level, in particular the Global Competitiveness Report, the World Competitiveness Yearbook, and the UNIDO Scoreboard, and assesses the use of rankings in measuring competitiveness.

MODULE 4 - Determinants of competitiveness
This module provides an overview of the various determinants of competitiveness at the meta, macro, meso and micro levels. It contains a list of determinants, together with guiding questions that can help in the analysis of the impact of these determinants on competitiveness. While at some levels (macro and meso) the determinants are mostly of an economic nature, the module also highlights the importance of political, social, historical and cultural elements, and enabling or constraining policies. It also draws attention to the limitations of national policies due to the political and economic integration of countries at the global level.

This last part of the teaching material aims to allow students to apply and test their knowledge by undertaking a simulation of a multi-stakeholder negotiation. The negotiation relates to the decision by the government of a developing country as to whether to invest in the IT-related and enabled services sector so as to increase the competitiveness (economic, social and political) of this country. The simulation involves several groups of actors plus the office of the President (the government). The government asks key stakeholders for their submissions regarding the proposed new investment in IT-related and enabled services, including issues such as location of any new investment, potential of clusters and importance of educational and human resource development. The objective of the simulation is for each group of actors to present their views and advice to the government so that it can make a final decision about the proposed investment.

Vi Member Localizations:

University of Jordan - translation into Arabic (2007)

Belarus State Economic University (2008) 

Kenya - University of Nairobi - (2013) 

Russia - Higher School of Economics - translation into Russian (2009)

Uganda - Makerere University Business School (2011)

Tanzania - University of Dar es Salaam Business School (2016)