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SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS BA 4305-002, SPRING 2005 Instructor: Mine Ozer Class Time and Location Time: 2:00 PM – 4:45 PM, Wednesday Location: SOM 1.102 Instructor’s Office Hours and Contact Numbers Office Location: SOM 4.411 Office Hours: Before and after class, or by appointment Phone: 972-883-4469 E-mail:

Course Webpage: (Please check regularly for lecture outlines and updates)
Writing Tutor

LaVada Strickland E-mail:, Phone: 214-477-0621 Office hours: 4:45pm to 6:45pm Monday and Wednesdays in the library at one of the open tables in the front area. As a part of this course, the university has mandated a requirement of 15 double-spaced pages of writing for each individual student. The writing tutor will evaluate each paper on grammar, punctuation and writing style. The objective of this requirement is to help students improve their writing skills. The writing tutor will be responsible for providing constructive feedback to students' individual writing work, holding needed office hours for one-on-one tutoring sessions, and providing assessment on students' writing (including original and revised) outcomes. Textbook: Gregory G. Dess, G. T. Lumpkin, & Marilyn L. Taylor (1st edition)
Strategic Management: Text & Cases Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin

COURSE OBJECTIVES 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. 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. The course has multiple objectives that include the following: 1. Introducing students to some basic concepts and theories in the filed of strategic


management and business policy 2. Proving opportunities for students to be able to analyze broad, organization-wide problems and to develop skills in using your knowledge to solve the actual problems that are being experienced by today's organizations 3. Improving students’ skills in oral and written communication

COURSE REQUIREMENTS This class is structured differently from other classes you have taken. There is an emphasis on using case analysis as a way of practicing your business thinking skills, your oral presentation skills, as well as your writing skills. The goals of this class are 1) to learn about strategy and 2) help you make the transition from education to work. Because of this, professionalism and integrative thinking are emphasized. Individual Case Analysis (15 %): Each student is required to submit any three case analyses out of seven (listed in the schedule part of the syllabus) (The cases you choose must be different than the case that your group will be presenting). Each case study should be five double-spaced pages long and follow the general format of a case analysis (introduction, analysis and problem identification, theory application, and recommendation). The individual case analyses 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. Group Case Analysis (30%): The class will be divided into groups of equal size. You will be either assigned to your group or choose your group members. Your group will be responsible for both oral presentation and written analysis. The group selection will take place on the second day of the class and each team will have 4-5 members. The number of members in a group can vary depending on the class size. Preferably we would want to have 7 teams. Group case analysis should be a comprehensive analysis of the facts of the case and application of concepts learned in the lecture and textbook. You should go beyond the material in the book and incorporate current information into your report. It is important that you make use of library search engines. Only using company homepage and google or its equivalent (e.g. yahoo) is not enough (they are not considered as outside sources). For additional sources, please see Page 7. Your group case analysis grade will be based on the quality of the group's work. Part of your learning experience is managing the coordination of tasks required to create a good product. Part of your grade will be based on each individual's assessment of the relative contribution of each group member (peer evaluation). Late cases are not accepted. Each analysis will be graded according to the case evaluation criteria shown in the case evaluation sheet. Written portion (20%): Each group is responsible to turn in 10-12 double-spaced pages excluding figures, tables, and references. Each group case analysis is due at the beginning of the class that the case is assigned. Ensure that the paper has an executive summary and that it is divided into sections and subsections in a logical manner. Oral portion (10 %): Each team is responsible to present a case in the classroom. Oral


presentations should be approximately 20 minutes in length with approximately a 10 minutes discussion period. The cases will be chosen when you form your groups on the second day of the class. Oral part will be graded using the case evaluation sheet. Exams (20% + 25%): 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 20 % and the final exam is worth 25 %. Students should bring scantron sheets (Form No. 882-E) and pencils for the exams. Class Participation (10 %): Class participation is highly encouraged in both the lecture portion as well as the case discussion portion of the class. Quality of class contributions will be weighted more heavily than quantity. Frequent and valuable participants are who attend most of the classes, participate regularly in every class attended, and at least make one significant contribution in each class attended. “Participation and contribution” is a meaningful portion of the total course grade (10%). To help the instructor learn each student’s name and grade “participation and contribution” as fairly as possible, you will prepare and bring a “nameplate” to each class. Peer Evaluation: Each team member will evaluate the rest of the team members for their contribution to group work. Details on how to calculate peer evaluation and how to incorporate into the group projects are shown in the peer evaluation sheet. Peer evaluation sheet will be provided at the final exam day with the exam. GRADING Your grade in the course will be based on objective and subjective criteria. Grades will be based on the following:
Individual Assignments: Midterm Exam Final Exam 3 Individual Written Case: Class Participation: Group Assignments: Written Group Case and Group Oral Presentation (including peer evaluations): Percentages 20% 25% 15% 10% 30% (20 % + 10 %) Grading Scale: 99-100 95-98 90-94 87-89 84-86 80-83 77-79

A+ A AB+ B BC+

Total: 100

74-76 70-73 67-69 64-66 60-63 Below 60



Class Policies: Absences/Make-ups: There are no excused absences from the exams without a written excuse from a doctor or the academic dean. If there is a serious scheduling conflict, it is your responsibility to let the instructor know well in advance. No work will be accepted after the date that it is due. Exams and case analyses can be turned in earlier than the designated dates with written excuses, but not later. Honor Code Information: No case write-ups, exams, or student's notes from current or previous business school students should be consulted in doing your case analysis. You can, however, consult your notes and reading materials as well as information in the library. Any material quoted directly or paraphrased should be referenced in your written and oral cases. Plagiarism is a serious infraction and will be dealt with accordingly.


COURSE SCHEDULE DATE January12 January 19 TOPIC Course Overview/Syllabus External Environment Selection of groups January 26 How to conduct a case analysis Chapter 13 Sample Case : Carly Fiorina: The Reinvention of HewlettPackard Case 1: Jays Foods, L.L.C. Case 2: AT&T Resource Link(A) Case 3: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (200) CH Chapter 1 Chapter 2 CASE

February 2 February 9 February 16 February 23

Internal Environment Intellectual Assets Business-Level Strategy Mid-Term Exam (bring Scantron sheet 882-E) Corporate-Level Strategy

Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5

March 2

Chapter 6

Case 4: Badger Plastics: The Acquisition Process (A,B,C)

March 9 March 16 March 23

Spring Break International Strategy Internet and E-Commerce Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Case 5: Hewlett-Packard Company in Vietnam Case 6: E-Bay: King of The Online Auction Industry Video: Southwest Airlines Case 7: GE’s TwoDecade transformation: Jack Welch’s Leadership Video: Stop the Music: Napster

March 30 April 6

Strategic Control Ethical Organization

Chapter 9 Chapter 11

April 13

Corporate Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Exam Review Final Exam

Chapter 12

April 20 April 27


INFORMATION FOR CASE ANALYSIS 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 • Other elements of the task environment • The value-add chain and how individual firms vary 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? 3. KEY GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS • Demographics • Technology • Political, social, and economic trends • Internalization 4. KEY ISSUES & 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 executive 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, labels these strategies, and identifies any changes in strategy in the 10year period. Further, the report analyzes the company's performance in the light of the strategy followed and your own 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 scope of the firm (geographic, target customers, technologies, etc.) • The size of the firm (sales, assets, personnel, etc.) • The firm's distinctive competencies • Key strategic managers • The company's culture and philosophy 2. STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES • In various functions (finance, marketing, production, R&D, etc.) • In organization • At various levels (top, middle & lower) • Incorporation of value chain concepts

3. CURRENT STRATEGY • At corporate, business, and functional levels • Their descriptions and label • Sources of competitive advantage(s) and sustainability 4. ISSUES FACING THE FIRM l Match of strengths and weaknesses with opportunities and threats l Product market choices l Resource generation/allocation issues l Personnel issues (including managerial succession) l Stakeholder related issues



RECOMMENDATIONS Once you have evaluated the case, identified the strategic problem, and evaluated the impact of the problem on current and/or future strategy, you must form some conclusions and recommendations regarding the future position of the company. Support your evaluation with appropriate research. • What alternatives can the company consider? Alternatives should be mutually exclusive. Mutually exclusive means the company can go down only one road. It cannot pursue both strategies simultaneously. • What are the tradeoffs associated with the alternatives? You should NOT think in terms of “good” versus “bad”, but rather what does the company GAIN from an alternative and what does it LOSE. That way you can compare gains and losses across the alternatives. Gains and losses may be in terms of customers, revenue, cost competitiveness, market share, profitability, core competence, time to market, future growth, survival, etc. • Select an alternative to recommend. Make a logical, clear, and integrated argument, backed by research to support why the gain and loss tradeoff from this alternative is better than the other alternatives. • Recommendations should be made only if backed by analysis and logic. Trivial or unrealistic recommendations or recommendations that are inconsistent with the firm’s goals, resources, the industry environment, and the culture of the company must be avoided.

INFORMATION FOR WRITTEN GROUP CASE ANALYSIS The following library site provides abundant data search engines that are helpful in writing a paper. Just searching company website and/or citing free web information is not enough. Take advantage of the paid search engines in the library homepage. It contains the following search engines. Should you have further questions, contact liaison librarians in the library (Loreen Phillips, or visit
• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Business and Company Resource Center Business Source Premier Business & Management Practices CCH Internet Tax Research Network (tax service) Wall Street Journal (1984-current) Academic Universe Lexis Nexis (then under Business) Disclosure Data from Academic Universe Click on Business, then Company Financial (company financial info) Mergent Online (formerly Moody's FIS Online) (company financial information) National Trade Data Bank (NTDB) EconLit (economics) ECONbase PAIS (public affairs) Business Dateline (index to regional business publications)


• • • • • • • • • •

Business Organizations Regional Business News (from TexShare) EDGAR Financial Reports (company financial information) Social Sciences Abstracts Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science/Web of Knowledge) Essay & General Literature Index Web of Science (Web of Knowledge) (citation indexes) WorldCat (OCLC) General Databases (multidisciplinary) For psychology in the workplace: Psychology and Human Development Databases

INFORMATION FOR THE ORAL PRESENTATION 1. Each team is scheduled for two oral presentations. Visual aids must be employed, including the use of handouts, overhead projectors, PowerPoint, crash carts, etc. Ask the instructor about equipment availability. You are encouraged to use slides on disk rather than printed color transparencies. 2. Oral Presentation Teams are required to dress professionally and exhibit the same level of decorum and consideration that you would in a real business setting. 3. All team members must be involved in the oral presentation with each team member presenting a segment. Segment definition is the responsibility of the team. A printout of your slides as well as a bibliography should be given to your instructor and other class members. The title page of your presentation should list the case name, the date, the names of each team member, and the segment each member will cover. The instructor in each class may ask for full sized black and white copies of the slides. 4. Library and online research beyond the case are REQUIRED. Analysis in hindsight is not permitted in either oral or written reports. “What a company did” is not justification. There are many possibilities that companies do not consider. Also, in the long run, the company’s action may not be successful. 5. When presenting, indicate the outside sources used. If you present industry averages, for example, or demographic data, indicate where you got them. 6. After you have presented; be prepared to receive questions regarding your assumptions, your use of data, your conclusions, your logic, and your recommendations. Other class members may not agree with your analysis. Your instructor may challenge your evaluation of environmental or internal characteristics. DO NOT BECOME DEFENSIVE. This is a natural part of the process. You are being asked to think on your feet and demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of the case issues. ALL team members should participate in the question and answer session. Rigorous probing by the instructor reflects the high expectations that he/she has for the class. Everyone learns from this experience, even class members who are not presenting.


CRITERIA FOR WRITTEN INDIVIDUAL CASE ANALYSES Criteria Grammar Spelling Word Choice Organization and Flow Citation of Sources Total Points 0 Several grammar errors Multiple spelling errors Below average word choices Poor organization Missing citations 1 One or two errors One or two errors Good word choices Good organization Minor errors in citations 2 No mistakes No spelling errors Excellent word choices Very well organized Correct citation of sources Total

Learning Goal: Students will develop competency in written communications. Each student will complete a minimum of 15 pages of double-spaced written assignments in this course. The assignments will be assessed using the rubric above as follows: 1. A paper scoring a zero in any of the five criteria must be rewritten. 2. For all papers totaling 6 or under, the paper must be rewritten. 3. For all papers totaling 5 or under, the student must make an appointment with the writing tutor.


Case Evaluation Sheet: BA4305


Summary of the critical issues (10pts)
Most of the information in the case is not repeated. Identification of internal and external issues. Identification of the most important issues

Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Marginally Meets Expectations Does not Meet Expectations

10 pts 8-9 pts 7 pts 5 pts


Strategic Analysis (20 pts)
Suggests realistic options for the company (or industry). Identifies pros and cons of options. Provides realistic, case-based support for the options.

Exceeds Expectations Marginally Meets Expectations Does not Meet Expectations

19- 20 pts 16-18Pts 13-15Pts 10-12 pts

Evidence of deeper analysis beyond what is written or presented. Meets Expectations


Recommendation (10 pts) Quality and support of the recommended option. Implementation impact of the recommendation.

Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Marginally Meets Expectations Does not Meet Expectations

10 pts 8-9 pts 7 pts 5 pts


Other grading criteria (10 pts) Clarity and logic of ideas Use of exhibits Use of outside materials Grammar, spelling, structure Organization of presentation Speaking style, use of visual aids and handouts, balance of speakers Dress and overall professionalism Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Marginally Meets Expectations Does not Meet Expectations 10 pts 8-9 pts 7 pts 5 pts


Peer Evaluation Sheet
Team # ______________ Name __________________________ Name Score (1-5)* Reasons Self

• • • • • • • • • •

1 (very unsatisfactory) – 2 (unsatisfactory) – 3 (neither satisfactory nor unsatisfactory) 4 (satisfactory) – 5 (very satisfactory) if 1, then the person gets 0.2 if 2, then the person gets 0.4 if 3, then the person gets 0.6 if 4, then the person gets 0.8 if 5, then the person gets 1 Then the participation score will be multiplied with the score one gets from group case analysis. For example, if a student gets 25/30 for group case analysis and 3 from the peer evaluation, then the actual grade is 25/30*0.6 = 15/60, not 25/30. Be objective in evaluating other members in your group and specify reasons. The evaluation should be turned in on the final exam. Peer evaluation sheet will be provided along with the exam booklet. If one fails to turn in the peer evaluation sheet, then everybody in the team gets 4 (0.8).