Masterclass - Dr. Constance Rhetta James
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Core Competence Strategies

Core Competence Strategies is a hands on workshop that helps firms develop corporate strategies. It teaches how to build a core competence map and core competence agenda building on the work of CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel. As one of CK's students, the presenter defines core competencies and shows how they can be used to build lasting and sustainable competitive advantage.

After building strategies from SWOT or portfolio analysis, firms operating in more than one market need tools to create new businesses or develop new competencies. Core competence strategies cover four strategies that help firms do this. First, firms identify existing businesses and core competencies, then view ways of increasing their information or operating efficiency. Second, they view ways of adding new competencies to existing businesses.Third, they analyze how to build strategies using existing competencies in new markets. Fourth, they evaluate how to create new businesses with exist competencies that are difficult to imitate.

In the end, participants will learn how to build their own core competence strategies or ways to conduct workshops to help firms develop them.



1:30 PM - 4:30 PM


 DR. CONSTANCE RHETTA JAMES - Pepperdine University

Constance Rhetta James is a Professor of Business Policy, Strategy and Ethics at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She focuses on learning organizations and strategic thinking and does research on diversified strategies, such as core competencies, and spiritual leadership. She has published articles on learning organizations, core competencies, strategic thinking, and spiritual leadership. She has taught strategy for over two decades to college students and executives, with over a decade of experience teaching strategy to executives at NAMIC. Her award-winning work on organizational learning and firm capabilities has been presented from SHRM to ESPN.

 She has worked in corporate finance and strategic planning at Burroughs and Bendix Corporations. In these roles, she developed models for transfer pricing, product contribution margins, and mergers and acquisitions. She has been assistant to a Pepperdine President as well as director of its strategic planning, budgeting, and institutional research departments. At Pepperdine University, she helped to develop its diversity and global education strategic initiatives as well as helping it to increase its academic stature and commitment to developing students for leadership, service, and purpose. As the divisional chair for  its undergraduate business majors and minors, she successfully guided the division through its AACSB reaccreditation, launched an executive advisory council, implemented and raised funds for Bloomberg terminals for undergraduate education, and obtained part of the University’s endowment for management in two undergraduate portfolio management classes. She also revamped its undergraduate strategic planning curriculum to add more financial and economic models to the class.

 She received her B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from UCLA where she passed her examinations with distinction and won awards for her dissertation. She currently sits on the boards of a startup, AR, and the Al Wooten, Jr. Heritage Center in Los Angeles. She is married with two children and is active in her local community, working with the homeless and community programs.

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