Microeconomics of Competitiveness: Firms, Clusters, and Economic Development Course


Microeconomics of Competitiveness: Firms Clusters and Economic Development (MOC) is a university-wide graduate course offered to students from around the Harvard University community, including Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School. Started in 2002, the course was created by Professor Michael E. Porter and colleagues at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School, through a multiyear development effort. The course has been designed for students at Harvard as well as a platform for teaching at universities around the world. MOC explores the determinants of competitiveness and successful economic development viewed from a bottom-up, microeconomic perspective. 

The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness studies competition and its implications for company strategy; the competitiveness of nations, regions and cities; and solutions to societal problems. Based at Harvard Business School, the Institute is dedicated to extending the research pioneered by Professor Michael E. Porter and disseminating it to scholars and practitioners around the world. (MOC course-prospectus 2017).

Course Description

MOC explores the determinants of competitiveness and successful economic development viewed from a bottom-up, microeconomic perspective. It is a 3-credit course and is offered on the Beirut Campus.


MBA/EMBA Standing.

Learning Outcomes

This course will be used to assess the following program learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate essential knowledge acquired in the following disciplines: accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing.
  • Propose a solution to a business problem using quantitative and/or qualitative reasoning.
  • Examine the social and ethical issues involved in a business case.
  • Deliver an effective oral presentation.
  • Demonstrate effective written communication.

Teaching Methodology

The course will be delivered through interactive lectures, class discussions, and group project. Students will have access to a great deal of information and materials from HBS via this dedicated website.


A central part of the Microeconomics of Competitiveness course is the team project on a chosen country and a cluster within that country. The purpose of the project is to allow students to apply the concepts and frameworks in the course to a particular case, under the supervision of experienced instructors. The projects develop knowledge about competitiveness in approximately 20 disparate countries, which is shared across teams. This also provides important factual and benchmark knowledge, while adding to the body of course materials over time.