Managing the Corporate Enterprise

Professor Michael A. Roberto Spring 2009

Michael A. Roberto Associate Professor, Trustee Professor of Management Faculty Suite J-143 Email: Phone: 401-232-6155 Website: Course Overview Why are some firms more successful than others? This is the fundamental question that we will tackle in this course. Successful management of a corporate enterprise begins with a coherent, well-defined strategy. This course develops the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze, formulate and implement strategy effectively. We will take the perspective of the general manager, learning how to assess the external environment, as well as the firm’s internal resources and capabilities, so as to create a successful strategy. We will learn how the general manager makes the parts of the firm (functional areas, product lines, and/or geographic units) work in harmony to support the strategy and create a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. Throughout the course, we will address the complexity of leading a business in this era of globalization, social and technological change, and dynamic firm and industry boundaries. Course Objectives • • • • • Develop and practice the ability to think strategically by learning the concepts, models, and tools of strategic analysis and by applying them to actual competitive situations. Develop an understanding of the sources of profitability differences among firms, as well as how firms can either sustain or lose their competitive advantage over time. Learn how general managers achieve the critical task of alignment/integration among the various parts of the firm so as to compete successfully. Develop two critical perspectives: first, a global perspective on how markets function and firms compete; second, a general manager’s view of an organization and its environment. Build your skills at communication—learning to present ideas concisely and persuasively —and at working collaboratively—obtaining better results by drawing on everyone’s knowledge and experience and building working relationships despite differences in opinions and priorities.

Assess the internal resources and capabilities of a firm from a systemic perspective. 4. mergers. Roberto. 3. Perform various forms of quantitative analysis to evaluate the extent of a firm’s competitive advantage or disadvantage. and the extent to which that system creates a sustainable competitive advantage. 2. long term relationships. Michael A. Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes For An Answer: Managing for Conflict and Consensus. 3.Desired Outcomes By the end of the course. Assess the quality of a firm’s strategic process. 6. alliances. 2. 6th Edition (paperback). MBA 520 Customized Course-pack (cases and readings) – available only as an ebook .) that firms might employ to achieve economies of scale and scope. you should be able to: 1. 7. joint ventures. Evaluate how and why firms might create or destroy value by expanding their scope horizontally. Analyze the multiple mechanisms (contracts. 5. Required Books 1. as well as the efficacy of the leadership of that process. Wharton School Publishing. 2005. Grant. 2007. Robert M. etc. vertically. Contemporary Strategy Analysis. Evaluate the structure of an industry. Conduct a thorough competitor analysis and project how a rival might react to a firm’s strategic moves. domestically and globally. and/or geographically.

” HBS Note 9-198-004. “Basic Capital Investment Analysis. 2006. Bruns. Porter. Roberto. Healy and J. Grant. “Financial Statements and Ratio Analysis. Cases: • Wal-Mart Stores in 2003 • Wal-Mart 2007 . 4 External Analysis Readings: • Grant. Case: • Matching Dell (A) Jan. Roberto. Cohen.” (Blackboard) • Michael A. 1996. Chapters 1 & 2 • Michael E. 28 Feb. “Learning by the Case Method. 11 Internal Analysis and Competitive Advantage Readings: • Grant. • W.Class Topics and Reading Assignments MODULE 1: Fundamentals of External and Internal Analysis Introduction Readings: • Robert M. “What Is Strategy?” Harvard Business Review. Chapters 5 & 7 • P. Chapter 3 & 4 Cases: • Bally Total Fitness • Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006 Feb. 2005. Chapter 1.” HBS Note 9101-029. • Michael A. Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes For An Answer.

Chapter 8 Case: • Airborne Express Feb. Cases: • Dogfight over Europe: Ryanair (A) • Sony PlayStation 3: Game Over? Mar.” Harvard Business Review. Markets vs. Chapter 9 Case: • Edward Jones in 2006: Confronting Success Mar. • Adam Brandenburger and Barry Nalebuff. Chapters 13 and 15 • Roberto. 4 Competitive Dynamics Readings: • Peter Coughlan. 18 MODULE 3: Corporate-Level Strategy Expanding the Scope of the Firm Reading: • Grant. 18 MODULE 2: Business-Level Strategy Competitive Positioning: Cost Advantage Readings: • Grant.Feb. 1995. Firms: A Framework for Evaluating Corporate Strategy (Blackboard) Case: • The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King . “The Right Game: Use Game Theory to Shape Strategy. “Competitor Analysis: Anticipating Competitive Actions. et al. 25 Competitive Positioning: Differentiation Readings: • Grant.” HBS Note 9-701-120.

1 Diversification in a Developing Economy Reading: No supplemental readings for this class. The Strategic Planning Process Reading: • Charles Knight. Chapter 2-5. 1993. “Emerson Electric: Consistent Profits. 22 • Path to War. Chapters 14 & 16 • Roberto. 15 Apr. HBO Movie.” .From Creation to Execution The Decision-Making Process Reading: • Roberto. Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes For An Answer. Case: • Film: Orientation for Viewing "Path to War" Apr. 2002. Cases: • Proctor and Gamble’s Acquisition of Gillette • The Best Deal Gillette Could Get? Proctor & Gamble's Acquisition of Gillette MODULE 4: The Strategic Process . Note on Agency Costs and Corporate Governance (Blackboard) Case: • ZARA: Fast Fashion Apr. 25 Vertical Integration Reading: • Grant. Consistently.Mar. Cases: • House of Tata – 1995 • House of Tata: Acquiring a Global Footprint Recommended: • India on the Move Apr. 8 Mergers & Acquisitions Reading: No supplemental readings for this class.

who often will have an important decision or set of decisions to make. A substantial portion of your grade will depend on your ability to contribute productively to our collective learning experience. We will be making extensive use of real business cases that provide a forum for you to apply concepts and analytical tools. For more on my philosophy of learning and teaching. Roberto. Chapters 6-9. The goals for each case discussion are to understand the strategic nature of the situation. Naturally. Class Participation Class participation plays an integral role in the learning process in this course. Case: • GE's Two-Decade Transformation: Jack Welch's Leadership Apr. 29 Final Presentations – Team Projects Teaching Philosophy I believe strongly in teaching by the case method. the text and readings will offer you a starting point as to the frameworks and models that might be useful for analyzing the case in a thoughtful and rigorous manner. rather than purely by lecture. recognize critical assumptions and tradeoffs. you will have to infer the key problems. define key issues. on other occasions. and principles and hypotheses about how to manage that situation effectively will emerge from the class deliberations. opportunities. While I have assigned a text and some supplemental readings. The case method of learning is based on the philosophy that management is a “skill more than it is a collection of techniques and concepts. we will dive right in and discuss the issues facing the organization in the case. please read the note entitled “Learning by the Case Method. Sometimes. You should expect me to "cold-call" frequently during class.” (You may download the note from Blackboard). and propose sensible recommendations. and then asking you to apply those ideas to the case study. you should: . and decisions facing the organization. Instead. those decisions will be discussed explicitly in the case. Everyone must prepare the assigned material before class and participate in class discussion. We will learn primarily in an inductive fashion in this method of learning and teaching. In order to fully benefit from case discussion. I will not begin most classes by outlining a set of theories and principles.• Harvard Business Review. I ask that you put yourselves in the shoes of the general manager or management team in the case.” The cases in this course will provide a description of a management situation.

please notify me by email in advance whenever possible. reasons. it is critical that we. and assumptions that make some answers better than others. Given the complexities of the real world. If tables and figures are provided. Please keep in mind that using notes. we should expect the highest standards of conduct from our peers and ourselves. single spaced. using the course lectures and readings as a guide. the individual(s) responsible will be subject to University sanctions that may include failure from the course. please remember to listen carefully and respectfully to your classmates and suggest supporting or alternative views. it should not be considered a substitute for participation in the class discussion. do not tolerate academic fraud (cheating. To find those. Attendance Policy We will be very demanding with regard to class attendance and on-time arrival in this course. you also must submit a memo (three page limit. Even in the most ambiguous situations. For class discussion you will be expected to draw from all the relevant readings and class discussions to date. late arrival greatly enhances the likelihood that you will be “cold-called” during the class session. suspension. use strategic concepts and tools to analyze a situation. Moreover. (The case assignment questions will be posted on Blackboard several days prior to class). Thoughtful debate is highly encouraged. Your grade will be adversely affected if I discover a problem with regard to tardiness or absences. you may be called upon to state your major conclusions and then to provide evidence and analysis in support. Probe beyond what is written to what you think may really be going on. Violating these standards takes away the value and meaning of the educational environment for all of us. In addition. Vigorous participation in a class discussion will always earn you more credit than a memo submitted in lieu of attending a session. and other materials handed down to you by one of my former students violates the . Analyze the case using the tools you have learned in class. or expulsion.• Come to class well prepared. Academic Integrity In order to maintain a vigorous learning community in the classroom. When absences must occur. • • On any given day. As a matter of personal and professional respect for each other. lying). as a class. past exams. and in the event that such a violation occurs. although some answers are better than others. perform basic analysis to uncover trends and issues that may not be explicitly mentioned in the case. 12 point font) detailing your responses to the assignment questions for that class session. and ourselves. there is no single right answer. it is important to examine data. plagiarism. Please remember that late arrivals are very disruptive to your fellow students and to the learning process. and come prepared to answer the case assignment questions in class. If you must be absent for any reason. Please do not consult with anyone who attended class when you draft your memo. Please note that while submitting written memos will help offset any detrimental impact on your grade due to your absence. because our collective learning is maximized with full participation and commitment on the part of everyone. Those memos are due no later than 24 hours after the class session ends.

You should examine this book at some point during your first few months here at Bryant. The case studies that will focus a great deal of attention on international markets include: o Wal-Mart 2007  a case study that chronicles Wal-Mart’s attempts to grow internationally o Dogfight Over Europe: Ryanair  a case study about a European low-cost airline headquartered in Ireland o Sony PlayStation 3: Game Over?  A case study about two Japanese firms battling an American firm in the global video game industry o Zara: Fast Fashion  A case study about a global apparel retailer headquartered in Spain o The House of Tata  a case study about a conglomerate in India In addition to the work that we will do in this course. the Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist from the New York Times. all the firms that we study will face global competition. In this course. with each test worth 25% of your grade. and a number of them are headquartered outside the United States. Students will be subject to serious sanctions if they employ these types of materials during the completion of their coursework. you should contact me immediately to discuss your options for making up the work. the faculty at Bryant. have committed to providing our students with the ability to excel in an increasingly global business environment. Course Grading Grading will be based on the following: Tests (two 75 minute tests) Class Participation Team Project 50% 25% 25% Tests There will be two 75 minute tests to evaluate your mastery of the content of the course. provides a unique and insightful exploration of how global competition is transforming markets and firms in the United States and abroad.standards of academic integrity for this course. you should contact me at least one week in advance to make arrangements to take it early. The Global Perspective We. If you must miss a test. The tentative schedule for the two tests is as follows: • First Test: February 25th . Friedman. If you miss a test unexpectedly. I highly recommend that you begin reading a book entitled The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman.

each group must hand in a 10-15 page paper (page count excludes references and exhibits) detailing its comprehensive strategic analysis of the industry and the firm to which it has been assigned. the panel will evaluate the presentations. alumni. etc. The document should be single-spaced. social and technological changes. each team should submit a brief memo (no more than 2 pages) that evaluates how well your team functioned as it worked on the course project.). That evaluation will be used as part of the grading process for the group project. All groups will have to evaluate the overall industry landscape.• Second Test: April 8th Participation Your participation grade will be based on a combination of: • Individual contributions during class • Group presentations during class • Three one-page memos. These instructions will include a detailed set of guidelines regarding the required contents of the final written report and oral presentation. 12 point Times New Roman Font. The presentations will take place during our final class session on April 29th. I will provide additional detail about the group project. March 4th. at the end of the semester. major threats and opportunities. Each group then must evaluate their particular firm’s strategy for succeeding in this industry and make recommendations for the firm moving forward. Near the end of the semester. I will assign each group to study the strategy of a particular firm. The memo should examine the group dynamics. it should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your team’s decision-making process. each individual will be asked to evaluate your own and your peers’ contributions to the group project. and in particular. During the first few weeks of the semester. etc. At the start of the semester. Office Hours . each group will have to evaluate its competitors in the industry. with 1 inch margins all around. Each group also will have to make a brief presentation in class. At the start of our final session on April 29th. and together with me. Finally. Team Project Each student group must complete a project about a particular company during this course. including a structural analysis of the industry in which the firm competes. as well as an understanding of market trends. and March 25th). I will invite a panel of outside experts to class (faculty. The papers will be due in class on April 22nd. summarizing its analysis and recommendations. As part of this comprehensive analysis. They will be due immediately prior to our case discussions in class (due at start of class on February 11th. Your group will be asked to put yourselves in the shoes of the top management team of that company as it evaluates the competitive landscape and considers the strategic issues confronting them.

please feel to email ( or call me (401-232-6155) to schedule an individual appointment. These gatherings will not be required. I also will be scheduling at least one informal evening gathering (typically after class). after class by request If you would like to speak with me. and you cannot meet during office hours. I look forward to getting to know each of you over the course of the semester. as well as to talk about issues that are beyond the scope of the course. I am offering these opportunities simply as a way for us to get to know one another better. . Over the course of the semester. My office hours will be: • • Wednesdays. I will definitely be available after class in the evening as well.My door is always open. you can always reach me by email or phone if you simply have a quick question about the course that does not require an inperson meeting. Naturally. 2:30-5:45pm Wednesdays. I am on email quite regularly and will respond no more than 24 hours after receiving your message.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.