You are on page 1of 10



BA 4305-502: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS Instructor: Haibin (William) YANG Class Time and Location Time: Location: 7:00 PM – 9:45 PM, Thursday SOM 2.112

Instructor’s Office Hours and Contact Numbers Office Location: Office Hours: Phone: Fax: E-mail: Homepage: SOM 4.407 Before and after class, or by appointment 972-883-6041 972-883-6029 (Please check regularly for lecture outlines and updates)

Writing Tutor
LaVada Strickland email:, phone: 214-477-0621 Office hour: 4:45pm-- 6:45pm Monday and Wednesday Place: In the library at one of the open tables in the front area

To meet the AACSB requirement and help students improve writing skills, this course will require students to write, receive detailed feedback about, and revise 15 double-spaced pages on their individual writing. The writing tutor will have the following responsibilities: 1. Provide constructive feedback to students' individual writing work (Guidelines provided by the writing tutor can also be found at the instructor’s home page). 2. Hold needed office hours for one-on-one tutoring sessions. 3. Provide assessment on students' writing (including original and revised) outcomes. 4. Keep record of students’ writing outcomes. Textbooks Strategic Management: Text & Cases Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2004 Authors: Gregory G. Dess, G. T. Lumpkin, & Marilyn L. Taylor Airline: A Strategic Management Simulation (4th Edition; 2nd Printing) Publisher: Prentice Hall, 2002. Authors: Jerald R. Smith and Peggy A. Golden Note: If your Airline manual is a first printing, please check updates posted on my home page.


Course Description As a capstone course for senior level undergraduate students, this course will bring students into the broad environment of business organizations by integrating different fields of business. Students taking this course are expected to have completed all other required core courses. The emphasis of this course will be on the overall effectiveness of businesses through purposeful strategies with the consideration of both the internal condition and the external environment. While this course may be most beneficial to students who aspire to be senior managers of a business corporation, it can also be very educational to students with different objectives. There are five major objectives for this course. This course will 1. introduce students to some basic concepts and theories in the filed of strategic management and business policy; 2. provide ample opportunities for students to practice strategic management skills through both case analyses and computer simulation exercises; 3. train students to take leadership responsibilities and work with other people in teams; 4. offer opportunities for students to learn both oral and written communication skills; and 5. provide further knowledge and skills for students to conduct effective organizational research. Course Requirements This course requires extensive readings, active discussions, and diligent exercises. Each student will be expected to spend an average of 6 hours a week on this course, excluding the time for attending the classes. If a student cannot commit this amount of time and effort on this course, he or she must realize that it may be very difficult for him/her to earn a good grade. Also, it is the student's responsibility to thoroughly read the syllabus, fully understand all the requirements, and keep track of all the important dates in order to be successful. A student's performance will be mainly evaluated in four categories: Individual Participation, Group Case Discussion, Group Simulation Exercise, and Individual Exams. A summary table of the requirements is also listed at the end of the syllabus to help students keep track of all the credits. 1. Individual Participation (150 points) This will serve to give students opportunities to actively contribute to the teaching and learning in this course. Each student is required to have read all assigned articles and cases by the class time and participate in class discussions. Two types of credits will be given in this category: Individual Case Studies (60 points). Each student can earn up to 60 points for submitting 3 individual case studies of the weekly textbook cases (listed in the schedule part of the syllabus). Each case study will be worth a maximum of 20 points, with 10 points for content and 10 points for mechanics and organization. It should be five pages long and follow the general format of a case analysis (introduction, analysis and problem identification, theory application, and recommendation). The individual case studies are due at the beginning of class on the day the case is discussed by the group. Please submit two copies for each case study. One is for the instructor, the other for the writing tutor. For each case study, the content portion will be assessed on a 1-10 scale and will be based on how well the student has followed the general guidelines for a case analysis while incorporating his/her own thoughts.


The writing portion will be assessed on a 1-10 scale and will be based on spelling, grammar, syntax, organization and flow, word choice, overall writing style, and proper citation of sources. If the grade is below 6 points for the writing part, the student has to rewrite and resubmit it with the original one attached. Other Credit for Class Participation (90 Points). A student can earn up to 90 points by participating in various other class activities: completing a pop-quiz on the syllabus (5 points), two class quizzes (Only one quiz will count for 10 points, the lower score will be removed), class attendance (40 points) and participating in class discussions (35 points). In terms of class attendance, one absence without permission will result in a loss of 4 points. When and how students can earn such points will be determined by the instructor during certain session times. Students who miss these sessions will not get the corresponding credit. 2. Group Case Discussion (50 points)

Each group will be asked to lead the discussion of two cases in the course of the semester. The group will provide, at the time of discussion, a two to three page summary in the format of questions and answers in order to facilitate classroom discussions. The cover page of the summary should list group members who have contributed. A typical group case discussion should address the following questions: a. What is the problem (or problems) facing the company in the case? b. What should the company do about these problems? c. What theory or concept from the last chapter or current chapter or the textbook that can be applied in this case? The group can use transparencies or other audio/video equipment to illustrate their points in leading the discussions. Each case or article will be randomly assigned to a group in the third class of the semester. Each case discussion should take about 30 minutes, with about 10 minutes devoted to class discussion. The maximum credit for each participation is 25 points and will be based on how well the preparations are and how well the discussions were conducted. 4. Group Simulation Exercise (200 Points)

The simulation exercise will allow students to practice some of the key concepts and theories learned in the course. Six groups will participate in a competitive game called Airline. There will be 8 formal rounds in this simulation exercise - each round is equivalent to one quarter in a calendar year. Students are expected to have carefully read the manual. Two trial rounds before the formal exercises will also be given. Before the beginning of the simulation exercises, some instructions and explanations will be further discussed in class. Each group will also be given a diskette containing the electronic input decision program. For each round, decisions and analyses will be submitted to the instructor in a decision form (similar to p.103-104 of the Airline manual) and in the disk at the specified time. A log sheet based on the form on p. 68 of the Airline manual should also be submitted. This logbook should record the attendance of all meetings, the role of each group member, and the main decisions made during the round of the simulation. It is each group's responsibility to keep a backup diskette to avoid the loss of valuable information and time. After the finish of the eight formal rounds, each team will be expected to do a strategic management audit (i.e., a self-study of own firm) that will be presented formally to the class. Students are expected to meet outside of the class time to prepare weekly simulation decisions.


When possible, class time will be given for groups to discuss simulation activities. To be effective team members, students should prepare themselves for the team meetings by analyzing the data in their particular area of responsibilities and prepare the various types of documents for presentation to the team. Results of each group's exercise will be provided back to each group in the next class. The grading for this simulation exercise will be based on the following: Weekly Analysis Quality (80 Points): Each submission will include a decision form, a diskette, and a logbook for that week's activities by all members. The credit will be based on each round's submission quality and timing. Each missed or unusable submission will be penalized with a ten-point deduction. Individual members whose name is not listed in the log sheet by the group will be considered as a non-participant and will not get the corresponding credit for that week. Group Performance (100 Points): A group's performance will be based on the group's final round's stock performance. Management Audit Report (20 Points): The report should be written as a case about your "company". It should be about eight pages long (double-spaced) and follow the general format of a case analysis. It should also contain some discussion of the realism of the Airline simulation game. The whole original logbook should also be attached. Grades for the written report will be awarded on the basis of the quality of the report - did it effectively apply theory and concept from the course, did it use good writing, did it address the issues convincingly, and did it have complete information? Each group will also present the report professionally to the whole class for ten to fifteen minutes. The grade will be based on the professionalism of the presentation - was it informative, accurate, believable, and coordinated? At the end of the Semester, each group member will fill out a peer evaluation form. It is calculated as follows: 1. All groups will multiply the number of people in their group by 100 points and assign the total points among the members. All members must receive between 80 and 120 (per evaluator) points. Each member’s individual grade on the assignment will be determined by multiplying the group grade on the assignment by their total peer points (including their own rating) divided by 100 times the number of people in their groups. Grading Example: Group Grade=200, 3 students Student A’s total peer ratings=330, then individual grade=200*(330/300)=220 Student B’s total peer ratings=270, then individual grade=200*(270/300)=180 Student C’s total peer ratings=300, then individual grade=200*(300/300)=200 The instructor maintains the right to disregard self-ratings that are substantially higher than peer ratings. 5. Individual Exams (200 Points)

There will be two exams throughout the whole semester. They will serve to evaluate how well the student has mastered the knowledge to apply the basic theories and concepts learned during each stage of the course. The first exam is worth 80 points and will take 75 minutes and the second exam is worth 120


points and will take 120 minutes. Students should bring scan-tron sheets (Form No. 882-ES or No. 882-E) and pencils for the exams. NO MAKE-UP EXAMS will be given. Should a student miss the first exam, the second exam will count for 200 points. If a student has a dispute with the grading, he or she can request in writing that the portion of the exam be reevaluated with the support evidence clearly stated. Grading A student can earn a maximum of 600 points in this course. Your final grade will be determined as follows: A+: 580 and up; A: 560-579.9; A-: 540-559.9; B+: 520-539.9; B: 500-519.9; B-: 480-499.9; C+: 460-479.9; C: 440-459.9; C-: 420-439.9; D+: 400-419.9; D: 380-399.9; D-: 360-379.9; F: Below 420 Important Notes Throughout the semester, each student is expected to follow the university’s guidelines on student conduct with regard to cheating and other dishonorable behaviors. Severe consequences can occur if such rules are not followed. If a student has to miss a class or be late, it will be his or her responsibility to catch up with all the missed materials including any new announcement in prior classes from other sources. No make-up exams or lectures will be given. It will also be the students' responsibility to accept any negative consequences that may result from it. No late assignments will be accepted. Students are responsible to form their own groups before the deadline. Once the group is formed, a group composition sheet will be provided to the instructor for record. The group will function throughout the whole semester for activities including group case discussion and group simulation exercises. A student's credit on group activities will be counted only after his/her name has appeared in a group composition sheet. Finally, it is a student's responsibility to READ THE SYLLABUS thoroughly and regularly and keep track of all the important dates and requirements every week. 99% of questions can find their answers in the syllabus.


Class Arrangements Week Date 1 1/13 − − − − − 2 1/20 − − − Activity Course Description and Group Forming Description for Mid-Continent Airline Case Analysis (Airline Manual: p. 81-87) Prepare an Effective Case Analysis (Textbook: p.390-406) A Short Survey of Students and A Short Quiz of the Syllabus “Creating the Future” Video by Gary Hamel (Approx. 50 minutes) Chapter 1: Strategic Management: Creating Competitive Advantage Atkinson Company Experiential Exercise Strategic Management Concepts: Some Career Implications . − Due Assignments Group composition sheet due at the end of the class

(This class will be conducted by our guest speaker: Professor Gregory G. Dess, the Andrew R. Cecil Endowed Chair in Management at the UTD and co-author of the textbook) 3 1/27 − − − − 4 2/03 − − − − − Chapter 2: Analyzing the External Environment of the Firm − Announcement of Group Compositions and Group Case Discussion Assignments Description of Airline Simulation Exercise (Airline Manual: p. 1-33, 57-68) Group Simulation Exercise Trial 1 Chapter 3: Assessing the Internal Environment of the Firm Chapter 4: Recognizing a Firm's Intellectual Assets: Moving beyond a Firm's Tangible Resources Case study 1: The Puzzle Store Case study 2: Hue-Man Experience Bookstore Group Simulation Exercise Trial 2 − − Read pages 1-33, 57-68 of the Airline manual Decision form, disk & log sheet for Trial 1 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 2/03 Decision form, disk & log sheet for Trial 2 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 2/10.



2/10 − − − −

Chapter 5: Business-Level Strategy: Creating and Sustaining − Competitive Advantages Case study 3: Fasten Your Seat Belts—Turbulence Ahead for Travel Agencies Case study 4: American Express Interactive Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round 1 Chapter 6: Corporate-Level Strategy: Creating Value through Diversification Case study 5: Badger Plastics: The acquisition process (A. B. C) Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round 2 Quiz 1 (30 minutes) − −

Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 1 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 2/17.


2/17 − − − −

Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 2 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 2/24.


2/24 − Case study 6: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc − Case Study 7: Carly Fiorina: The Reinvention of HewlettPackard − Overview for Exam 1 − Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round 3

Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 3 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 3/03


3/03 − − − 3/10 −

Case Study 8: Dahab Plastics Co. Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round4 Exam 1 (75 Minutes) Spring Break Chapter 7: International Strategy: Creating Value In Global Markets Chapter 8: The Internet and E-Commerce: Creating Value through E-Business Strategies Case study 9: Ellen Moore (A): Living and Working in Korea Case Study 10: eBay: King of the Online Auction Industry Chapter 9: Strategic Control and Corporate Governance Chapter 10: Creating Effective Organizational Designs Case Study 11: The Lincoln Electric Company, 1989 Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round 6

Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 4 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 3/17.


3/17 − − − −

Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 5 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 3/24.

− Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round 5 10 3/24 − − − − − Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 6 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 3/31.



3/31 − − −

Video & Discussion: Jeffrey Pfeffer—“Managing with Power” (approximately 50 minutes) Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round 7 Quiz 2 (30 minutes)

Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 7 due in the instructor’s office by 10 AM, 4/07. Decision form, disk & log sheet for Round 8 due in the instructor’s office by 4/11. 10 AM,


4/07 − − − −

Chapter 11: Creating a Learning Organization and an Ethical − Organization Chapter 12: Fostering Corporate Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Case study 12: GE’s Two-decade Transformation: Jack Welch’s Leadership Group Simulation Exercise Formal Round 8 −

Results of the final round will be available in the instructor’s office by noon, 4/11.


4/14 − −

Management Audit Report Presentation Overview for Exam 2

Management Audit Report written part due in class.

14 15

4/21 − 4/26 −

Exam 2 (120 Minutes) Final Grade Checking − In the instructor’s office from 12:00 to 2:00 PM.


A SUMMARY OF THE COURSE REQUIREMENTS Individual Group Case Group Simulation Individual Participation Discussion Exercise Exams (150 pts) (50 pts) (200 pts) (200 pts) Three Case Case 1 Weekly Analysis Exam 1 Studies (60) (25) Quality (80) (80)

Case 2 (25) Other Participation Credit (90): Quiz on Syllabus (5)

Group Performance (100) Management Audit Report (Writing & Presentation) (20)

Exam 2 (120)

1 Class Quiz (10)

Class Discussion (35)

Class Attendance (40) Sub_Total: TOTAL = _________

Note: It is highly recommended that a student use this table to keep track of all the credits he/she has earned throughout the semester.


BA 4305-502 A Short Survey

Your Name (Last, First, M. I.): Student ID: Phone Number: Email Address:

1. What is your current position in your organization (or company)?

2. What is your career objective?

3. What is your major subject area of interest?

4. What is your educational background?

5. Have you completed all the core courses? (check one)



6. Are all the requirements listed in the syllabus clear to you? If not, which specific parts do you need more clarifications?

7. Is English your second language? (check one) 8. What is your expected grade from this course? (circle one)

Yes A+ A AB+ B BC+ C C-

No D+ D DF

9. How much time every week do you plan to invest in this course outside of class in order to achieve that grade?

10. Any specific suggestions you may have for making the course as successful as possible?

(Thank you)

- 10 -