You are on page 1of 7

1Mgt 491-02

Business Policy and Strategy

Fall 2008

Instructor: Terry Mullins, MBA, PhD

Office hours: 1:30 3:00 pm MW; and by appointment
Phone: 334-5691 (departmental office) Office: 352

Class times: MW 3:30 4:45 pm, Bryan 205

Required texts:

Dess, Lumpkin, and Eisner, Strategic Management: Text & Cases. 4th. (2008) McGraw-
Hill/ Irwin.

Course Prerequisites

MGT 301,309,312,330; MKT 320; FIN 315; ISM 280, 360 plus senior standing and
admission to approved majorNote that these are prerequisites, not co-requisites.

Course Description

Business Policy and Strategy is considered to be the capstone course in your

undergraduate business education. The purpose of this course is to encourage you to
examine business from a general management perspective. The course integrates
functional areas that you have studied so far into a general management model, through a
problem-oriented approach. The course will use a variety of business situations across a
variety of industries to allow you to gain valuable practice in exercising business
judgment and critical thinking skills. We also emphasize the development of persuasive
communication skills. The course is front-loaded in terms of reading, so we will get off
to a fast start. This organization should allow you to work on your final project very
early in the semester.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course the student should be able to:

1. Understand the difference between situation analysis, strategy formulation, and

strategy implementation.
2. Understand how a fit between strategy and structure is a key implementation issue and
assess the appropriateness of various combinations with respect to firm performance.
3. Acquire a thorough understanding of how fitting functional strategy to business
strategy is important to achieving organizational goals.
4. Describe and apply a number of strategy supportive tools and programs (e.g. five
forces model, SWOT analysis, portfolio matrix models, and change management
5. Elaborate on the strategic issues introduced when a firm moves from domestic to
multi-domestic or global competition.
6. Identify the steps required to scale and expand the business over time to serve larger
market segments and larger shares within a segment.
7. Discriminate relevant from irrelevant strategic information in case studies of a firm.
8. Explain the role of government policy in creating incentives and disincentives for a
variety of competitive conditions for both domestic and international competition.
9. Conduct a significant strategic review of a publicly traded organization to determine
the current strategic position.
10. Synthesize an analysis of a firms current strategic position with information
regarding the firms core competencies and market trends to craft a strategy for the


Your final grade is composed of these elements:

Class Participation 10%

Comprehensive Exam 10%
Written Case Assignments
Case 1 5%
Case 2 5%
Test 1 10%
Test 2 10%

Group Industry & Company Project:

Oral Presentation 10%
Written Report 20%

Final Exam 20%

Teaching Method

I believe strongly in an active learning approach to class material; consequently,

discussion is my main approach to aiding you in learning. Note that this applies not just
to case studies, but to text material as well. Consequently, you must read and analyze all
assigned chapters and cases so that you are prepared to discuss them in class. I will
typically open a class by asking, What strikes you as significant about . . . and then
cold call on somebody. When there are lectures, it will follow a lecture-discussion

So what is the bottom line? Be prepared! Read the assigned material, whether or not you
are writing on that particular case.
Attendance: You must be in class on the first day. If you are not, your name will be
removed from the roll.

You cannot contribute to class discussion if you are not there. Furthermore, you are out
of the loop as far as classroom information is concerned. In addition, poor attendance
will lower your group participation grade considerably. So show up! Anyone missing
more than 20% of classes (5) will receive a grade of F on class participation.

Honor Code

We will abide by the UNCG Honor Code. Note particularly the section on plagiarism.

Inclement Weather

Follow university guidelines on this. Exercise good judgment. You alone are responsible
for your personal safety.


Tests: There will be a mid-term and final exam, probably multiple-choice and true-false.

Written Case Analysis: You are required to submit 3-5 page written analyses of two of
the case studies you are assigned to read. All those with an asterisk (*) beside them on
your schedule are eligible. The papers are due at the beginning of class on the date we
discuss that particular case. You will be expected to analyze the case in whatever terms
you think appropriate, then draw conclusions and make appropriate, specific
recommendations. The number of students allowed to write on any particular case will
be limited to six. You should choose one case from before Fall Break and one from
those we read afterward.

Group Industry and Company Project: The class will be divided into eight groups to
conduct an industry and company analysis. Each group will be assigned one Fortune 500
company and its industry. You should be able to start this project in mid-September.

The end products will be a 25-30 minute group presentation at the end of the semester
and a group written analysis of 17-20 pages due Monday, November 17th.
Guidelines for Industry/Company Analysis

1. Identification of the mission, vision and objectives, as well as problems and

challenges facing the company

2. Appraisal of the companys industry environment:

The dominant economic characteristics in an industry

The nature and intensity of competition using Porters Five Forces Model
The drivers of change and critical success factors in the industry

3. Appraisal of the companys current resources and capabilities:

Identify the companys resources and capabilities.

Perform a SWOT analysis.
Perform a competitive strength assessment to determine its competitive position
in the industry.

4. Identification and evaluation of the companys current strategy:

Discuss at least four functional strategies of the company.
Discuss how the functional strategies fit into the competitive strategy being
pursued by the companys businesses.
Discuss the companys corporate strategy.
Evaluate how the companys current strategies relate to its internal resources and
capabilities and what is happening in its industry environment.
Evaluate the impact of the companys current strategies on its strategic and
financial performance.

5. Present lessons learned and recommendations. The recommendations should be

reasonable, feasible, and able to be implemented.


All 491 students (except for exchange students) will be required to take a comprehensive
examination covering the core elements of business education. The exam counts 10% of
your grade for this course. You cannot complete your major without taking this test
on the date and at the time prescribed. Any questions about this test should be
directed to Ms. Pam Cash, Assistant Dean, in 401 Bryan. The tentative date for the
Comprehensive Exam is Friday, October 24th. A study guide will be posted on
Calendar and Requirements
Fall 2008

Aug 25Orientation; discussion of syllabus and Ch. 13 (Case Analysis)

Case 1: Robin Hood

Aug 27 Chapter 1 (Basic Strategic Management Concepts)

Case 11: The American Red Cross

Sept 1 Labor Day Holiday No Class Meeting

Sept 3 Strategy Presentation: Dr. Carolyn Woo

Sept 8 Formation of company/industry project groups

Chapter 2 (Analyzing the External Environment)
Case 12*: Whole Food Markets 2007

Sept 10 Chapter 3 (Analyzing the Internal Environment)

Case 23*: World Wrestling Entertainment

Sept 15 Chapter 4 (Intellectual Assets)

Case 18*: Southwest Airlines

Sept 17 Chapter 5 (Business-level Strategy)

Case 17*: Panera Bread

Sept 22 Case 16: JetBlue Airways; Review of text Chapters 1-5

Sept 24 TEST 1: Text, Chapters. 1-5

Sept 29 Chapter 6 (Corporate Level Strategy)

Case 6*: Crown, Cork & Seal in 1989

Oct 1 -- Chapter 7 (International Strategy)

Oct 6 Case 7*: Sun Life Financial in China; Case 29*: eBay in Asia

Oct 6 Chapter 8 (Entrepreneurial Strategy and Competitive Dynamics)

Oct 8 -- Case 20*: Yahoo!

Oct 13 Chapter 9 (Strategic Control & Corporate Governance)

Oct 15 Case 10*: Enron: On the Side of Angels

Oct 20 -- FALL BREAK (no class)

Oct 22 Applying strategic concepts to career plans; Test 2 Review

Oct 27 Test 2

Oct 29 Chapter 10 (Creating Effective Organizational Designs)

Case19* Johnson & Johnson

Nov 3 Case 4: Best-Laid Incentive Plans; Case 2: Edward Marshall Boehm, Inc.

Nov 5 Chapter 11 (Strategic Leadership) Case 32*: FreshDirect

Nov 10 Case 3: Skeleton in the Corporate Closet; Case 25*: The Casino Industry

Nov 12 Case 24*: Proctor and Gamble

Nov 17 Chapter 12 ( Managing Innovation and Fostering Corporate Entrepreneurship)

Case 39*: Dippin Dots

Nov 24 Strategies for effective group presentations


Dec 1 Presentations:
Dec 3 Presentations:
Dec 8 Presentations: LAST DAY OF CLASS

Dec 15 Final Exam 3:30 pm 6:30 pm

*indicates a case which you may choose to write about; due in the Digital Drop Box of
BlackBoard before the beginning of class on the day of discussion; pick one from before
Fall Break and one after.

I reserve the right to make changes if necessary.