MG401 Senior Seminar in Management

for U1HH 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


MG 401 Senior Seminar in Management


U1HH 2006 PA


Vassar, David D.


Senior Seminar in Management/Adjunct Faculty


Degrees/ Certificates BA Social Psychology
MA Management/ HR Development
PHR- Professional in Human Resources (SHRM)

Office Location

Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio Area “B” Bldg. 50

Office Hours

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Daytime Phone

Daytime Phone: (937) 305-5545


Semester Dates

May 29 - July 30, 2006

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:30 PM


MG 352 and EN 306B or equivalent

Credit Hours


"Crafting and Executing Strategy" 14th Edition. Thompson Strickland & Gamble. McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2005

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Course Description:
Consideration of managerial problems and/or policies. Topics include: the  role of values and assumptions in administrative situations, especially their  influence on administrators choices among possible ends and means; the  skills, attributes and personal qualities that enhance effectiveness of  responsible individuals as they work with others in organizations; and the  determinants of organization and executive action. Prerequisites: MG352  and EN306B or equivalent. It is strongly recommended that all major core  courses be completed prior to enrolling in this course. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's educational philosophy is one of heavy student interaction based on lectures, readings, examinations, internet, discussions and case studies.  The objectives of the case studies are met by continuous student involvement and proaction.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Define the term “strategic management”.
  2. List four phases of strategic management.
  3. List four basic elements of strategic management.
  4. Define the term “strategy”.
  5. Identify the five forces that shape competition as described by Porter.
  6. Explain what is meant by the term "competitive advantage".
  7. List three directional strategies.
  8. List the five stages of international development.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
Course objectives will be assessed by in-class discussions, case studies and exams.  Class lectures by instructor.  A good amount of assessment will be practicing the tasks of managerial analysis and decision making via use of actual studies, analysis and discussion by the entire class.

Each student's grade will be determined by the following:

Case studies..................30%
Oral Team Presentations.......20%
Participation and Attendance..10%

Total: 100%

100%- 90% = A
89% - 80% = B
79% - 70% = C
69% - 60% = D
Below 60% = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Each day an assignment is late 5 points will be deducted from the overall awarded grade. Example:  Student earns an 85 on a homework assignment or project but turns the work in a day late.  The student will only receive an 80.  

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students are expected to come to class fully prepared.  This means being on time, reading the prior weeks assignment, completing homework, and studying for quizzes and exams. Abusive or discriminatory language will not be tolerated.  Students who violate this rule will be dealt with accordingly.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Week 1-May 30 Chapters 1 & 2 (Case Study/In-class)

Week 2-June 6 Chapter 3 (Case Study/Short Report)

Week 3-June 13 Chapter4 (Case Study/In-class)

Week 4-June 20 Chapters 5 & 6(Case Study/Comprehensive)

Week 5 - June 27 Chapters 7 and Midterm Exam

Week 6 - July 5 Chapters 8 & 9 (Case Study/Short Report)

Week 7 - July 11 Chapters 10 & 11 (Oral Team Presentation)

Week 8 - July 18 Chapters 12 & 13(Case Study/Comprehensive)

Week 9 - July 25 Selected Case Study & Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:

Written Case Assignments

It is our practice during the term to assign two, sometimes three, written reports on assigned cases. Written reports are a valuable requirement from several perspectives. They give students a formal workout in

l    diagnosing a company's situation,

l    sizing up what problems/issues need to be addressed,

l    deciding what analysis to conduct,

l    applying the concepts and tools in the text chapters in careful and thorough fashion,

l    evaluating the pros and cons of various action alternatives, and

l    putting their thoughts in writing.

Moreover, a written report gives students valuable practice in preparing charts, graphs, and other visuals, in organizing their thoughts, and in trying to communicate their analysis and conclusions in a manner suitable for top management. And, finally, written reports provide feedback (a) to the students on how well they are doing and (b) to the instructor on how well the class in progressing.

To accomplish these objectives, you can choose among three different types of written case analyses:

1.       Short reports of about 500 words. These reports are prepared in response to a specific question and do not require a broad-ranging analysis and set of recommendations. Generally, we ask such questions as: What is the firm's strategy? What actions would you recommend management take to deal with its problem of . . .? Does the company need to change its organization structure to accommodate its change in strategy? Is this an attractive industry to be in?  What is your appraisal of competitive conditions? What issues do you think management needs to be worried about most? Short reports can be assigned for almost any case. The primary value of short assignments is in preparing students to do a better job on longer, more comprehensive written analyses.

2.       Comprehensive reports of about 1,000-2,000 words (3-6 pages) plus exhibits. These reports require that students go through the entire process of identifying (or diagnosing), evaluating, and recommending. We stress to students that their reports should deal with all of the major problems and issues raised in the case. Normally, we insist that these analyses be prepared as “reports to management” rather than as the commentary of a student analyst to the instructor. We think it is important for students to assume the posture of a professional manager writing to an audience of other practicing managers. On occasions we like to focus the entire assignment on “what to do and why.” Making students center their report on a set of well-supported recommendations to management has the advantage of involving them more directly in the case situation and keeping the student's analysis action-oriented.

3.   In-class written analyses. It is often useful to require students to do an in-class written analysis of either a case which has been discussed earlier (in part or in whole) or a case that is completely new. Because of the time constraints, it is obviously imperative here to select a case that can be read and analyzed in the allotted time. It is a matter of preference whether students are given a narrowly-focused question to answer or a broad-ranging analysis to conduct. The amount of time available for the exam (as well as the length and complexity of the chosen case) should determine which approach is taken. We use an in-class written case as a final examination and schedule it over a four-hour period. We have opted for closed-book instead of open-book exams; the only aid students can use is a calculator to expedite calculations and financial analysis. As an alternative to giving students a sight-unseen case for in-class analysis, you can assign the case to be read and studied beforehand and use the whole class-time for answering questions posed by the instructor. This technique works quite well when the class time available for examination is only 50 to 75 minutes, but it has the disadvantage of not testing the student's abilities independent of opportunities to consult with others.

In our course, we insist that written case analyses be prepared in a professional manner. By this we mean that papers should be concise, incisive, and literate and include appropriate supporting tables, charts, and exhibits. Summarizing and rehashing facts stated in the case is discouraged—except where factual restatement is an integral part of evaluation. We find that if we demand and insist upon a quality effort from students that their papers are more likely to reflect pride of workmanship and professionalism. 



Oral presentations consist of a 20-minute presentation followed by a 10-minute question-answer session. The nature of the presentation is indicated on the schedule of class activities. You and your team members should assume the role of consultants employed to present your analysis and recommendations to the assigned company's senior management—(you do NOT have the option of ignoring this assigned role). All team members are expected to make roughly equal contributions to the presentation, both the formal 20-minute presentation and the 10-minute Q&A portion.

All presentations should incorporate the use of attractive, effective PowerPoint slides.

Your grade on the presentation will be based on six factors:

1.   The clarity and thoroughness with which your team identifies and articulates the problems facing the company and the issues which management needs to address—12%

2.   The caliber (depth and breadth) of your team's analysis of the company's situation and demonstrated ability to use the concepts and tools of strategic analysis in a competent fashion—30%

3.   The breadth, depth, and practicality of your team's recommendations, degree of detail and specificity of recommended actions, caliber of supporting arguments—20%

4.   The caliber of your PowerPoint slides—13%

5.   The degree of preparation, professionalism, energy, enthusiasm, and skills demonstrated in delivering your part of the presentation—15%

6.   Your personal contributions to your team's answers to the questions posed by the class—how well you defend and support your team's analysis and recommendations during the Q&A period—10%. Every team member is expected to answer at least one question posed by the class (or else there is no individual contribution for the instructor to grade!!!!!!!).

Appropriate dress for presenters is business casual.



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Last Updated:4/28/2006 11:19:32 PM