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MBA 695 Business Policy & Strategy
Achterhof, Ruth


Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

Course

MBA 695 Business Policy & Strategy

Semester

S2P 2012 DL

Faculty

Dr Ruth Achterhof

Title

Adjunct Faculty

Degrees/Certificates

PhD, Capella University
MA, Western Michigan University
BS, Texas Tech University

Office Location

Florida

Office Hours

9 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time

Daytime Phone

386-677-6303

E-Mail

Ruth.Achterhof@Park.edu

rachterhof@gmail.com

Semester Dates

March 19 - May 13

Credit Hours

3


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

ISBN: 0-07-353041-7
Copyright year: 2010 McGraw Hill

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.


Course Description:
MBA 695 Business Policy and Strategy: This course covers the integration of applied research for managerial decisions and actions that determine the long-urn performance of a corporation. Focus includes strategy formulation, implementation, evaluation, and control. Topics covered are: development of an integrated operations strategy, analysis of cases and completion of a major project involving research and investigations. Prerequisites: MBA 515, MBA 526, MBA 527, MBA 615, MBA 630, MBA 633 and MBA 674. or equivalent approved by Program Director. (Formerly MG 695)

Educational Philosophy:

  Dr Ruth’s personal teaching philosophy is that every student contact is part of a learning commitment to keep Park University as a "school of choice." The student population is increasingly diverse; in race, ethnic background, age, ability and interests. Adult learners are focused on their personal goals and want applications based learning. 
 
Ultimately my teaching philosophy is to facilitate learning by reducing barriers, to help students succeed at the process of accomplishing the course objectives, and to continue their education at Park University with a positive learning experience.  

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Define the term strategy.
  2. Explain the relation between mission, vision, strategy, goals, objectives, and tactics.
  3. Identify the variables in Porter's model for competitive advantage.
  4. Identify two alternative generic strategies for competitive advantage.
  5. Identify the stages in the development of international business.
  6. Identify the stages of the product life cycle.
  7. Identify the stages of the organization life cycle.
  8. Identify the classifications for products and services by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) model.
  9. List and describe the classification of types of businesses in accordance with Miles and Snow's model.
  10. Perform financial analysis of a balance sheet and income statement to determine the liquidity, financial leverage, and return on investment.
  11. Develop three alternative strategies for the future direction of an organization.
  12. Analyze the use of human resources within the organization.
  13. Perform SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat) analysis of a business.
  14. Analyze an actual industry's potential for growth and expansion.


Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
 

Weekly Readings - Each week chapters from the texts and a short instructor lecture will be assigned as required reading.

Discussion Questions - 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)

Excellent

Fair

Poor

Initial post made by
Thursday

Initial  post  made by Thursday

Initial post made after Thursday

Initial post was well developed and contained critical thinking, experiences, and/ or sources for support. Excellent English.

Initial post met minimum length and was fairly well developed. Most content was from sources without analysis/ critical thinking by student. Some English errors.

Initial post was brief or not well developed. Has no sources, experiences or evidence of critical thinking. Multiple writing errors.

Sources cited/APA format

Sources mentioned with
APA attempted

Sources are not mentioned/ no APA

Multiple replies beyond two or more to peers

Two replies to peers

Less than two replies to peers

Replies demonstrate critical thinking, application examples, and contribute substance
to discussion dialogue. Posts are made over several  different days.

Replies demonstrate some critical thinking, some application, and contribute generally to discussion dialogue. Posts are made over two different days

Replies do not demonstrate critical thinking, have no application example, and contribute very little
to discussion dialogue. Posts are made in one class visit.

Assignment and replies  completed by end of week Sunday

Assignment and replies  completed by end of week Sunday

Assignment and replies  not completed by end of week Sunday

60-54 points

53-40 points

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)

Excellent

Fair

Poor

Contains descriptive overview of company and situation

Contains some descriptive overview of company and situation

Contains no descriptive overview of company and situation

Case analysis is developed logically with well developed content

Case analysis is developed somewhat  logically with fair development of content

Case analysis is not developed logically; content lacks good development

The problems identified and alternatives presented are logical and appropriate.

The problems identified and alternatives presented are not key points of the case; others would be more appropriate.

The problems identified and alternatives presented are not logical or appropriate for the case situation.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Content totals 5-6 double spaced pages of body plus a title page and reference page

Content totals 4 double spaced pages or less of body plus title or reference page is missing

Content totals less than 3 double spaced pages of body plus title or reference page is missing

Content is well written, with APA formatted
cites and references.

Content contains some writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or has some APA formatting errors

Content has multiple writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or multiple  APA formatting errors

Assignment submitted to team forum  on time by Sunday night at end of week

Assignment submitted on time by Sunday night at end of week

Assignment submitted late; after Sunday night at end of week

125-105 points

105-90 points

90 points or less

 

 

Individual Project Case Assignment- 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 points total)

Individual Project Case Assignment rubric (220 points Due in week 8)

Excellent

Fair

Poor

Contains descriptive overview of company and situation

Contains some descriptive overview of company and situation

Contains no descriptive overview of company and situation

Case analysis is developed logically with well developed content

Case analysis is developed somewhat  logically with fair development of content

Case analysis is not developed logically; content lacks good development

The problems identified and alternatives presented are logical and appropriate.

The problems identified and alternatives presented are not key points of the case; others would be more appropriate.

The problems identified and alternatives presented are not logical or appropriate for the case situation.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Content totals 10-12 double spaced pages of body plus a title page and reference page

Content totals 10 double spaced pages or less of body plus title or reference page is missing

Content totals less than 8 double spaced pages of body plus title or reference page is missing

Content is well written, with APA formatted
cites and references.

Content contains some writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or has some APA formatting errors

Content has multiple writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or multiple  APA formatting errors

Assignment submitted to course drop box  on time by Tuesday night of week 8

Assignment submitted on time by Tuesday night of week 8

Assignment submitted late; after Tuesday night in week 8

220-198 points

197-143 points

143 points or less

 

ETS Major Field Test

Park University’s School of Business has implemented a Major Field Test to assess the Business program. Within the accreditation standards for both Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Park University is required to assess program outcomes.

The method used for School of Business programs is the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Test (MFT) in Business assessment. This assessment will provide the School of Business with results that can be used to benchmark comparative programs and identify how well Park University students score on a standardized assessment. Scores are monitored over time and this data leads directly to changes in program design. It should be noted that this assessment is NOT the course final exam.

What is ETS-MFT?

The Major Field Test provides comprehensive outcomes assessments designed to measure the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in the School of Business graduate (MBA695) and undergraduate (MG495) capstone courses. These tests go beyond the measurement of factual knowledge by helping to evaluate students' ability to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships, and interpret material from their major field of study.

The MFT Proficiency Profile assesses student learning while making the best use of Park’s resources by measuring all the skills we value — critical thinking, reading, writing and quantitative — in a single test. The MFT Proficiency Profile is designed for national colleges and universities to assess their business outcomes.

The tests may be taken via proctored examinations online or face-to-face and will be administered in MG495 and MBA695 during the 5th or 6th week of the course.  For DL / Online courses, the proctor request form is located in My Park. Under the Student (tab), click on Request for ETS-MFT Proctor e-form link – detailed instructions are available at this site.

The 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.

The 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.

Grading:
 


Course Evaluation

 Points





 Weekly Homework/Discussion  (60 pts/wk)

 480 points     48%

 Individual  Project Case (week 8)

 220 points     22%

 Team Cases (2)  (125 points each wks 3 & 6)

 250 points     25%

ETS Major Field Test  (Week 5 or 6)

   50 points      5%

 Total Points

1000 points

 Grading Scale


 A =

 90 - 100% (900 to 1000 points)

 B =

 80 - 89%   (800 to 899 points)

 C =

 70 - 79%   (700 to 799 points)

 D =

 60 - 69%   (600 to 699 points)

 F =

 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. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
 

Course Calendar of Assignments:

Week 1 Activities:

Readings:
Chapters 1 and 13

How to read financial statements and annual reports at http://www.ibm.com/investor/help/reports/introduction.wss and
http://www.ibm.com/investor/tools/financials.phtml 

Homework/Discussion:

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
SWOT analysis worksheet – handout in Doc Sharing

 External Environment Scanning – handout in Doc Sharing

Homework/Discussion:

1.     Select 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. 

2.      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 analysis

Week 3 Activities:

Readings:
Chapter 4
In the 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/


Homework/Discussion:

1.     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?

2.     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 grading.

Week 4 Activities:

Readings:
Chapters  5 and 6
Best Practices of Mergers and Acquisitions - handout in Doc Sharing

Homework/Discussion:

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, etc.)?

Week 5 Activities:

Readings:
Chapters  7 and 8
Truest Definition of Globalization – handout in Doc Sharing

Strategies in Entrepreneurial companies - http://strategy.sauder.ubc.ca/hellmann/pdfs/StratinEntVen01.pdf  

Homework/Discussion:

1.     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. 

  1. Think of an entrepreneurial firm that has launched in the last 10 yrs – this can be a local company or one you find on the internet. What kind of entry strategy appears to have been used? How does the firm seem to have positioned itself relative to its competitors? Does it appear to be using a unique strategic advantage? Explain.

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 6.

Week 6 Activities:

Readings:
Chapters 9 and 10
Kaplan, R.S. (2000). Using Strategic Themes to Achieve Organizational Alignment. The Balanced Scorecard Collaborative - handout in Doc Sharing

Homework/Discussion:

1.     Using 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.

2.     Reviewing 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:

Readings:
Chapters 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

Homework/Discussion:

1.     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 not)? 

2.     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:

Homework/Discussion:

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 dialog. 

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. 

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

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 .

Copyright:

This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:2/27/2012 8:01:42 PM