MBA 695 Business Policy & Strategy
F2P 2011 DL
Dr Ruth Achterhof
PhD, Capella UniversityMA, Western Michigan UniversityBS, Texas Tech University
9 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time
Oct 17 - Dec 11
Textbook: Title: Strategic Management, 5/e
Authors: Gregory G. Dess, University of Texas at Dallas
G. T. Lumpkin, Texas Tech University
Alan B. Eisner, Pace University
Copyright year: 2010 McGraw Hill
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
- Each week chapters from the texts and a short instructor lecture will be
assigned as required reading.
- There will be two discussion questions in weeks 1- 8. Post your answers
in the Discussion thread for that week on the course web site. Each
question should be 100-150 words single spaced in your word processor. The
answer may include information from the text or handouts also should include
personal experiences and opinion to demonstrate critical thinking and
application. Sources used should be cited and referenced in APA format. They are due on Thursday before midnight CT
(Central Time). They are posted separately in individual threads for each
question. After posting your answers, begin making 2 or more replies to
other students' posts in each thread; the posts should occur over more than one
day; in a dialogue. 60
points per week (480 points total) (20
points for each question and 20 points for the discussion). .
Discussion Question rubric (60 points per week)
post made by
post made by Thursday
post made after Thursday
post was well developed and contained critical thinking, experiences, and/ or
sources for support. Excellent English.
post met minimum length and was fairly well developed. Most content was from sources without
analysis/ critical thinking by student. Some English errors.
post was brief or not well developed. Has no sources, experiences or evidence of critical thinking. Multiple
are not mentioned/ no APA
replies beyond two or more to peers
replies to peers
than two replies to peers
demonstrate critical thinking, application examples, and contribute substance
to discussion dialogue. Posts are made over several different days.
demonstrate some critical thinking, some application, and contribute
generally to discussion dialogue. Posts are made over two different days
do not demonstrate critical thinking, have no application example, and
contribute very little
to discussion dialogue. Posts are made in one class visit.
and replies completed by end of week Sunday
and replies not completed by end of week Sunday
39 points or less
Team Case Assignment- In weeks 3 and 6,
there is a case analysis completed by you and your team due to the Instructor
via the team discussion forum by Sunday midnight CT (Central Time). The case
analysis will be roughly 5-6 pages double
spaced body (plus title page and references page which do not count as
content). Cites and references in APA format. When citing information from the
case or other sources to support your analysis, be sure to cite the sources.
The case is developed in a 5 step process. Please consult the link in the class
web site “Team Case Assignment Overview”. 125points
per case (250 points total)
Team Case Assignment rubric (125 points each week 3 & 6)
descriptive overview of company and situation
some descriptive overview of company and situation
no descriptive overview of company and situation
is developed logically with well developed content
is developed somewhat logically with fair development of content
is not developed logically; content lacks good development
problems identified and alternatives presented are logical and appropriate.
problems identified and alternatives presented are not key points of the
case; others would be more appropriate.
problems identified and alternatives presented are not logical or appropriate
for the case situation.
recommendations section is supported by the analysis with a good explanation
of why the recommendation is the best solution. Implementation is addressed
well. The recommendation matches a
problem that was identified.
recommendations section is somewhat supported by the analysis with a fair
explanation of why the recommendation is the best solution. Implementation is
mentioned. The recommendation matches
a problem that was identified.
recommendations section is not supported well by the analysis and does not
have a good explanation of why the recommendation is the best solution.
Implementation is not addressed. The
recommendation does not match a problem that was identified.
totals 5-6 double spaced pages of body plus a title page and reference page
totals 4 double spaced pages or less of body plus title or reference page is
totals less than 3 double spaced pages of body plus title or reference page
is well written, with APA formatted
cites and references.
contains some writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or has some APA
has multiple writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or multiple
APA formatting errors
submitted to team forum on time by
Sunday night at end of week
submitted on time by Sunday night at end of week
submitted late; after Sunday night at end of week
90 points or less
Individual Project Case
In week 8, there is a detailed case analysis due to the Instructor via the Course
Drop Box by Tuesday midnight CT (Central Time). The case analysis will be
roughly 10-12 pages double spaced body (plus title page and
reference page which do not count as content). Cites and references in APA
format. When citing information from the case or other sources to support your
analysis, be sure to cite the sources. The case is developed in a 5 step
process. Please consult the link in the class web site “Individual Project Case
Assignment Overview”. (220
Individual Project Case Assignment rubric (220 points Due in week
recommendations section is somewhat supported by the analysis with a fair explanation
of why the recommendation is the best solution. Implementation is
mentioned. The recommendation matches
a problem that was identified.
totals 10-12 double spaced pages of body plus a title page and reference page
totals 10 double spaced pages or less of body plus title or reference page is
totals less than 8 double spaced pages of body plus title or reference page
submitted to course drop box on time
by Tuesday night of week 8
submitted on time by Tuesday night of week 8
submitted late; after Tuesday night in week 8
143 points or less
ETS Major Field Test
ETS Major Field Test is comprehensive outcomes assessments designed to measure
the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in the business
MBA major field of study.
ETS® Major Field Test for the MBA consists of 124 multiple-choice
questions, half of which are based on short case-study scenarios. Questions
employ materials such as diagrams, graphs and statistical data. Mathematical
operations do not require a calculator. Most of the questions require knowledge
of specific information drawn from marketing, management, finance and
managerial accounting, or a combination of these.
The test is taken during week 5-7 of the course. Please see the proctor letter and proctor
request form under the Doc Sharing tab.
Homework/Discussion (60 pts/wk)
Individual Project Case (week 8)
(2) (125 points each wks 3 & 6)
ETS Major Field
50 points 5%
90 - 100%
(900 to 1000 points)
89% (800 to 899 points)
79% (700 to 799 points)
69% (600 to 699 points)
59% and below
Late Submission of Course Materials: Late work loses 10% per day for each day late. Work more than 7 days late has no value. Initial posts to discussion assignments will earn points when late, but comments to peers made after the end of a week have no value; the class has moved on.
Calendar of Assignments:
Week 1 Activities:
1 and 13
to read financial statements and annual reports at http://www.ibm.com/investor/help/reports/introduction.wss and
1. How does the Mitch Caplan example (pp. 4-5) illustrate poor strategic
management? Explain your answer using
concepts and terms from Chapter 1. Using
any of the strategy overviews in this chapter (pp 15-16), briefly describe (1
paragraph) another company that also made a poor strategic decision. It may be a well known instance or one from
your personal experience.
2. Select one of the
12 topics from pages 481-484 of the text. Using your current employer or an
organization with which you are familiar, answer the bulleted questions under
one of the topics. Introduce your
answers with a short paragraph/overview of how easy or difficult this analysis
was to do, where/how you found the information, the process you used to develop
the answers, etc.
Week 2 Activities:
Readings: Chapter 2 and 3
analysis worksheet – handout in Doc Sharing
External Environment Scanning – handout in Doc Sharing
a company/organization that competes in an industry in which you are interested
or familiar. What are some of the recent
demands that stakeholders have placed on this company? Look for examples of how
the company might be trying to develop ‘symbiosis’ (interdependence and mutual
benefit) among its stakeholders. Use the
internet and library resources in your initial post.
Look up the vision and/or mission statements
of 3 companies/organizations in varying industries. Do you feel that the statements are
constructive and useful as a means of motivating employees? Do the statements
provide a strong strategic direction for the organization? Why or why not? Use the internet and library resources in
your initial post; annual reports on line may also be helpful.
Team Case #1: Complete step one, two and three of the case
Week 3 Activities:
Readings: Chapter 4
Park Library: Nahapiet, J. & Ghoshal, S. (1998, April). Social
capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational
advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23 (2) 242-266. Search for
article at http://www.park.edu/Library/
Choose a company/organization with which you are a familiar
or interested. What are some of the ways
it uses technology to leverage human capital? What are some policies and
procedures that it uses to enhance the firm’s human and social capital?
Select a firm that you believe its social
capital – either/ both within the firm and/or among its suppliers and customers
– is vital to its competitive advantage. Support your choice with examples using course concepts.
Team Case #1: Complete step four and five for the case
analysis. Due by the end of week 3; . in a post in your team forum: mark the
subject line :Final team post for
Week 4 Activities:
Readings: Chapters 5 and 6
Practices of Mergers and Acquisitions - handout in Doc Sharing
1. Choose a company/organization with which you are a
familiar or interested. Is the firm successful in following one or more generic
strategies? Why or why not? What do you think are some of the challenges the
firm faces in implementing these strategies in an effective manner?
2. Do either a or b: (a) Discuss some of the
challenges that managers must overcome in making strategic alliances
successful. Include a description of at
least one alliance and whether it would be considered successful or not and why. (b) Use the Internet and select a company/organization
that has recently undertaken a diversification into a new product market. What do you feel were some of the reasons the
diversification was implemented (leveraging core competencies, sharing infrastructure,
Week 5 Activities:
Readings: Chapters 7 and 8
Definition of Globalization – handout in Doc Sharing
Strategies in Entrepreneurial companies - http://strategy.sauder.ubc.ca/hellmann/pdfs/StratinEntVen01.pdf
Many firms fail when they enter strategic alliances with
firms in other countries. What are some
reasons for this failure? Include an
example. Some companies (McKinsey &
Company and BCG Group and international giants like Nestle and Cargill) have
been successful in international markets. How can Porter’s diamond explain their success? Apply the model to a company.
Team Case #2: Complete step one, two and three of the 2nd
team case analysis
ETS Major Field test: Complete this proctored exam
before the end of week 7.
Week 6 Activities:
9 and 10
R.S. (2000). Using Strategic Themes to Achieve Organizational
Alignment. The Balanced Scorecard Collaborative - handout in Doc
the figure on top of page 341, converted to an outline for posting, Do the
Experiential exercise on McDonald’s, pp. 340-341. After listing factors under management, board
of directors and shareholder activism, discuss whether the issues you listed
are favorable or unfavorable for sound corporate governance. Briefly apply this same analysis process to
a company/organization with which you are a familiar.
the organizational designs in Chapter 10, which most closely describes your
employer or a company/organization with which you are familiar. What change or modifications in the current design might enhance the
organization’s effectiveness? Why.. or if no change is needed/desirable,
why? What would be the best way to
implement change in your particular organization?
Team Case #2: Complete steps 4 & 5 and turn in the 2nd
case analysis in a post in your team forum. It is due by the end of week 6; mark the subject line :Final team
post for grading.
Week 7 Activities:
11 and 12
Tips to Drive Innovation by Managing Your
Knowledge - handout in Doc Sharing
Overby, S. (2005, July 15). What leadership
looks like. CIO Magazine. – handout in Doc Sharing
Identify 2 CEO’s whose leadership you
admire. Describe who they are and the organization they are with, their skills,
attributes, and effective use of power that causes you to admire them. Have these attributes helped the organization
develop and sustain a competitive advantage? What indication exists for you to feel that they have (or have
Choose a company/organization with which you
are familiar or interested. How would you rate this organization on its product
and process innovations and willingness to adapt? What impact does this rating and willingness
to adapt have for the organization’s overall effectiveness and profitability?
Week 8 Activities:
1. Reviewing the topics and
strategies covered in Chapters 1 - 12, what areas do you feel your employer (or
a company/organization you are familiar with) is adept at applying and using
competently? Which are weakly applied or
used? Why; give examples.
2. From your individual
Case analysis, post your set of recommendations, by pasting that portion of your
paper in to the discussion thread. Comment on the posts of several of your peers in a dialogue.
Individual Project Due: The student is to submit the
individual case analysis project to the Course Drop box by midnight on
Tuesday. Note that the recommendations
section of your paper is also posted to the Discussion for week 8.
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Last Updated:10/3/2011 12:27:37 PM