Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

BUSI 595: Strategic Management

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  Course Description

Culminating experience/capstone course for the Master of Business Administration degree. Requires application of all previous learned educational experiences in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing. Extensive use of case analysis and strategic report writing is used to integrate all previous course materials in the analysis and resolution of complex business strategic planning problems. A final grade of “B” or higher must be achieved to satisfy graduation requirements.

Prerequisite: Prior completion of at least 30 hours in the MBA program.

Proctored Exams: None



  • Wheelen, Thomas L. & Hunger, David J.. Strategic Management and Business Policy. 14th. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2015.
    • ISBN-978-0-13-312614-3

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

This course is the culminating course for all MBA students. This time intensive course that will provide students, in a small group setting, with the opportunities to apply the skills and techniques they have learned during their first eleven courses and professional careers. The class members will be assigned to a three-four person strategic planning team and will be required to:

  • Assess the external and internal environments of a major U.S. corporation,
  • Assess the overall industry condition,
  • Formulate tentative future strategic plans,
  • Implement those strategic plans,
  • Measure the quantitative and qualitative impacts on the corporation,
  • And determine how the success or failure of the plans will be tracked.

Each week we will focus on different aspects of strategic planning, decision-making, and management from various aspects of the:

  1. External environment (Opportunities and Threats),
  2. Internal environments and resources (Strengths and Weaknesses),
  3. Determining if core and distinctive competencies exist along with a Strategic Window and Propitious Niche,
  4. Determining which overall strategy of either cost or differentiation should be utilized,
  5. Selecting a specific strategy of directional, portfolio, or parenting should be used,
  6. Determining a specific timeline for implementing the chosen strategy with targeted budgets and specific measurements of performance,
  7. Projected accounting records to guide future planning and assessment, and
  8. Determining the impact on the company if the chosen strategy fails

Upon successful completion of this course, you will have a framework from which you will be able to apply the strategic planning or management model to any future strategic planning situation that you encounter. The individual numbers that each group generate during this course are not as important as learning the overall steps in the strategic planning, decision-making, management process.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the factors that impact strategic decision-making implementation and evaluation.
  2. Conduct an organizational resource-based situational analysis, including a comprehensive environmental scan.
  3. Develop comprehensive business strategies by identifying strategic options, including a “what-if” scenario analysis to evaluate action alternatives, make strategic decisions, and choose strategic options.
  4. Evaluate corporate competitive positions and develop an understanding of the global marketplace and its impact on strategic analysis.
  5. Evaluate strategic decisions, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and outcomes as demonstrated in effective, professional, and executive style written presentations.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 747-830 90-100%
B 664-746 80-89%
C 581-663 70-79%
F 0-580 0-69%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Strategic Planning Project 450 54%
Dropbox Assignments 140 17%
Online Discussion 90 11%
Strategic Management Research Paper 150 18%
Total 830 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Week 1 Discussion 15 Saturday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Week 2 Discussion 15 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment: EFAS Chart 20

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Week 3 Discussion 15 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment: IFAS Chart 20

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Dropbox Assignment: SFAS Chart 20 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment: Specific Implementation Strategy 20
Dropbox Assignment: TOWS Matrix 20

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Week 5 Discussion 15 Saturday
Strategic Management Research Paper 150

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Week 6 Discussion 15 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment: Implementation Timeline for Strategy 20

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Week 7 Discussion 15 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment: Measurement Timeline Chart 20

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Final Strategic Planning Project 300 Saturday
PowerPoint Presentation 100
Peer Team Evaluation 50
Total Points: 830

  Assignment Overview

Reading Assignments

Complete weekly reading assignments as assigned by the instructor. Utilize the readings, notes, and on-line resources to augment the written papers, discussion, examination, final written project, and slide presentation. For grading criteria, please see Rubric near the end of the syllabus.

Strategic Planning Project Assignment

Each member of the class will be assigned to a team consisting of 3-5 members for the written Strategic Planning Project Assignment. The grading for this assignment will be based upon the sample final project grade sheet attached to this syllabus. In addition, each strategic team will be required to submit a power point presentation which must include any and all slides the strategic teams feel would be necessary to make a professionally effective and informative 60 minute presentation to a Board of Directors and top executives. More extensive information on this assignment is available near the end of the syllabus.

  • Written Final Report: 300 points
  • PowerPoint Slide Presentation: 100 points
  • Peer Evaluation: 50 points

Each strategic planning group must also submit the following interim documents to the Dropbox (20 pts each):

  • EFAS Chart
  • IFAS Chart
  • SFAS Chart
  • TOWS Matrix
  • A Specific Strategic Plan for One Five-Year Strategy
  • Specific Timeline Chart for Implementation
  • Specific Target Measurements for Success or Failure

Strategic Management Research Paper

Each student will develop a research paper on a strategic management topic of their choice. Please note that the course has a no-reuse policy with regard to your research paper, and therefore, you can’t utilize any work efforts from previous courses. The paper is submitted to turnitin.com and previous submissions will show-up on the similarity report. Each submission must be formatted in APA style and must provide for citation from at least 8 academic sources (journal articles) and provide for 8-10 pages of body (not counting title page, table of contents, abstract, and references page(s)).

Online Discussion

Discussion postings will be informal. All the rules of good writing should apply and spellchecker should be used to “proof” your work. The criterion has been met in Discussion postings if your messages are original and intelligible. You must communicate effectively. In addition, you must post to the Discussion each week to earn points toward your final grade for the course. Discussion postings will not be accepted after midnight Saturday CT and may not be made up. In order to conduct a timely online discussion it is important that students contribute postings to the Discussion in a timely manner. A single posting to the Discussion will meet the “minimum” requirement and keep you from earning zero for the week. Discussion points are earned from substantial participation with meaningful comments that show evidence of your understanding of the reading assignment from the textbook for the course. Postings such as, “good idea,” or, “I agree with you,” are good to support your fellow students, but are insufficient to earn points toward your weekly grade for the Discussion. You are also expected to read all weekly postings.

  Course Outline

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

Please read the Course Syllabus and Chapter 1, pages 2-27, in the textbook.
Class Activities
Go to the course Home Page, and click on Discussion. Read the information about “Your Introduction,” then post your introductory comments. Your introduction should include who you are, your family, where you work, your career interests, and your future goals. Please take a minute to post comments about yourself to introduce yourself to others in the course.
Week 1 Discussion
The deadline for posting to the Discussion this week, and thereafter, is midnight CT Saturday. Topic Assignment: “The role that organizational mission and vision statements have in determining future strategic plans.”
Please read Chapters 4, pages 91-122, in the text.
Week 2 Discussion
Topic Assignment: “The impact of baby boomers on business organizations today and in the future.” The discussion is due by midnight CT Saturday.
Dropbox Assignment: EFAS Chart
Each strategic team will post an EFAS chart, see pages 120-121, by midnight CT Saturday
Please read Chapter 5, pages 127-155 in the text.
Week 3 Discussion
This week you will be discussing internal scanning and resource-based planning. Topic Assignment: “What is the relevance of the resource-based view of the firm to strategic management in a global environment?”
Dropbox Assignment: IFAS Chart
Each strategic planning team must submit an IFAS Chart as shown in text, pages 153-154. The assignment is due by midnight CT Saturday.
Please read Chapters 6-7, pages 163-180 and pages 185-208, in the textbook.
Dropbox Assignment: SFAS Chart

Each strategic planning team will prepare and submit to the Dropbox, by midnight CT Saturday:

  • SFAS Chart as shown in the text, pages 166-167.
Dropbox Assignment: Specific Implementation Strategy
Each strategic planning team will prepare and submit to the Dropbox, by midnight CT Saturday:
  • Specific statement of the strategy your group will develop
Dropbox Assignment: TOWS Matrix
Each strategic planning team will prepare and submit to the Dropbox, by midnight CT Saturday:
  • TOWS Matrix as shown in the text
Please read Chapter 8, pages 215-237, in the textbook.
Week 5 Discussion
Topic Assignment: “Are functional strategies interdependent, or can they be formulated independently of other functions?” This discussion work is due is by midnight on Saturday, CT.
Strategic Management Research Paper
Submit to the Dropbox a research paper on a strategic management topic of your choice. The paper will be formatted in APA style and must provide for citation from at least 8 academic sources (journal articles) and provide for 8-10 pages of body (not counting title page, table of contents, abstract, and references page(s)).
Read Chapter 9, pages 245-270, in the textbook.
Week 6 Discussion
Topic Assignment: “How should a corporation attempt to achieve synergy among functional areas and strategic business units?” The discussion work is due by midnight on Saturday, CT.
Dropbox Assignment: Implementation Timeline for Strategy
For your Strategic Team Assignment, prepare and submit an implementation timeline for your chosen strategy over the next five years. Due to the Dropbox by midnight on Saturday, CT.
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.
Please read Chapter 11, pages 303-326, in the textbook.
Week 7 Discussion
Topic Assignment: “Examples of behavior controls, input controls, and output controls within your current organization or job assignment.” Please identify each answer section by a subheading.
Dropbox Assignment: Measurement Timeline Chart
Each strategic planning team is to submit a Chart showing projected performance measurement targets and evaluation measures for their chosen strategy. This Assignment is due to the Dropbox by midnight Saturday, CT.
Final Strategic Planning Project
PowerPoint Presentation
The final written strategic planning project and PowerPoint presentation is due from each strategic planning team by Saturday at midnight, CT.
Peer Team Evaluation

  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.


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.


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.

Late discussion posts will not be accepted.

Weekly Assignments submitted to the Dropbox after midnight Saturday CT will receive a ZERO grade. As graduate students studying in the area of business certain behaviors are expected of the discipline. This policy is designed to assist in satisfactory progression as a group in the course. As all assignments are known in advance (indicated on the course syllabus) with ample lead times there should not be any reason for submitting work beyond the due date. Accordingly, late work will not be accepted under any circumstances.

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.

  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.