The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

Interactive mind maps for strategy

These materials, authored by Maurice Starkey, are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence.
First published online by The Economics Network, October 2012.
Last updated September 2020.
New tutorial video added June 2020.

Electronic mind maps improve learning efficiency by refining content to concisely express the main terms, enabling students to acquire knowledge more quickly. Learning effectiveness is increased by visual presentation of relationships between topics, and providing diagrams and rich pictures within topic boxes to reinforce meaning. Electronic delivery enables a wider range of topics to be covered than a traditional textbook, whilst simultaneously enabling theories to be considered in greater depth. The approach is intended to provide a blended learning solution that is used in conjunction with textbooks and journal articles. The intention is to create a body of freely available electronic subject material that can be further developed by the academic community.

Many of the electronic mind maps have a final topic box, named sources, that contains references to useful textbooks, journal articles and online resources.

Mind maps can be exported into interactive HTML format: see A Guide to Strategy as an example. This is a large download so may need some time to render in your browser. Use the slider at the bottom right hand corner of the screen to expand or contract the size of a topic box. In this preview, layout is somewhat different and links to other maps will not work.

Introductory video

Downloading and viewing

The electronic mind maps contained within the zipped folder can only be properly viewed by acquiring MindJet MindManager software, and the viewer is a free download. Select "Download Trial" once you are on the web page.

Ensure that you only download the version of MindManager software that is compatible with your operating system, because there are separate packages for Microsoft Windows and Apple operating systems. There are also Mindjet MindManager versions for iPhone, iPad, and Android operating systems. Availability of software for Apple iPad and Android operating systems enable students to view the content on their tablet computer whilst in a lecture. Software should always be installed when the computer user is in administrator mode. Mindjet MindManager software is fully functional for the first 30 days, but will revert to only allowing viewing of content (rather than allowing creation of content) after this time. You do not need to purchase the software, in order to simply view content that I have created.

ZIP of Strategy mind maps, version 1.6, September 2020
Note: if you want the full set of mind maps covering both economics and strategy, download the Economics mind maps and unzip them into the same folder.

What’s new in version 1.6:

  • The primary master mind map (A strategy guide) now provides a broad overview of the Marketing perspective, Positioning perspective and Resource-based perspective, in addition to providing hyperlinks to mind maps providing more detailed content.
  • Continued development of mind maps considering the resource-based perspective.
  • Further development of the Institution-based view mind map.
  • Further additional minor refinements to content within the other mind maps.

What’s new in version 1.5:

  • The industry-based view is separated into the marketing perspective and Michael Porter’s positioning perspective (A Strategy Guide mind map).
  • Further development of the liabilities of foreignness mind map.
  • Development of a mind-map that considers strategies for mitigating liabilities of foreignness (liabilities of foreignness mitigation mind map).
  • Development of a mind-map presenting the Integration-Responsiveness framework.
  • Further additional minor refinements to content within the other mind maps.

New to version 1.4:

  • The primary master mind map remains ‘A Strategy Guide’. The international strategy master mind map now considers a wider range of international strategy theories, in greater detail. The international strategy content now includes a section that considers the paradigms underpinning international strategy theory, whilst John Dunning’s OLI (eclectic) paradigm is considered in greater detail.
  • There is a reorganisation of mind maps considering the resource-based view.
  • Minor improvements have been made to a wide range of mind maps.

New to version 1.3:

  • The primary master mind map remains ‘A Strategy Guide’. However, version 1.3 of the strategy maps introduces a new master mind map for consideration of academic theories relating to international strategy, which is called ‘international strategy’. New mind maps have been created for the following international strategy theories:

    • Motives for internationalisation (Dunning)

    • Institution-based view (Mike Peng)

    • Pankaj Ghemawat’s ADDING Value scorecard and AAA (adaptation-aggregation-arbitrage) triangle.

    • Liability of foreignness (Zaheer)

  • There have also been refinements to a wide range of other content contained within the strategy maps folder.

To unzip the file: Navigate to the folder containing the zip file. Right click the zip file, and then select the option 'extract to' - then choose your preferred destination location for the unzipped folder. Once the downloaded zip file is unzipped, you will be able to view the content within MindJet MindManager.

Once you have opened the My Maps tab at the side of the MindJet MindManager screen - click add folder shortcut - and then navigate to the folder containing the unzipped mind map files. The folder will then appear in the My Maps task pane, together with the individual files contained within the folder. Once this task is completed you will be able to open individual mind maps from within the My Maps tab within MindJet MindManager.


You should begin by opening the master mind map entitled "A Strategy Guide". This master mind map contains hyperlinks to all the sibling mind maps within the folder, except for the economics content that is contained within a separate master mind map called 'Economic Environment'.

  • A plus sign in a circle at the side of a topic box indicates the topic can be expanded to reveal sub-topics - Click the plus sign to reveal sub-topics.
  • Click the minus sign in a circle at the side of a topic box to collapse sub-topics.
  • Clicking on a red M at the side of a topic box opens a sibling mind map.
  • A blue page with an orange pen at the side of a topic box indicates a note - hover your pointer over the note to read the content - alternatively, click the note to have a window open at the side of the screen that contains the content of the note.
  • A green downward arrow in the top right hand corner of a topic box indicates that you can access a spreadsheet, or chart, by clicking the downward arrow.
  • You can switch between spreadsheet and chart mode by clicking on the options box at the side of the topic box.
  • Click a green upward arrow in the top right hand corner of the topic box to close the embedded spreadsheet / chart.
  • The Search tab at the side of the screen in MindManager enables you to search the strategy maps folder for electronic mind maps that contain your desired search term.
  • There is a PowerPoint file called 'Strategy Maps Slides' that contains all the diagrams used in the electronic mind maps.


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