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BUS 5480 Strategic Management

Course Description

In-depth analysis of industries and competitors, and how to build and defend competitive advantages in forming a successful competitive strategy. Case analysis and management simulation convey the multifunctional nature of decision making at the top management level. Augmented by live-case analyses. Must be taken in the final semester prior to graduation.

Week 1

Lecture: Business Strategy
Lecture: Suggestions for Study
Lecture: Introducton to Case Analysis
Lecture: Mini-Papers
Lecture: Business Strategy Game
Lecture: Creating a Global Learning Organization: Johnson & Johnson


  • Identify what business strategy is and why it is important
  • Synthesize the determinants of competitive advantage
  • Distinguish between crafting and executing a business strategy

Week 2

Lecture: Developing a Strategic Vision and Setting Objectives
Lecture: Crafting, Implementing, Executing, and Monitoring Strategy
Lecture: Five Forces Model


  • Summarize how a strategist evaluates a company’s external environment.
  • Explore various concepts and analytical tools for evaluating a company’s situation.
  • Determine case study resolution by submitting case analysis assignment.
  • Assess useful tools to use in analyzing a company’s resources and competitive position.

Week 3

Lecture: Single-Business Company's Strategy
Lecture: Generic Strategies


  • Explain the five generic competitive strategies.
  • Identify which of the five generic strategies to employ in specific situations.
  • Determine the pitfalls for each of the five generic strategies.
  • Determine other important strategic choices to supplement the chosen competitive strategy.
  • Compare first-mover advantages and disadvantages.

Week 4

Lecture: Global Business Strategy
Lecture: GM Global Research Network
Lecture: Domino's Pizza in Mexico
Lecture: DHL Global Delivery Service
Lecture: International Business: Cirque Du Soleil – A Truly Global Workforce


  • Recognize the added complexity of competing in foreign markets.
  • Determine whether to customize the company’s offerings in each different country or to offer a mostly standardized product worldwide.
  • Determine whether to employ essentially the same basic competitive strategy in all countries or modify the strategy country by country.
  • Determine where to locate the company’s production facilities, distribution centers, and customer service operations so as to realize the greatest location advantages.
  • Determine how to efficiently transfer the company’s resource strengths and capabilities from one country to another in an effort to secure competitive advantage.

Week 5


  • Summarize simulation results and provide team input for round 3.
  • Define where ethical standards come from and the core concepts of some of the various schools of ethical behavior.
  • Determine how ethical relativism equates to multiple sets of ethical behavior.
  • Analyze ethics and integrative social contracts theory.
  • List the three categories of management morality.
  • Interpret the evidence of managerial immorality in the global business community.
  • Identify some of the drivers of unethical strategies and business behavior.
  • Discuss whether or not company strategies need to be ethical.
  • List four approaches to managing business ethics.
  • Evaluate some of the business costs of ethical failures.
  • List the five components of socially responsible business behavior.

Week 6

Lecture: Related Diversification
Lecture: Tailoring Strategy
Lecture: Unrelated Diversification


  • Distinguish among strategies for managing a group of businesses.
  • Determine how to tailor strategy to fit specific industry and company situations
  • Discuss how managers and executives select new industries to enter and decide on the means of entry.
  • Discuss how managers decide when to diversify and why.
  • List some strategies for entering new businesses.
  • Recognize that managers need to choose the diversification path: related versus unrelated businesses.
  • Explain strategy alternatives for a company looking to diversify.
  • Explain combination related – unrelated diversification strategies.
  • List the steps in evaluating the strategy of a diversified company.
  • Distinguish between the models used to evaluate business-unit competitive strength.
  • Summarize the four main strategy alternatives after a company.
  • Distinguish among multinational diversification strategies.

Week 7

Lecture: Managing Internal Operations
Lecture: Creating a Global Brand: BP
Lecture: Strategy Implementation and Executing the Strategy
Lecture: Structuring the Work Effort


  • List the Eight Components of the Strategy Execution Process.
  • Determine a framework for executing strategy.
  • Explain the three components of building an organization capable of proficient strategy execution.
  • Discuss the core concepts of staffing the organization.
  • Summarize the three-stage process of developing and strengthening competencies and capabilities.
  • Explain how we get from competencies and capabilities to competitive advantage.
  • Determine how structuring the work effort can promote successful strategy execution.
  • Demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of centralized versus decentralized decision making.
  • Define current organizational trends and actions that promote good strategy execution.
  • Distinguish from benchmarking and best-practice implementation to operating excellence.
  • Summarize adopting best practices and striving for continuous improvement.
  • Explain information technology support requirements for good strategy.
  • Evaluate tying rewards and incentives to good strategy implementation.

Week 8

Lecture: Strategic Leadership
Lecture: Corporate Culture and Leadership


    • Discuss the process of instilling a corporate culture that promotes good strategy execution.
    • Summarize the key features of a company’s corporate culture.
    • Distinguish between strong versus weak cultures.
    • Explain how leaders can change a problem culture.
    • Determine some of the ingredients required to effectively lead the strategy execution process.
    • Explain the leadership challenge of making corrective adjustments.

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. March 2012