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UMSD7T-15-3

Strategic Management
Level Three Core & Option

Business, International and Management


(BIM)

MODULE HANDBOOK

2018
Contents

How to do Well on this Module 2

Module Assessment 4

Module Reading and Resources 4-5

Teaching and Learning Strategy 6-7

The Seminar Programme Preparation Tasks 7-10

Lecture and Seminar Programme and Readings 2017-2018 11-12

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How To Do Well On This Module
It may seem obvious, but the way to succeed on the Strategy Module is to achieve the
learning objectives. The primary objective of the module is to develop your capacity to
integrate knowledge in order to analyze unstructured management problems from a strategic
perspective.

What Does This Mean? What Do You Have To Do?

The psychologist Bloom (1956)1 suggested that learning takes place at a number of different
levels. Bloom's taxonomy, slightly modified, describes the basis of the strategy course:

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING


APPLICATION
ANALYSIS
EVALUATION
SYNTHESIS

Analysis and evaluation are concerned with taking apart and rethinking our present
understanding. Synthesis is the process of re-combining the elements into a whole and new
understanding.

The Strategy Module is about developing the intellectual and conceptual skills necessary to deal in
a practical way with complex situations. This is not always an easy or comfortable process.

Developing the necessary skill takes practice and rehearsal. This is not the sort of module you
can 'mug up' at the last moment. To do well you will need to read the material as you go through
the module and practice applying what you know during the seminars.

In the coursework essay and the exam, high quality answers will offer evaluation and
synthesis. To pass the exam, students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and
understanding and some application to appropriate case studies; to pass the coursework essay
students should do these for the assignment set.
As a guide:

(i). Work which demonstrates Knowledge and Understanding is likely to earn


marks in the region 40 - 52%. Typically, students will rely mainly on re-
presenting or listing information as description of cases or articles with little
evidence of critical analysis or evaluation. Theory, when present, is used to
organise the data or to show that identified events are 'like' the theory. The work
of one or more authors may be summarised and re-ordered. There is little
evidence of critical evaluation, raising of questions or the identification of
inconsistencies and differences.

1
Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of
education goals. Longman.

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(ii). Work in which Knowledge and Understanding is applied in a structured and
analytical way and where there is evidence of critical analysis and evaluation is
likely to earn marks in the region 52 - 65%. Theory is used to produce insights
and understanding and connections are made between disparate elements.

(iii). Work which contains the elements of (ii) above in a highly developed form is
likely to earn marks in the region 65 - 70+%. Evidence that the insights and
understanding are linked and develop towards a new synthesis.

In summary, to do well you need to:

1. Know and Understand the theoretical material.

This means that you must read and understand the ideas contained in the
recommended reading. The amount of reading looks formidable. It is hard work but
you have articles written by some of the best authors on strategy. There is no better set
of course notes. The lecture programme is designed to help by covering and extending
the main concepts and by providing a route map to what is of key importance.

The Strategy Course is an applied programme. Knowing the material is necessary


but not sufficient to score a high grade ……

2. Practice Applying your knowledge to real life situations.

This involves attending and taking part in the seminars. In the seminar you will
work with a small group which is intended to develop your skills and enhance your
learning. Our assumption about seminars is that you will be: Present, Prepared,
Prompt, and will Participate. The skills and insights you develop in the seminar will
directly relate to your exam.

3. Develop your ability to Analyze and Evaluate.

Skills of analysis and evaluation involve thinking in a structured and critical way.
You will be expected to apply this way of thinking to the theoretical material you have
read and to your analysis of the case material. Hence it is essential to both prepare
for and participate in the seminars where you will develop these skills further.
These are key skills to develop if you are to do well in this course.

4. Work towards reintegrating or Synthesizing the output of your analysis.

In addition to the primary module objective there are a number of other learning objectives
which the module seeks to achieve. These are:

• To develop your ability to work co-operatively with other people to undertake the
above.
• To integrate your experience of work and other subjects.
• To give you an in-depth knowledge of a number of issues of current strategic
significance.
Module Assessment

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There are two assessments on the module.
1. Coursework Written Assignment

This assignment accounts for 40% of your final mark. The written assignment will draw on
material developed in the Seminars and Lectures. The brief for this assignment will be
given on Blackboard. The assignment is due to be submitted on 03rd April 2018.

2. Examination

The examination is worth 60% of your final mark for this module. The final examination will
draw on your ability to apply theory to practice as developed in the seminar programme
in this module. Please note that because the exam draws on the work in the seminars, active
participation in learning during the seminar will greatly assist you.

Module Reading and Resources


Students in this module are required to engage in critical reading of cases and core articles as set
out in the week-by-week reading list at the end of this Handbook. Other resources are provided
on Blackboard including links to various videos of relevance. Readings can be obtained from the
following sources.

1. Cases

You will need to access a series of cases to prepare for the seminars. These are available as
follows:
Seminar, Study Unit 0: A short case will be provided in class.
Seminar, Study Unit 1: A case is not used in this seminar; instead we will use a classic
reading that is available via the Library’s resources.
Seminar, Study Units 3 & 4: The Canon case used in these Study Units is available via
Blackboard in Study Units 3 & 4
Seminar, Study Unit 6: The Honda A case used in this Study Unit is available via
Blackboard in Study Unit 6
Seminar, Study Unit 8: The Honda B case used in this Study Unit is available via
Blackboard in Study Unit 8.
Seminar, Study Unit 9: The Grand Metropolitan case used in this Study Unit is available
via Blackboard in Study Unit 9.
Other Seminars: The other three cases are included in an online casebook that is available for
purchase from the European Case Clearing House (ECCH).

Southwest Airlines: In a Different World, Harvard Business School Publishing, 9-910-419


Encyclopaedia Britannica (A), Harvard Business School Publishing, 9-396-051

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Esquel Group: Integrating Business Strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility, Harvard
Business School Publishing, 9-307-076
To access this go to: http://www.thecasecentre.org/students/course/registerForCourse?ucc=C
%2D1617%2D25972%2DSTU Alternatively, you can visit:
http://www.thecasecentre.org/students/course/registerForCourse and enter the CoursePack
code C-1617-25972-STU
This information is also available as an electronic link from Blackboard under the ‘Module
Information and Overview’ tab.

2. Articles

You are required to read a series of articles each week (see ‘Lecture and Seminar
Programme and Readings 2017-18’ at the end of this Handbook). These readings are
available electronically, usually as pdfs, from the UWE Library, with a few for which we
have copyright clearance, available on Blackboard.
Please follow these instructions for accessing articles from the library’s electronic sources:
http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/library/

Select ‘Search for Journal…etc’, then enter author and title name as a minimum to
find the article. Add the Year or Journal name to narrow a search OR go to Business
Source Premiere via this route ‘Databases by Subject’

3. Support textbook

You are NOT required to purchase a textbook for this module however many students will
wish to use a textbook to support their learning, or to read on additional topics. Many
textbooks on strategy are located in the UWE Library and the following textbook is available
from the University Bookstore:
Godfrey, R (2016) Strategic Management: A Critical Introduction, London:Routledge. This
is a concise text containing the material to support many topics.

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Learning and Teaching Strategy
The strategy module is delivered over one semester with a one-hour lecture and a two-hour
seminar each week. Please attend the seminar for which you are scheduled.

The seminars are a very important part of the module. Working together with other students and
your tutor enables you to develop and practice the essential analytical and critical thinking skills
required to do well in this module. The process of analysis, critical thinking, evaluation,
weighing and evaluating evidence and forming judgements is not something you can just ‘learn
and remember,’ it requires practice and rehearsal.
As you will see from reading through this handbook, a key element of your assessment is linked
to success achieved through preparing for and participating in seminars. A key element of the
strategic management module is the close link developed between the lectures, seminars and
both the coursework written assignment and the final examination. Because of these links it is
important that you prepare for, attend and participate in seminars where we will work on the set
cases.

The Case Study Method:


The purpose of a case study in management education is to give students some sense of the
problems faced by managers as they seek to make decisions. In the strategic management
module the emphasis is not on decision-making but on the analysis leading to the decision.
Case studies are used to achieve four student-related objectives:
 You are able to apply knowledge from lectures and reading into a case study.
 You act less as one who receives facts and more as one who diagnoses problems,
analyses and generates new understanding.
 You learn to work out answers and solutions yourself and through discussions with
other students, rather than relying on a lecturer.
 You gain exposure to a range of firms and managerial experiences.

Preparing a case for a seminar

1. Begin your analysis by reading through the case to give you a general flavour of the
industry and the story the case is telling.

2. Undertake a detailed reading of the case making notes as you go through. Here you
are attempting to identify the key elements of the case; what is significant in this case?
In doing this analysis it might be useful to look at the sub-titles in the case, these are
sign-posts used by the case writer to highlight sections of the case study. Students are
expected to use data and evidence contained in the case to support their analysis and a
good starting point is to identify the relevant evidence.

3. Having identified the key elements of the case, you then need to link these with the
theoretical material explored in the module readings. In analysing the case you are
seeking to develop a new understanding of the narrative contained within the case,

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using theoretical materials. In this module, much of this learning occurs during the
seminars.

4. Finally, you should reflect on the usefulness of the theoretical models in helping you
to analyse the case study and consider how these models might be developed or
critiqued.

The purpose of case study method teaching is not to identify ‘the answer’ to the case.
Students will, we hope, develop different interpretations of the case and bring these to the
seminar to be discussed. It is important in seminars to be tolerant of these different
interpretations and to recognise they can help to bring a greater understanding of the case.
Expect your ideas and views of the case to be challenged by others as that is what seminars
are for, but those challenges have to be made in a sympathetic manner; unpleasant or
disrespectful comments will not be tolerated.

The Seminar Programme Preparation Tasks


One of the key learning outcomes of strategic management module is to encourage students to
engage in analysing, evaluating and synthesising the sorts of unstructured management problems
you will experience at work. This will be achieved through preparation for and participation in
seminars. In undertaking this case preparation you will learn how to engage in the analysis of
unstructured management problems, in the form of case studies. This work will form the basis
of your seminar activity, which involves continuing the case study analysis in a group situation.
It contributes towards your success in both the coursework written assignment and the final
examination.

In advance of each seminar you should read the case study and complete the tasks set below. As
evidence of this preparation you should aim to prepare a minimum of two sides of A4 notes for
each seminar and bring these notes to the session. You are advised to add to these notes
during and after the seminar and to keep a copy of these to assist you in revising for your
exam in January.

Seminar, Study Unit 0: Introduction and the Case Method


No preparation required, an in-class case will be provided.

Seminar, Study Unit 1: What is strategy?


There is no case study for this seminar; instead, in advance of the seminar, you should read
the following article as the basis for in-class activities: Porter, M.E. (1996). What is strategy?
Harvard Business Review, 74(6): 61-78.

In reading the article, please make notes on what you consider to be the key arguments. You
should write up your notes onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to the
seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.
Seminar, Study Unit 2: South West Airlines
A copy of this case is available via the European Case Clearing House (ECCH).

In advance of the seminar you should read the case study carefully and prepare an analysis based
on the model presented in Lecture 2 (Study Unit 2) and the required reading. Please ensure you
have read the required reading before attempting to complete the case preparation.

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Please focus your seminar preparation on identifying evidence relevant to Porter’s ideas of the
Value Chain, Activity Mapping and Order of Fit. A WORD document ‘worksheet’ is available
on Blackboard in Study Unit 2 that you can use to structure your data analysis. You may bring
this as your notes to the seminar where it will form the basis of your discussion.

In the seminar we will then draw upon your preparation to assess the overall competitiveness of
the industry and what this tells us about what firms need to do in order to succeed in the
industry.

Seminar, Study Unit 3: Canon


A copy of this case is available via Blackboard (Study Unit 3).

In advance of the seminar you should read the case study carefully and prepare an analysis of
the Canon case based on the material in Lecture 3 (Study Unit 3) especially and the required
reading material available from UWE’s library resources: Barney, J. (1995) Looking Inside
for Competitive Advantage, Academy of Management Executive, 9, 4, pp 49-61

We will focus the class around the following two questions:

i) Identify the competences that Xerox appears to have. Drawing on Barney’s VRIO framework,
evaluate whether these competences can support sustainable competitive advantage.
ii) Identify the competences that Canon appears to have. Drawing on Barney’s VRIO
framework, evaluate whether these competences can support sustainable competitive advantage.

You should write up your notes onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to the
seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.

Seminar, Study Unit 4: Canon


A copy of this case is available via Blackboard (Study Unit 4).

This case examines Canon’s internal capabilities from perspectives that build on the traditional
static RBV approach.

In advance of the seminar you should read the case study carefully and prepare an analysis of the
Canon case based on the material in Lecture 4 (Study Unit 4) and the required reading material
available from UWE’s library resources: Prahalad, C.K. and Gary Hamel, The Core Competence
of the Corporation. Harvard Business Review, vol. 68, no. 3 May - June 1990, pp. 79-91. In this
seminar we are specifically interested in Canon, and how they have organised and built their
competences over time.

You should write up your notes onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to the
seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.
Seminar, Study Unit 5: Coursework Assignment “drop-in sessions”
To provide you with reading time to prepare for the coursework assignment, no case
preparation is required this week. Tutors will be available in-class during the seminar to meet
with you to answer specific questions that you may have on the coursework assignment.

Seminar, Study Unit 6: Honda A

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The Honda A case study is available via Blackboard in study unit 6.

In advance of the seminar you should read Honda A carefully and prepare an analysis of
Honda based on the material in Lecture 7 (Study Unit 7) and the required reading: Langlois,
R. N. (1999). Scale, scope and the re-use of knowledge, in Dow, S. C., & Earl, P. E.
Economic Organization and Economic Knowledge, Vol. 1: 239-254. Edward Elgar.

You should explore the underlying reasons for Honda’s success and focus your case preparation
on identifying evidence to support your analysis.

You should write up your analysis onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to
the seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.

Seminar, Study Unit 7: Encyclopaedia Britannica


A copy of this case is available via the ECCH. Please note, when you read the case the first part
“The Paper Age” is essentially background history.

In advance of the seminar you should read the case study carefully and prepare an analysis of
the Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) case based on the material in Lecture 6 (Study Unit 6)
especially and the required reading material available from UWE’s library resources:
Christensen, C. M., & Rosenbloom, R. S. (1995). Explaining the attacker’s advantage:
technological paradigms, organizational dynamics, and the value network. Research Policy,
24(2): 233-257.

You should focus your case preparation on identifying evidence to demonstrate how EB
adapted to technology change – both positive and negative. We will then use your evidence in
the seminar to determine whether the various theories of how firms adapt, or otherwise, to
technology change provide us with insight to what happened at EB. In analysing the case in
the seminar we will be looking at what has happened to this long established firm and draw
conclusions about what this tells us about the impact of technology change upon industries
and firms.

You should write up your notes onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to the
seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.

Seminar, Study Unit 8: Honda B


The Honda B case study is available via Blackboard in Study Unit 8.
In advance of the seminar you should read Honda A and Honda B carefully and prepare an
analysis of Honda based on the material in Lecture 8 (Study Unit 8) and the required
reading: Mintzberg, H. & Waters, J. A. (1985). Of strategies, deliberate and emergent.
Strategic Management Journal, 6(3): 257-272.

You should explore the underlying reasons for Honda’s success and focus your case preparation
on identifying evidence to support your understand of the strategy process followed by
Honda. We will then use your evidence in the seminar to determine whether this is the ‘best’
theoretical explanation of the strategy process and explore other possibilities.

You should write up your analysis onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to
the seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.

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Seminar, Study Unit 9: Grand Metropolitan
A copy of this case is available via Blackboard (Study Unit 9).

In advance of the seminar you should read the case carefully and prepare an analysis of the
Grand Metropolitan case based on the material in Lecture 9 (Study Unit 9) and the required
reading: Prahalad, C.K. and Gary Hamel, The Core Competence of the Corporation. Harvard
Business Review, vol. 68, no. 3 May - June 1990, pp. 79-91. The case explores the historical
development of Grand Metropolitan over time. In preparing for this seminar you should focus
on two things:

(a) Identifying evidence to demonstrate how Grand Met has developed and changed its
business portfolio overtime (i.e. the type of businesses it owns); and

(b) Identifying evidence to demonstrate how Grand Met has developed and changed how it
manages (or co-ordinates) the businesses overtime. It may be useful to structure your
evidence by considering how Grand Met is organised under each of the three CEOs
discussed in the case.

You should write up your analysis onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to
the seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.

Seminar, Study Unit 10: Esquel


A copy of this case is available via the ECCH.

In advance of the seminar you should read the case carefully and prepare an analysis of the
Esquel case based on the material in Lecture 10 (Study Unit 10) and the required reading:
Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). Strategy and society: The link between competitive
advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Business Review, 84(12): 78-92.

You should write up your analysis onto a minimum of 2 sides of A4 and bring this material to
the seminar, where it will form the basis of your discussion.

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10
Lecture and Seminar Programme and Readings 2017-18

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Lecture Programme Seminar Programme
Study Study Required Reading for
Topic Required Reading
Unit Unit the seminar
1 Introduction Porter, M.E., 1980. Competitive strategy: Techniques for analyzing industries 0 Introduction
and Strategy and competition. New York: The Free Press. - Chapter 1: The Structural (in-class material)
as Choice: Analysis of Industries: p3-33. [Library Shelf Number: 658.401 POR] Copy
External on Blackboard.
2 Strategy as Porter, M.E. (1985). Competitive advantage: Creating and sustaining superior 1 Porter, M.E. (1996).
Choice: Fit performance. New York: The Free Press. Excerpts: ‘Value Chain’. [Library What is strategy?
Shelf Number: 658.401 POR] Copy on Blackboard. Harvard Business
Review, 74(6): 61-78.
3 RBV and Barney, J. (1995) Looking Inside for Competitive Advantage, Academy of 2 Southwest Airlines: In
Competences Management Executive, 9, 4, pp 49-61 a Different World
1. (ECCH)

4 RBV and Prahalad, C.K. and Gary Hamel, The Core Competence of the Corporation. 3 Canon Case
Competences Harvard Business Review, vol. 68, no. 3 May - June 1990, pp. 79-91. (available on Blackboard
in Study Unit 3 & 4)
2.
5 Global Lessard, D., Lucea, R., & Vives, L. (2013). Building your company’s capabilities 4 Canon Case
Strategy – A through global expansion. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(2): 61-67. (available on Blackboard
in Study Unit 3 & 4)
competencies [NOTE: when you get to this journal via the UWE Library, you need to follow the links
perspective to correct volume/issue and scroll to bottom of the web-page to find the article.]
6 Scale and Langlois, R. N. (1999). Scale, scope and the re-use of knowledge, in Dow, S. C., No Seminar 5:
Scope – & Earl, P. E. Economic Organization and Economic Knowledge, Vol. 1: Study Coursework
Implications 239-254. Edward Elgar. (Copy available on Blackboard) Unit Assignment Drop-in
for Strategy Sessions

7 Strategy and Christensen, C.M., & Rosenbloom, R.S. (1995). Explaining the attacker’s 6 Honda (A) Case
Technology advantage: technological paradigms, organizational dynamics, and the (available on Blackboard
in Study Unit 6)
Change value network. Research Policy, 24(2): 233-257.
8 Strategy Mintzberg, H. & Waters, J. A. (1985). Of strategies, deliberate and emergent. 7 Encyclopaedia
Process Strategic Management Journal, 6(3): 257-272. Britannica Case (ECCH)

9 Corporate Prahalad, C.K. and Gary Hamel, The Core Competence of the Corporation. 8 Honda (B) Case
Strategy Harvard Business Review, vol. 68, no. 3 May - June 1990, pp. 79-91. (available on Blackboard
in Study Unit 8)
10 Strategy & Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). Strategy and society: The link between 9 Grand Metropolitan
Sustainability competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Case
Business Review, 84(12): 78-92 (available on Blackboard
in Study Unit 9)
11 Networks, Baldwin, C. Y., and Clark, K. B. (1997). Managing in an age of modularity. 10 Esquel case
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Alliances and Harvard Business Review. 75(5): 84-93. (ECCH)
Modularity
12 Exam Review Handbook and Blackboard 12 Exam Preparation