Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

MGMT 479: Strategic Management

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  Course Description

Culminating experience capstone course for majors in business administration. Requires case/report writing and the ability to integrate material from previous courses to analyze and resolve complex business strategic planning problems.

Prerequisite: Senior status, completion of a minimum 33 hours of core requirements, including FINC 350, and at least six hours of upper-level courses within the identified major.

Proctored Exams: Final



  Textbooks

Required

Rothaermel, Frank. (2017). Strategic Management: Concepts (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

ISBN-13: 978-1-259-42047-4

And 

Case Studies E-Book: Access to 12 Strategic Management Cases by Rothaermel

ISBN-13: 978-1-307-10319-9

The Case Studies E-Book can be purchased from either MBS or https://create.mheducation.com/shop/

  Course Overview

This is the writing-intensive culminating course for Business Administration majors, and as such will teach students how to utilize the skills and knowledge they have learned during their college and professional careers. The material covered in this course is a synthesis of material covered in prior courses, as well as exposure to concepts and practices used in the business world that may not have been previously covered. This course is about strategic management—the excitement and challenge of providing the vision, developing the mission statement, and implementing the strategic intent for organizations.

Each week we will focus on different aspects of strategic management, from strategic management inputs, to strategy formulation, to strategy implementations, and how to evaluate and control all aspects of the strategic management process; these are reinforced and expanded upon in our text, Strategic Management (Rothaermel) course notes, outside materials, and case studies. Students will also demonstrate their creativity and business acumen by creating a strategic plan for a proposed new business venture.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have a well-rounded understanding of the facets of strategic management and be able to understand top management’s decisions and organizations’ strategies, both domestically and globally. Finally, students will hone their critical thinking and analysis skills to make them better and more effective managers and leaders in their organization.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply business concepts learned in earlier course work to the strategic decision-making process.
  2. Perform environmental analyses on case histories and/or in-class simulations.
  3. Analyze the results of strategic decisions from business case histories or in-class simulations.
  4. Evaluate business models and describe how they act in concert with their overall strategies to ensure sustainable competitive advantage.
  5. Create a strategic plan for a proposed business venture or in-class simulation.

  Grading

Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (10) 100 10%
Case Study Assignments (4) 500 50%
Strategic Plan Group Project 100 10%
Business Administration Basic Examination 100 10%
Final Exam 200 20%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion: Introduction -- Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 1 10
Discussion 2 10

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 4 10
Case Study Assignment 1 125 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Thursday/Sunday
Case Study Assignment 2 125 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 7 10
Case Study Assignment 3 125 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 Thursday/Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Thursday/Sunday
Case Study Assignment 4 125 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 10 Thursday/Sunday
Strategic Plan Group Project 100 Sunday
Strategic Plan Group Project Peer and Self Evaluation --

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Business Administration Basic Examination 100 Saturday
Final Exam 200
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview

Discussions

Thoughtful participation in discussions is a course expectation and is required of all students. You are expected to read the discussions posted weekly. In Week 1 you should provide an introduction to the class. There is no point value assigned to introductions, but it allows everyone to get to know you better. Later in the course you will be assigned to groups of three for a Group Project, so getting to know your classmates early in the course will make working in a team more natural.

There will be 1 or 2 graded discussion questions each week. Each question is worth a total of 10 points. Your original response to each question is worth 6 points and is due by Thursday at 11:59 pm CT. You are expected to respond to a minimum of two other students (per discussion question) with constructive commentary by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT, except for Week 8, which is due 11:59 CT Saturday. Response posts are worth 2 points each, for a total of 4 points per discussion question. Initial discussion posts submitted after the Thursday deadline, will receive a 2 point late penalty. No posts (initial or response) will be accepted after their due date. These posts should provide constructive commentary, beyond “I agree”, “Good post”, etc. Your posting should be original and relevant to the assigned topics. Simply rephrasing another student's post is not acceptable. Discussion postings should be comprehensible and effectively communicate your ideas and should be supported by at least one scholarly source. Please pay attention to the use of capitalization, misspellings, incomplete sentences, and other violations of grammatical rules.

Case Study Assignments

You are required to read and analyze a total of 4 different full-length case studies from the Case Studies E-Book. Case studies will be randomly assigned so everyone in class doesn’t have the same case. Your case study assignment can be found in the Content Area of the course. Each case will require you to demonstrate your understanding of strategic management concepts and theories by completing various analysis, identifying resources, capabilities and core competencies, identifying problems or potential problems for your company and writing Findings of Fact, including in some cases full justifications and recommendations on how to deal with those problems, identifying and articulating business strategies being used by your company, discussing and making recommendations about your company’s Value Chain, and understanding and describing your company’s organizational culture and structure.

While there are definitely right and wrong answers to strategic management questions, in some instances individuals will have different opinions. For example, not everyone will agree on whether a capability translates into a core competency, or what strategic direction a company should take when faced with a particular set of circumstances. Individuals may see some things slightly different, and are able to convincingly articulate why they feel that way. With that in mind, sometimes your instructor will not always be looking for a perfect textbook answer, but for evidence that you understand the many concepts and theories in the field of strategic management. Therefore, your homework assignments should be thorough enough to demonstrate that you have a solid understanding of the material being covered throughout the course.

Case Study Assignments should be double-spaced, 12-point font. Responses to case studies for Weeks 2, 3, and 4 should not exceed 10 pages. Responses to the case study for Week 6 should not exceed 12 pages. Two of these will be used to fulfill a Columbia College Writing Assessment. Case Study Assignment 3 in Week 4 will be used for Part 1 of this requirement, and Case Study Assignment 4 in week 6 will be used for Part 2 of this requirement.

Case Study Assignments are to be turned into the appropriate Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday for their respective weeks.

Strategic Plan Group Project

In Week 4 you will be assigned to a team of 3 to complete a Strategic Plan Group Project. As a team, you are required to create a Strategic Plan for a mutually agreed-upon, proposed business venture. This exercise will require you to demonstrate your understanding of strategic management concepts and theories by articulating thorough and well-thought-out responses to 13 specific questions provided under the Week 7 Content Area of your course. A team specific discussion area will also be provided for communication purposes.

The Strategic Plan is worth 100 points, and will be graded on the basis of analytical and critical thinking skills, completeness, correct spelling, correct formatting and neatness. It should be double-spaced, 12-point font, and not exceed 20 pages.

The Strategic Plan will also be used to fulfill a Columbia College Group Skills Assessment. You should meet (virtually) regularly with your team members using various methods inside (discussion area) and outside (email, Skype, etc.) the course. This is a team project, so communication, coordination and collaboration between you and your team members is critical to the success of this project. In addition to the Strategic Plan itself, you will also submit a Self Evaluation on yourself at the end of Week 7, as well as a Peer Evaluation on your team members. While the evaluation itself is not graded, it will be used in determining your, and your team members', final group project grade. The Peer and Self Evaluation Form is located in the Week 7 Content Area of the course.

The Strategic Plan Group Project and Peer and Self Evaluation Form are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 7 in their appropriate Dropbox folders.

Exams

Final Exam

The proctored final exam is taken between 12:01 am CT Wednesday and 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8. It is a 2-hour timed exam you take online, inside the course under the "Quizzes" section. You are responsible for finding an acceptable proctor and getting them approved by me. This information needs to be submitted to the appropriate Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 2.
You will have 120 minutes to complete 80 multiple-choice questions. The comprehensive final exam covers textbook chapters 1-12, and is worth 200 points. Some questions will be taken from chapter case studies, so you should include them in your final exam review. You will have 1 attempt on the final exam.

Business Administration Basic Examination

In addition to the final exam, you are also required to take the Business Administration Basic Exam in order to assess your overall learning of the business curriculum here at Columbia College. This exam is not proctored. It is a 90-minute multiple-choice exam is worth 100 points, and taken inside the course under the "Quizzes" section. This exam can be taken anytime between Monday 12:01 am CT and Saturday 11:59 pm CT of Week 8.

The exam is used by the college for assessment purposes. They use the results to look for strengths and weaknesses in the overall business curriculum, for the purpose of making improvements. Based on the cumulative results of many students taking the exam, the business department and senior leadership at the college can tweak the existing curriculum by adding and/or deleting information currently being taught, strengthening important areas of study if it appears students aren’t doing as well as expected, adding or deleting entire courses to ensure the measurable learning outcomes are being met for the business degree, etc. Assessment is a very important part of having a strong curriculum, and your participation is an important component of that overall process.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 1 and 2

Discussion: Introduction

Please write a one paragraph introduction about yourself.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 1

Corporate leaders are responsible for setting the firm’s strategies to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Should managers be concerned only about the company’s financial performance? What responsibility do company managers have for other consequences of their strategies? For example, should Walmart try to mitigate the negative impact its arrival in communities can have on small locally owned stores? Should Apple be concerned about the working conditions at Foxconn (the company that manufactures the iPhone and the iPad in China?) Why or why not? Explain.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 2

Identify an industry that is undergoing intense competition or is being featured in the business press. Discuss how scenario planning might be used by companies in that industry to prepare for future events. Can some industries benefit more than others from this type of process? Explain why.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 3 and 4

Case Studies E-Book:

  • One Randomly Assigned Full-Length Case Study From
    • Apple, Inc.
    • McDonald's Corporation
    • Facebook, Inc.
Discussion 3

Using your current organization or one you have worked for in the past, what efforts were taken to assess and/or understand its external environment? In your opinion were those efforts active or passive? Were they sufficient? Why or why not?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 4

For an organization with which you are familiar, identify a few resources and capabilities specific to that organization. Did the company successfully leverage those resources and capabilities to its advantage? Explain.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Case Study Assignment 1

Once you have completed your assigned Case Study Assignment 1, submit it to the Case Study Assignment 1 Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 2.

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Readings

Textbook: Chapters 5 and 6

Case Studies E-Book:

  • One Randomly Assigned Full-Length Case Study From
    • Grok: Action Intelligence for Fast Data
    • General Electric after GE Capital
    • Genentech: After the Acquisition by Roche
Discussion 5

What are some drawbacks and risks to a broad generic business strategy? To a focused strategy? Identify a company you know that has a business strategy that is too broad and generic in nature, or too focused. Explain your rationale.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Case Study Assignment 2

Once you have completed your assigned Case Study Assignment 2, submit it to the Case Study Assignment 2 Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 3.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 7 and 8

Case Studies E-Book:

  • One Randomly Assigned Full-Length Case Study From
    • Amazon.com, Inc.
    • Google Inc.
    • Best Buy Co., Inc.
Discussion 6

Describe a firm you think has been highly innovative. Which of the four types of innovation – radical, incremental, disruptive, or architectural – did it use? Explain? Did the firm use different types over time?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 7

When Walmart decided to incorporate grocery stores into some locations and created “supercenters,” was this a business-level of differentiation or a corporate strategy of diversification? Explain your answer. In your opinion, was this a wise move, or not? Why?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Case Study Assignment 3

Once you have completed your assigned Case Study Assignment 3, submit it to the Case Study Assignment 3 Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 4.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 9 and 10

Discussion 8

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) have an impact far beyond their firm boundaries. Assume you are working for a small firm that supplies a product or service to an MNE. How might your relationship change as the MNE moves from Globalization 2.0 to Globalization 3.0 operations? Being a “small firm”, what are some examples of how this relationship change could potentially benefit the company? How might the change affect a small supplier in a negative way?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Readings

Textbook: Chapter 11

Case Studies E-Book:

  • One Randomly Assigned Full-Length Case Study From
    • UPS in India – A Package Deal?
    • Siemens Energy: How to Engineer a Green Future?
    • Infosys Consulting in the U.S. – What to Do Now?
Discussion 9

The chapter describes the role of culture in the successful implementation of strategy. Consider an employment experience of your own or of someone you have observed closely (e.g., a family member). Describe to the best of your ability the values, norms, and artifacts of the organization. What was the socialization process of embedding the culture? Do you consider this to be an example of an effective culture for contributing to the organization’s competitive advantage? Why or why not?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Case Study Assignment 4

Once you have completed your assigned Case Study Assignment 4, submit it to the Case Study Assignment 4 Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 6.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Readings

Textbook: Chapter 12

Discussion 10

How can a top management team lower the chances that key managers will pursue their own self-interests at the expense of stockholders? At the expense of the employees? At the expense of other key stakeholders? Without compromising the identity of an individual or group of individuals, share examples you have witnessed where this type of behavior occurred. What action did senior management take to curb the behavior? If no action was taken, in your opinion what could have senior management done?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Strategic Plan Group Project

You are to complete a Strategic Plan Group Project in an instructor-assigned team of 3.  As a team, you are required to create a Strategic Plan for a mutually agreed-upon, proposed business venture.  This exercise will require you to demonstrate your understanding of strategic management concepts and theories by articulating thorough and well-thought-out responses to 13 specific questions found in the Week 7 Content Area.

The Strategic Plan will be graded on the basis of analytical and critical thinking skills, completeness, correct spelling, correct formatting and neatness. It should be double-spaced, 12-point font, and not exceed 20 pages.

The Strategic Plan Group Project is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 7.

Strategic Plan Group Project Peer and Self Evaluation

Complete the Strategic Plan Group Project Peer and Self Evaluation Form found in the Week 7 Content Area.  You will use this form to assess your, and your team members', contributions to your Strategic Plan Group Project.  While the form itself is not graded, it is used to help determine the final grade of the project.

The form is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 7.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 1-12

Business Administration Basic Examination

You are required to take the Business Administration Basic Exam in order to assess your overall understanding of the key learning outcomes found within the business curriculum here at Columbia College. This exam is not proctored. It is a 90-minute multiple-choice exam and is worth 100 points. 

This exam can be taken anytime between Monday 12:01 am CT and Saturday 11:59 pm CT of Week 8.

Final Exam

The proctored final exam is taken between 12:01 am CT Wednesday and 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8. 

You will have 120 minutes to complete 80 multiple-choice questions. The comprehensive final exam covers the textbook chapters 1-12, and is worth 200 points. Some questions will be taken from chapter case studies, so you should include them in your final exam review. You will have 1 attempt on the final exam.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

Initial discussion posts submitted after the Thursday deadline, will receive a 2 point late penalty. No posts (initial or response) will be accepted after their due date. Late submission of Case Studies and the Strategic Plan Group Project will be accepted if done so by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday of the following week, with a 10 point deduction. Late assignments submitted after 11:59 pm CT Wednesday will not be accepted and a grade of zero will be posted. Late Exams will not be accepted

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.