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Unit Title: Strategic Business Management and Planning

Unit Reference Number: T/602/0128

Guided Learning Hours: 180
Level: Level 7
Number of Credits: 20

Learning Outcome 1
The learner will: Understand the nature, scope and need for strategic business management
and planning in international profit and not-for-profit organisations.

Assessment Criteria Indicative Content

The learner can:

1.1 Explain the scope, 1.1.1 Examine the nature and context of businesses working
nature and characteristics in a global environment.
of strategic business
management and planning 1.1.2 Consider the nature and scope of strategic decisions, in
in a global environment. terms of time frames and level of decision-making.

1.1.3 Explain the characteristics of strategic decisions,

including the aim of achieving competitive advantage, the
effect of strategic decisions on the other organisational levels
and the impact of environmental factors.

1.1.4 Examine Mintzbergs 5 Ps to explain the concept of


1.2 Critically analyse the 1.2.1 Identify and explain the forces driving the need for
need for strategic business strategic business management in a global environment,
management and planning including:
in a global environment. Reduction in barriers to trade and investment;
Market liberalisation;
Economic development and modernisation;
Integration of worldwide financial markets;
Emergence of economic trade blocs;
Advances in technology, and
Convergence of consumer lifestyles and preferences.

1.2.2 Appraise the global business environment and the

nature of global business activities. This will include appraisal
The forms of international trade, such as importing,
exporting, international investment, outsourcing and
direct investment.
The risks involved in global strategies, including
cultural risk, country risk, currency risk and
commercial risk.

1.3 Appraise the 1.3.1 Consider the international dimensions of strategy and
international dimensions of the organisation, and discuss the increasing complexity of
strategic business international business strategy.
management and
planning. 1.3.2 Discuss the factors of increasing complexity of
international business strategy and planning, including the
impact on functional areas of the business:
Human resource management
Operations and structure

1.3.3 Explain the concept of multi-national corporations and

appraise the difficulties in strategic planning when operating in
multiple international locations.

1.4 Analyse the different 1.4.1 Explain the three levels of organisational strategy:
levels of organisational Corporate level strategy
strategy and their Business level strategy
relationship with tactical Functional level strategy
and operational decision-
making. 1.4.2 Discuss the need for corporate and business level
strategies to match appropriate functional level strategies.

1.5 Explain the distinction 1.5.1 Examine the nature of not for profit organisations such
between profit and not for as the public sector, government agencies, charities and
profit organisations in nationalised industries.
terms of strategic business
management and 1.5.2 Explain the concept of strategic planning in not for profit
planning. organisations and the different influences involved.

1.5.3 Consider the political influences in not for profit

organisations and the nature of the competitive environment
and how these will affect strategic planning.

1.5.4 Appraise the nature and influence of stakeholders in the

strategic planning process of not for profit organisations.

1.5.5 Compare and contrast strategic planning in profit and not

for profit organisations.

Learning Outcome 2
The learner will: Understand a range of classical and contemporary models, concepts and
tools in business strategy and planning.

Assessment Criteria Indicative Content

The learner can:

2.1 Identify classical and 2.1.1 Explain the following concepts and models:
contemporary models, Logical incrementalism
concepts and tools in The learning organisation
business strategy and Transformational change
critically appraise the use Muddling through
of these concepts and Strategic drift
models in contemporary Intended strategy/realised strategy/imposed
organisations. strategy
Emergent strategy and deliberate strategy

2.1.2 Evaluate the difference between static, dynamic and

complex business environments.

2.1.3 Critically examine the applicability of the above concepts

and models in these different business environments.

2.2 Distinguish prescriptive 2.2.1 Consider the nature of the prescriptive theory as a
and emergent theories of systematic and deterministic process of strategic planning.
corporate strategy and
their relevance to 2.2.2 Explain the advantages and disadvantages of a
organisations. prescriptive approach to strategic planning.

2.2.3 Consider the nature of the emergent theory as an

incremental and unplanned method of strategic planning.

2.2.4 Explain the advantages and disadvantages of an

emergent approach to strategic planning.

2.2.5 Identify business environments where each approach is


Learning Outcome 3
The learner will: Understand the processes by which organisations identify and develop their
goals and values.

Assessment Criteria Indicative Content

The learner can:

3.1 Examine the 3.1.1 Explain the difference between a mission statement,
processes by which organisational goals, values and objectives.
organisations identify and
develop their goals and 3.1.2 Identify who the organisation is there to serve and the
values and mission. direction and purpose of the organisation.

3.1.3 Examine the nature and purpose of mission statements.

3.2 Appraise the impact of 3.2.1 Explain the nature of stakeholder power and interest.
the conflicting needs,
power and influences of 3.2.2 Undertake a stakeholder mapping process (using the
stakeholders on an Mendelow stakeholder mapping matrix).
organisations goals.
3.2.3 Identify the challenges and opportunities presented by
stakeholder groups.
3.2.4 Discuss strategies for managing stakeholder conflict

3.3 Examine the influence 3.3.1 Explain the corporate governance framework.
of corporate governance
and regulation. 3.3.2 Examine the importance of separating ownership from
management control.

3.3.3 Identify whom the organisation should serve.

Learning Outcome 4
The learner will: Understand the impact of political, economic, social, technological,
environmental and legal factors on an organisation.

Assessment Criteria Indicative Content

The learner can:

4.1 Evaluate the impact 4.1.1 Distinguish the macro environment from the micro
and influence of the environment.
external environment on
an organisation and relate 4.1.2 Explain the environmental analysis process that takes
it to its strategy. place during strategy formulation and as part of a continuous
process of environmental scanning.

4.1.3 Evaluate the macro-economic factors and their impact on

organisations (economic growth rates, inflation rates, interest
rates, exchange rates, employment legislation and taxation

4.2 Critically appraise the 4.2.1 Explain the component factors of Political, Economic,
use of techniques such as Socio-cultural, Technological, Ecological/Environmental and
and other derivatives.
4.2.2 Critically evaluate the practical use of these techniques in
the light of dynamic global business environments.

4.2.3 Identify and explain the advantages and disadvantages to

organisations of undertaking environmental scanning as part of
the strategy formulation process.

4.3 Identify the sensitivities 4.3.1 Examine the components of environmental change,
of the organisation to including environmental complexity and environmental
environmental change and uncertainty.
appropriate prioritisation of
search mechanisms. 4.3.2 Explain how high environmental uncertainty affects
business strategy.

4.3.3 Examine the importance of environmental scanning and

analysis within an organisation.
4.3.4 Consider the nature and sources of environmental
information, including an analysis of primary and secondary

4.4 Appraise determinants 4.4.1 Examine why certain countries have so many successful
of national advantage international businesses and why these firms sustain superior
using suitable techniques performance in a global environment.
such as Porters Diamond.
4.4.2 Examine the four components of Porters Diamond in
order to explain the competitive advantage of nations.

4.4.3 Appraise the role of government in achieving national

competitive advantage.

4.4.4 Explain the concept of clustering.

4.4.5 Discuss the factors which lead to the loss of national

competitive advantage, such as factor deterioration or collapse
of supporting clusters.

Learning Outcome 5
The learner will: Understand the key forces that represent both opportunities and threats to
organisations whether for profit or not for profit.

Assessment Criteria Indicative Content

The learner can:

5.1 Evaluate the purpose 5.1.1 Explain the component factors of a SWOT analysis.
and attributes of SWOT
analysis. 5.1.2 Identify the internal and external influences of a SWOT
analysis, in particular the influence of PEST analysis.

5.1.3 Explain the value to an organisation of undertaking a

SWOT analysis, including an explanation of the need to convert
threats (or weaknesses) into an advantage and the need to
match strengths with opportunities.

5.1.4 Examine the organisations approach to removing

weaknesses that leave the organisation open to threat or
cannot be turned into an advantage.

5.1.5 Evaluate the position of the SWOT analysis within the

strategic planning framework, examining the arguments for
putting SWOT analysis at the start of the strategy process.

5.2 Appraise techniques to 5.2.1 Examine the concepts of competition and competitive
identify the sources of advantage.
competition to
organisations, such as 5.2.2 Explain the concept of competitive advantage using
Porters Five Forces Porters Generic Strategies.
5.2.3 Explain the sources of competition in an industry, in
particular using Porters Five Forces model.

5.2.4 Discuss the barriers to entry within an industry.

5.2.5 Explain how the Industry Life Cycle may affect the nature
of competition within an industry.

5.2.6 Identify and examine the macro-economic factors that

may affect the competitive environment.

5.3 Critically evaluate the 5.3.1 Discuss the nature of changing competitive environments
turbulence of and the impact upon competitive advantage.
environmental change and
the impact on strategic 5.3.2 Critically examine the impact of changes in the macro-
dynamics. environment such as new technologies, globalisation and

5.3.3 Explain the cycle of competition and hyper competition.

5.3.4 Identify and discuss how organisations are able to create

new competitive advantage by understanding the factors in the
macro-environment and identifying strategic gaps, such as
identification of substitute products, new market segments or
complementary product/service offerings.

Learning Outcome 6
The learner will: Understand the strategy process for an organisation to achieve competitive

Assessment Criteria Indicative Content

The learner can:

6.1 Identify the capabilities 6.1.1 Consider the concept of strategic capability.
that allow organisations to
achieve competitive 6.1.2 Explain the concept of critical success factors.
6.1.3 Explain the following terms relating to strategic capability:
Threshold resources
Unique resources
Available resources
Threshold competences
Core competences

6.1.4 Consider the importance of knowledge as a key capability

in the modern business environment.

6.2 Critically analyse 6.2.1 Explain the use of the value chain in assisting
means by which an organisations in identifying those products and services which
organisation positions itself add value to the business/customer.
to outperform its
competitors. 6.2.2 Discuss the use of a value system in creating best value
products and services.

6.2.3 Discuss the concept of value for money and the

importance of ensuring cost efficiency.

6.2.4 Discuss the concept of effectiveness in achieving

competitive advantage.

6.2.5 Examine the importance of understanding the

performance standards that need to be achieved to outperform
competitors, using techniques such as benchmarking.

6.3 Identify and evaluate 6.3.1 Explain the Product Life Cycle.
appropriate strategies for
emerging, maturing and 6.3.2 Critically evaluate the application of Porters generic
declining competitive strategies within the three competitive positions, including
positions. discussion of:
Cost leadership based strategies;
Differentiation based strategies, and
Focus based strategies.

6.3.3 Discuss the use of ProductMarket strategies, in particular

the application of the Ansoff productmarket scope matrix.

6.3.4 Discuss the risks associated with Diversification based


6.3.5 Consider alternative growth strategies, such as:

Internal development;
Joint development strategies, and
Mergers and acquisitions.

6.3.6 Examine the use of international growth strategies, such

as exporting, overseas manufacture, multi- national operations,
global operations.

6.3.7 Evaluate the issues involved in international growth

strategies, such as social responsibility, cross cultural
management, financial control and economic development

6.3.8 Explain the use of the success criteria of Suitability,

Acceptability and Feasibility (SAF Framework, Johnson and
Learning Outcome 7
The learner will: Understand the future challenges affecting strategic business management
and planning.

Assessment Criteria Indicative Content

The learner can:

7.1 Analyse global influences 7.1.1 Consider the dimensions of a global economic
and impact on environment, including factors such as:
internationalisation of Changing patterns of global trade, economic
strategic business development and modernisation;
management and planning. Development of regional economic groupings;
International impact on currencies and interest rates;
Impact of the influences of economic bodies such as
EU and G8, and
Convergence of buyer life styles and preferences.

7.1.2 Explanation of factors driving a new global economy,

such as:
Adoption of free trade and transition to market based
The creation of common regulations via supra
national organisations, such as EU and NAFTA and
the integration of world financial markets, and
Technological developments.

7.1.3 Analyse the consequences of market globalisation,

Societal consequences, such as the effect on national
cultures, environmental impacts and the loss of jobs,
Organisational consequences, such as new business
opportunities, risks of foreign competition, supplier
and customer sourcing and internationalisation of the
value chain.

7.2 Identify environmental 7.2.1 Consider organisations impact on the global

issues impacting upon environment and how this may affect overall business
strategy in the 21st century, strategy.
for example global warming,
scarce commodities, 7.2.2 Examine the impact of businesses on the environment,
emerging economies (BRIC). in particular the impact of emerging economies such as China
and India.

7.2.3 Consider the corporate social responsibility of

organisations in protecting the environment.

7.3 Critically evaluate the 7.3.1 Discuss the effect of globalisation on strategic
effect of these future management and planning.
challenges on strategic
business management and 7.3.2 Discuss the effect on strategic business management of
planning. the globalisation of business, including discussion of:
Impact of global competition and the need to
reassess competitive strategies;
Organisation and structure of businesses;
Changing managerial roles in global organisations;
Impact on growth opportunities and development
Impact on core competences and critical success
factors, and
Impact on the organisations value chain.

7.4 Appreciate the impact of 7.4.1 Explain the need for innovation in reaction to the
the increasingly competitive changing global environment.
global environment and the
need for innovation, 7.4.2 Examine the difference between intrapreneurship and
intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship.
entrepreneurship in
organisations. 7.4.3 Examine how these alternative approaches may help
organisations to compete globally.

Assessment method: written examination (unless otherwise stated).
Written examinations are of three hours duration.
All learning outcomes will be assessed.

Recommended Reading:
Please refer to the Tuition Resources section of the Members Area of the ABE website
( for the recommended reading for this subject.