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BPS-6310 – STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

UTD Exec MBA Program - Fall 2008

Professor: Dr Larry Chasteen


Tel: 972-234-3170
E-mail: chasteen@utdallas.edu

Books: Dess, G.G. and Lumpkin, G.T., 2008—Strategic Management: Creating Competitive
Advantages, 4th edition, McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Foundation Simulation Guide – provided by instructor

Course Overview

This course was historically referred to as ―Business Policy‖ and its sole purpose was to help the
student ―integrate‖ the knowledge he/she had developed in other courses in the MBA program.
Business policy traditionally had little content of its own. However, in recent years it has become
increasingly apparent that general managers (including top executives) not only apply knowledge
from a wide variety of functional areas (e.g., accounting, marketing, finance), but also perform
activities that require knowledge and skills not addressed in those areas. Therefore, it has become
acknowledged that there is a unique body of material that is not taught in the functional area
courses that should be taught in a course such as this. Topics include the nature of managerial
work, strategy formulation and implementation, and organization design. The refinement of
skills in oral and written communication is also a major course objective.

Course Objectives

The course has multiple objectives that include the following:

1. Developing a general management orientation; becoming able to analyze broad,


organization-wide problems.
2. Integrating the business skills you have already developed and knowledge you have
obtained. In the immediate future, this should give you a better understanding of how
your position(s) relate(s) to the overall performance of your organization. Also, much of
this course is structured to simulate the job that many of you may have or will have in the
near future—a staff executive responsible for helping to develop recommendations on the
strategic issues that face your organization.
3. Developing skill in using your knowledge to solve the actual problems that are being
experienced by today’s organizations.
4. Improving skills in oral and written communication.
5. Developing an awareness of the literature of business policy/strategic management and
how it applies to contemporary organizations.

By the end of this course, you should be able to (1) analyze a particular business situation, (2)
identify the significant problems, and (3) propose and justify explicit solutions that are realistic,
effective, and efficient.

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Achieving the Objectives

You will be required to complete five activities in order to achieve the identified objectives:

1. Contribute to the group discussions of chapters, ‖minicases‖, and lecture material by


exhibiting (a) an understanding of the information presented and (b) skills in the
functional areas required for this course. Attendance is desired for all classes. However, I
recognize that professional and personal emergencies may arise which causes you to miss
a class. I request that you contact me in advance (via e-mail) if you must miss a class.

2. Complete the homework assignments (1-2 pages). Summarize the key issues in the case
and how the case relates to the material in the chapter. Due: at start of each class.

3. Complete the team simulation project – see details below. Due: see class schedule

4. Complete the ―GROUP PROJECT‖ – see details below. Due: see class schedule

5. Complete a mid-term and final exam. These tests will consist of multiple-choice
questions, essay questions, and case analyses. Closed book, but 1 page of notes OK.
Due: as shown on class schedule.

GRADING

1. Class Participation/Contribution 10%


2. Homework Assignments 10%
3. Simulation project (10%/10%/10%) 30%
4. Group project paper/presentation (10%/10%) 20%
5. Mid-term/Final Exams (10%/20%) 30%

Total 100%

The final grade is determined as follows: 90 – 100 = A; 80 – 89 = B; 70 – 79 = C; below 70 = F.

Overview of the Simulation Project

The Foundation simulation will be used. Students will be organized into teams that represent
separate firms within an industry. Each team begins at the same starting point, but advances
based on decisions made by the team. There will be 4 practice rounds (PR) to learn to play the
game, and hopefully identify some fatal strategies. After that, the 8 decision rounds (DR) count
toward your final grade. As the simulation continues, each team will keep a record of decisions
made, and the specific strategic reasons for those decisions. Simulations are fun, but take the
competition seriously – there are winners and losers.

When the simulation ends, each team will give a presentation that covers the actions taken during
the simulation. Be able to defend your decisions and assumptions. Presentations are to be 15-20
minutes.

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Overview of the Group Project

The group project topic must be finalized by Session 6. Each part of this assignment (Industry
and Company) should be approximately 8-10 double-spaced pages-excluding tables, charts,
figures, etc. The papers are due at the final class session. Oral presentation of your paper will
also be during the final class session.

Industry and Company Analysis (group oral and written assignment)


Select a publicly listed company and primary industry in which it competes. The following two
sections, ―Industry Analysis‖ and ―Company Analysis‖ contain suggested topics. You should
address and analyze what issues are most important for your organization and industry.
However, each group must include a Porter’s Five Forces analysis for the industry and a SWOT
analysis for the company.

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

The industry analysis includes two interrelated parts. The first part provides a broad overview of
the industry, its boundaries, and its evolution over time, with particular emphasis on the key
dimensions that have shaped its condition in the last ten years. It establishes who the participants
in the industry are, the nature of the markets, key strategic issues for the industry, growth rates,
profitability, market shares, the products, financial trends, takeovers, the uncertainties in the
environment, the distribution channels, etc.

The second part of the report analyzes the current state of the industry in terms of the ―five
forces‖ framework proposed by Porter. In addition, the key points to be developed are the nature
of competition, various segments in the industry, the general environmental trends that affect the
industry, diversification efforts by participants and probably likely scenarios for the future.

To summarize, the industry analysis includes issues such as the following:

1. DEFINITION OF THE TASK ENVIRONMENT

The boundaries of the industry


The competitors, their market shares, and segments they focus on
The products

2. KEY STRATEGIC FACTORS IN THE INDUSTRY

What are the ways to compete?


Historically, which of these have been most successful?
What distinctive competencies are required in the industry?
What are the key forces that drive competition and determine average profitability?

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3. KEY GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Technology
Political, social, and economic trends
Internationalization

4. STRATEGIC GROUPS WITHIN THE INDUSTRY

Describe bases for clustering


Identify ―strategic groups‖
Name key firms or SBUs in each strategic group

5. KEY ISSUES AND FUTURE SCENARIOS

Key opportunities (in terms of products, vacant market niches, etc.)


Key threats (in terms of new entrants, product life cycle, product obsolescence,
substitute products, etc.)
Key issues/choices facing the members of the industry

COMPANY ANALYSIS

The company analysis, in keeping with the pattern that we followed for industry analysis,
consists of two interrelated parts. The first part should provide a broad overview of the firm, its
evolution over time with particular emphasis on it strengths and weaknesses, its financial
performance, its product lines, its distinctive competencies, its structure, its culture, and key
executives who have shaped the company’s policies in the last ten years.

The second part of the analysis identifies the current strategy at corporate, business, and
functional levels and identifies any changes in strategy in the 10-year period. Further, the report
analyzes the company’s performance in the light of the strategy followed and your evaluation of
the current strategy. The report concludes with the key issues that the company is currently
facing. The insights developed from the industry analysis should be of particular help in
identifying the key issues/choices that the company is faced with, recommended actions, and
implementation considerations.

To summarize, the company analysis includes issues such as the following:

1. DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRM

Product lines
The size of the firm (sales, assets, personnel, etc.)
The firm’s distinctive competencies
Key strategic managers
The company’s culture and philosophy

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2. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

In various functions (finance, marketing, production, R&D, etc.)


In the organization
At various levels (top, middle, and lower)

3. OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS (Summarize)

Key opportunities (in terms of products, vacant market niches, etc.)


Key threats (in terms of new entrants, product life cycle, product obsolescence,
substitute products, etc.)

4. CURRENT STRATEGY

At corporate and business levels


Sources of competitive advantage(s) and sustainability

5. ISSUES FACING THE FIRM

Match of strengths and weaknesses with opportunities and threats


Product/market choices
Potential/opportunities for value creation
Personnel issues (including managerial succession)
Stakeholder related issues

6. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION CONSIDERATIONS

Goal consistency
Strategic relevance
Organizational capability

Each group will provide a 20-30 minute presentation during the final class. All group members
must participate in the presentation. RATHER THAN ATTEMPT TO ―COVER‖ THE
ENTIRE PAPER—FOCUS ON THE MOST ―INTERESTING‖ AND ―INSIGHTFUL‖
ASPECTS. The oral presentation counts 10% and the paper counts 10% of the course grade.

SCHOLASTIC DISHONESTY

The university has policies and discipline procedures regarding scholastic dishonesty Detailed
information is available at http://www.utdallas.edu/student/slife/dishonesty.html. Students are
expected to maintain a high level of responsibility with respect to academic dishonesty.

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CLASS SCHEDULE

SESSION DATE TEXT BOOK ASSIGNMENT SIMULATION

1 9/18 AM COURSE OVERVIEW INTRODUCTION TUTORIAL


Chapter 1 UNDER ―HELP‖ AND ITS QUIZ
Assignment: Write the Vision, Mission, and PR #1 uploaded in class
Objectives for your organization. PR #2 uploaded overnight

2 9/19 PM EXTERNAL ANALYSIS, CASE ANALYSIS PR #3 uploaded in class


Chapter 2, 13 PR #4 uploaded overnight
Assignment: Beer case, p. 37.

3 9/20 AM INTERNAL ANALYSIS, INTEL CAPITAL DR #1 uploaded in class


Chapter 3, 4 DR #2 uploaded by 9/28
Assignment: Goodyear, p.75
DR #3 uploaded by 10/5

4 10/17 PM Mid-term exam (Chapters 1-4, 13, and CAPSIM) DR #4 uploaded overnight
BUSINESS STRATEGY TQM Tutorial and Quiz
Chapter 5

5 10/18 AM CORPORATE & INT’N STRATEGY DR #5 uploaded in class


Chapter 6, 7
Assignment: Wal-Mart, p. 227

6 10/18 PM ENTREPRENEURSHIP STRATEGY DR #6 uploaded by 10/26


Chapter 8 DR #7 uploaded by 11/2
Assignment: ESPN, p. 265 DR #8 uploaded by 11/9
Finalize group project topic
7 11/13 PM CONTROL, ORGANIZATION
Chapters 9 and10
Assignment: KB Home, p. 303

8 11/14 PM LEADERSHIP, INNOVATION SIMULATION PRESENTATIONS


Chapters 11 and 12
GUEST SPEAKER - TI

9 12/5 PM FINAL EXAM (CHAPTERS 5-12, CAPSIM)


GUEST SPEAKER - DESS

10 12/6 PM TEAM PRESENTATIONS


TEAM PAPER

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Student Information Sheet

Please return this form and a recent photo (or a copy of your student ID) at the 1st class.

1. Name:_________________________ Put picture here

2. What is your job and where do you work?

3. Educational Background (degree and university)

4. Future Plans

5. Any other related information