MG 495 Business Policy
S1T 2008 DLA
Van Hoesen, Garrett
Senior Instructor of Management/Online Faculty
Bachelor of Science in Finance (BS) - Laverne UniversityMasters of Business Administration (MBA) - Golden Gate University
Online Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:00 PM EST through 11:00 PM EST and Sunday 6:00 PM EST through 9:00 PM EST
1/14/2008 through 3/9/2008
EN306B and completion of business/management core or permission of the instructor
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
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Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the course's Core Learning Outcomes. The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities.
For this course, the core assessment is a Comprehensive Final Examination to be administered in all sections of MG495. This exam is worth at least 30 percent of the student's final grade and will test students' mastery of the Core Learning Outcomes (as listed on this syllabus) through definitions, essay, and/or multiple choice questions.
This core assessment is a CLOSED BOOK, CLOSED NOTES comprehensive examination that must be administered and proctored in the classroom and may not be given as a take-home examination. Students should not have access to the exam or its questions before it is administered. The duration of the exam can be no longer than two hours.
No calculators, computers, or materials other than a writing instrument may be used for the exam; this applies to all students, regardless of whether the exam is for on-line or face-to-face students. Completion of the exam is strictly individual; students may not work in groups to complete the exam.
Link to Class RubricClass Assessment: The class assessment will be comprised of Case analysis, responses to discussion questions, classroom participation and two examinations. The midterm examination is an open book examination. The comprehensive final is NOT a take-home test and is a closed book and closed notes examination.
Weekly Discussion Questions
See course schedule & overview
Written Case Analysis
Final Examination (Proctored)
Throughout the course
Information on the proctored Final examination - The comprehensive final is not a take-home test and is a closed book and closed notes exam. Failure to take a final proctored exam will result in an automatic "F" grade for the course. It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for an acceptable proctor, by the end of the 5th week of the term. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found at the Park University Website. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test. An examination will be taken in person during the 8th week of instruction at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location approved by your Instructor where Park University sites are not available.
All final exams will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes. If calculators are allowed, they will not be multifunctional electronic devices that include features such as: phones, cameras, instant messaging, pagers, and so forth. Electronic Computers will not be allowed on final exams unless an exception is made by the Associate Dean.
The grade for students will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course. The proctored final exam must address only material which the student has been taught in class.
The course grade for students will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course in accordance with the weighting of the various requirements as stated in the syllabus.
All final exams in all School of Business and Management courses will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes. They will constitute 30% of the total course grade and will not be a take-home exam. They will be completed during the test week in the period designated by the registrar or by the Proctor in the case online courses. If calculators are allowed, they will not be multifunctional electronic devices that include features such as: phones, cameras, instant messaging, pagers, and so forth. Electronic Computers will not be allowed on final exams unless an exception is made by the Dean of the School of Business and Management.
Basically, late work is NOT accepted. However, there may be cases where deviation may be allowed. The major point is that late work should be the exception and not the rule and will only be accepted on a case by case basis with instructor approval. Therefore, the following applies to ALL late work, unless prior arrangements have been made with and approved by the instructor: All late work will be downgraded at the discretion of the instructor, up to 20 percent of the value of the assignment depending on how late the assignment is submitted. Late submittal of discussion postings is not allowed except in unusual circumstances and with the prior pproval of the instructor. No late work will be accepted after the end of week 8. Unless all required work is submitted, the student could receive a failing grade for the course. N.B.: Since this is a "CASE STUDY" Course, failure to complete all the case studies (COULD) or the proctored final examination (WILL) result in failure of the course!!
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
This course is offered on-line, over the Internet, using the eCollege On-line computer service. Students are expected to devote a minimum of two hours per class week participating in this course. This can be accomplished by being logged on to the classroom and reviewing/commenting on the discussion inputs from fellow students; posting your own assignments, along with visiting different web sites listed in the "References" part of the course and others that might be identified in the weekly case hints. This time also should include the "off-line" preparation of student's responses to be posted in the classroom.
A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday. The first week begins the first day of the semester and ends at midnight MDT/MST (as applicable) the following Sunday. Subsequent weeks will begin and end the same way. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed and successfully submitted to the dropbox, or emailed, so that they are in my hands on the due date. (PLEASE only use email as a last resort!). If you ever have problems transmitting your assignments to me, telephone me or email me immediately, and we will get the problem solved. Just because your computer breaks is NO EXCUSE for you to be late in submitting your work to me. Libraries have computers with Internet access, and there are tons of places that have fax capability.
Homework - Will consist of conducting a case analysis of an assigned case, posting responses to a weekly discussion question(s) located in the classroom thread, and making a peer responses to other student's discussion question postings. (If there are two discussion questions for a given week, then you must make a peer response to each discussion question.
Discussion Questions –The discussion questions for weeks 1 thru 4 will be researched and responded to as an individual effort. For the discussion questions for weeks 5 thru 8, the class will be divided into groups to afford students the opportunity to engage in group decision making.
Case Analysis - As the course description states, Business Policy is a series of business cases. The ability to do well in this course requires that you are able to analyze and discuss real business situations. These cases are used to provide vicarious business experiences. They provide the real-world data necessary to understand strategic management concepts. Whether or not you have been introduced to the case method, the purpose of this discussion is to help you prepare cases more effectively. Some of you may discover that many of the reports you have prepared for the organization for which you work will look remarkably like the case reports you will prepare for this course. Good case preparation requires mastering three essential skills. First, analyze the business situation thoroughly and systematically.
Second, ideas must be presented as logically structured arguments. This forces you to build the report with a strong foundation so that its recommendations follow from the material that precedes them.
Third, communicate the report effectively. All three components must be present for the case report to be as complete as possible. Strategy cases require several types of analysis dealing with interrelated problems. In Business Policy cases you are not afforded the luxury of looking at only one portion of a company; you must consider the entire company. Try to adopt the role of a CEO and become a strategic manager. Each firm exists in an environment presenting opportunities and threats for the business. Treating the firm as a set of complementary capabilities and people brought together to fulfill an overall mission is the basic approach of business policy. Depending on how these capabilities and people are combined defines the relative strengths and weaknesses of the firm. However, only certain strengths give the firm a differential advantage. Identifying these competitively relevant factors is a critical part of the analysis. As the CEO, you will evaluate the viability of a firm's strategy and if deficient, consider and choose from alternative strategies so that the firm fits its environment and can achieve its objectives.
Tools that you should and are expected to use to assist you in your analysis of the cases are:
Preparing Business Policy Cases - When writing a Business Policy case report, at least seven steps are necessary, and this format MUST be followed:
1. Evaluation of current objectives and current strategy. This is the first critical step in the process. If you don't know the target (or targets) it is impossible to logically proceed. What is the firm trying to accomplish (their goals) and how are they going about doing this?
2. The company's current strengths and weaknesses. This permits the identification of the current differential advantages and disadvantages. What do they do well and what do they not do so well?
3. Analysis of current environmental opportunities and threats. This requires an in-depth analysis of the current business environment of the company. What opportunities are there for them in their industry or others that they may take advantage of? What is their competition or the government or the economy doing that can harm them?
4. Stakeholder analysis. This is a systematic review of the various stakeholders in the firm. Stakeholders are any group of folks (customers, employees, suppliers, etc (lots of different groups) that are or can be impacted by what our firm does.
5. Identifying current problems. Use all of the previous analyses to determine if the current strategy is consistent with the external environment. This includes both parts of the external environment: direct and indirect. What "snakes" are there that can "bite" us?
6. Alternative strategies. This is the opportunity to develop several alternative strategies for the firm. This is not a pie in the sky approach to strategy building. It is necessary to compare the alternative strategies with the firm's objectives, look carefully at the competitive advantages of the firm, the risk involved, and if the alternatives can be implemented. What can we do differently than what we are doing now?
7. Recommendations. Straightforward, clear cut approaches should be at the heart of this section. What do you recommend that we do from what you proposed in item #6 above?
NOTE: I will post a document in the doc sharing are of the course titled "Case Analysis Guidance." Please print this document, and use it to assist you in preparing every case study!
Format Requirements - Business Policy reports must adhere to the following requirements. 1. The case reports will consist of two separate items, a cover memo and written report. The cover memo is also known as the Executive Summary (ES), which is addressed to the CEO of the company. Restrict the memo to one page single-spaced. Two or three paragraphs are sufficient to briefly describe the problems analyzed. Explain your evaluation methodology and then summarize the recommendations. The written report should also be single-spaced with normal margins and spacing. When you submit your case study, please include the ES and the case study in one file. 2. Quantitative information can usually be placed in exhibits or appendices at the end of the report.
Week 1: Basic Concepts of Strategic Management
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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86Academic honesty is the prerequisite for academic study. Academic dishonesty is inimical to the spirit of a learning community. Hence, Park University will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers, and other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park University.
Plagiarism: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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85Plagiarism, the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one's original work, sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance. This does not make it less serious. However, students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their course faculty member. If you quote or paraphrase someone else's work you must give the source credit through a footnote. Ignorance is no excuse. Do not simply download the contents of a web page or an article from the web into your paper. Do not misrepresent someone else's work as your own. Such actions constitute academic dishonesty. When you quote a source be sure to provide the proper citation following the APA Manual recommendations. Failure to heed this warning will result in a grade of 0 for that assignment, a grade of F for the course, and notification of the appropriate academic dean for further disciplinary actions. Again, if you are uncertain about proper documentation of sources, please e-mail me.
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
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: http://www.park.edu/disability .
Last Updated:12/17/2007 8:50:21 PM