MG495 Business Policy

for FA 2012

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MG 495 Business Policy


FA 2012 HO


Nordgren, Lee


Assistant Professor of Management


D.Sc., Privredna Akademija, Fakultet za Menadzment, Serbia
M.B.A., Harvard University, Boston, MA
M.Ed., Higher Education Administration, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Office Location

Norrington 203

Office Hours

Tu 9-10, 1-2, 4-7; Th 9-10; & by appointment

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

August 20, 2012, to December 16, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

10:10 - 11:25 AM in MC 32


EC 141, EC 142, EC 315, EN306B, FI 360, MG 260, MG 352, and MK 351

Credit Hours



Wheelen, T. L., and Hunger, J. D. (2012). Strategic management and business policy: Toward global sustainability (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. 
ISBN-10: 013215322X, ISBN-13: 9780132153225

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Michael E. Porter has several articles in Harvard Business Review that summarize his strategic concepts and tools. Here are some references.

Porter, M. E. (1980). Competitive Strategy. New York: Free Press.

Porter, M. E. (1985). Competitive Advantage. New York: Free Press.

Porter, M. E. (May-June, 1987). From competitive advantage to corporate strategy. Harvard Business Review, 43-59.

Porter, M. E. (1990). The Competitive Advantage of Nations, New York: Free Press.

Porter, M. E. (March-April, 1990). The competitive advantage of nations. Harvard Business Review, 73-93.

Porter, M. E. (November-December, 1996). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 61-78. READ SEPT. 25

Porter, M. E. (November-December, 1998). Clusters and the new economics of competition. Harvard Business Review, 77-90.

Porter, M. E. (March, 2001). Strategy and the Internet. Harvard Business Review, 62-78.

Porter, M. E. (January, 2008). The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, 78-93.

Porter, M. E. & Kramer, M. R. (December, 2006). Strategy & society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Business Review, 78-92. READ SEPT. 6

Porter, M. E., Lorsch, J. W. & Nohria, N. (October, 2004). Seven surprises for new CEOs. Harvard Business Review, 62-72.

Porter, M. E. & Millar, V. E. (July-August, 1985). How information gives you competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review, 149-174.

Porter, M. E. & van der Linde, C. (September-October, 1995). Green and competitive: Ending the stalemate. Harvard Business Review, 120-134.

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Course Description:
MG495 Business Policy: A series of business cases and materials dealing with a variety of problems confronting general management selected to illustrate the major areas of managerial concern: environmental opportunities and constraints, formulation of business policy, organization for business activity and marshalling of resources for achieving of the firm. 3:0:3 Prerequisites: EC141, EC142, EC315, EN306B, FI360, MG260, MG352, and MK351 or permission of instructor

Educational Philosophy:
The field of business management requires analysis, research, critical thinking, problem solving, and active oral and written communication. It also requires the ability to make diversity a competitive advantage. My educational philosophy incorporates a balance of the above and was heavily influenced by experience with the case method at Harvard, my professional work in leading organizations, and my decade abroad, mainly in rapidly changing environments. You should find me flexible but challenging, as I strive to bring out your greatest potential for your future.

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.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Evaluate sustainable competitive advantage using Porter's Five Forces.
  2. Evaluate ways an organization can use ethics and social responsibility to achieve competitive advantages.
  3. Analyze and recommend improvements to an organization's strategy using three or more methods from this course.
  4. Identify and assess techniques for implementation and control of strategy.
Core Assessment:

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 Rubric

Class Assessment:

Core learning outcomes and instructor learning outcomes will be assessed through case study analysis, midterm and comprehensive final examinations, strategic business analysis presentation (oral and written with research), and ACTIVE class participation that may include unannounced written or oral activities.  

     Chapter overviews are assigned, one per student, 5-8 minute presentations (5 minutes maximum if you have half a chapter) to highlight the most important and the most challenging concepts in the chapter that you believe merit extra attention in class. The chapter overview should be designed to stimulate class discussion. This does not require a written report; however, please give me your speaking notes or PowerPoint to remind me of your talk when I assign your grade. If you do prepare a PowerPoint, please post it in DocSharing for your classmates.

        The Case Study Analysis Presentation should be 8-10 minutes total for both team members outlining the key points of a case analysis and stimulating class discussion or debate. You are not to complete the full analysis with all solutions; rather, you are to present the key facts to set up the problem(s) with one or two analytical steps completed (might be easiest to show analysis on PowerPoint). The goal is to quickly summarize what the class needs to know to proceed with a class analytical discussion of the case. You will choose one date and case from the back section of the textbook.You may work in teams of two students.

        The Strategic Business Analysis should be done on a company or other organization that is interesting for you. In consultation with the professor, you will choose a company to analyze using data available to you or to the public, such as a recent annual report and other documents from the company's website. The business analysis is an opportunity to demonstrate how well you can apply the techniques studied in MG 495 to evaluate an organization, its sources of sustainable competitive advantages, and its strategy. The report and presentation should include critical analysis and action-oriented recommendations that address issues you have discovered. You may work in teams of three students. The report should be as long as it needs to be to present the information concisely. The presentation should be 12-15 minutes total for the whole team.

        Examinations will include a mix of question types; and the final exam, in addition to other question types, will include a mini-case to be analyzed in essay format. The CPC test will be taken outside of class time on the Internet. Every student will get a different set of questions.

Below are details about the CPC test

       Assessment of outcomes is required by our regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and our business school accreditor, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). To assess our business program, Park University’s School of Business has implemented a Major Field Test using both the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Peregrine Academic Services.

       The ETS Major Field Test (MFT) in Business assessment and the Peregrine Common Professional Component (CPC) assessments will provide the School of Business with data which we use to benchmark to comparative programs and make changes in our program designs. These major field tests measure your entire business education and are not intended to be the course final exam in your capstone course. We use these results to redesign and improve our programs. MG 495 HO will take the CPC. Each student will be required to complete the CPC in Week 11, 12, or 13.  Please give your CPC your best effort.

What is the test like?

       The CPC test consists of multiple-choice questions, about 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 material delivered in courses in marketing, management, finance, and managerial accounting, or a combination of these. There are sample questions available in MyPark at the bottom of Request for ETS-MFT Proctor e-form. Please note that the sample questions are for the ETS-MFT; however, these provide equally good information to prepare for the CPC. Please review the ETS-MFT questions even though you will take the CPC.

What happens next?

       The Park School of Business is using a random sampling system to assign capstone courses to the major field tests. You will take one, but not both, of these assessments. In Fall 2012, MG 495 HO is scheduled to take the Peregrine Common Professional Component (CPC) assessment. The assessment may be taken via proctored examination centers, taken online, or face-to-face in our course. Your exam will be administered during the 11th through 13th weeks of the course. You can access the proctor request form through MyPark. Click the Student (tab), and then click Request for CPC exam e-form link where detailed instructions are provided.

Information regarding this exam is provided below:

         Maximum logins: 3 (times).

         Maximum time per question: 3 minutes.

        There are 120 questions in the exam.

         Peregrine is non-proctored business core exam.

         When taking the exam, if a student opens another window or navigates away from the exam, the exam will stop and shutdown. The student will need to use another “login” to get back in and resume where s/he left off. Remember, you only have a total of 3 logins.

         The student should take the exam during the 11th, 12th, or 13th week of the course - no later than the end of the 14th week.


1. Go to

2. Enter case-sensitive password PARK-1234 (under Self-Registration for Exam Keys).

3. Select Proceed with Registration.

4. Select your currently enrolled course, MG495 Business Policy Exam.

5. Select Review Your Selection(s) and Proceed with Registration.

6. Select Proceed with Self-Registration.

7. Enter First Name, Last Name, and your E-mail address.

8. Select Review Registration.

9. Select Complete Registration.

10. To take exam:

      a. Select the hyperlink under Course/Exam heading.

      b. When finished, to get your points for the exam, save/print completion certificate.

      c. Post the completion certificate to the Dropbox in eCompanion.

      d. As a backup, email a copy to

Grades for all course assessments are given as points. These grades are summed together in order to derive a course cumulative final grade using the scale below:

90% - 100%


80 -   89.9


70 - 79.9


60 - 69.9


59.9 and below



Class Participation (5 points per class)


Chapter Overview (1/individual)


Case Study Analysis Presentation (2 students per team)


Strategic Business Analysis Written Report


Strategic Business Analysis Formal Presentation


Midterm Exam (October 9 in class)


 Peregrine Common Professional Component (CPC) Assessment  40

Comprehensive Final Exam (Dec.11, 10:15 - 12:15)


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 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.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

       There is no makeup for class participation points. No exceptions for any reason.
       A makeup exam will be entirely essay and more demanding than the original exam because I will take time to make you a different exam that will be given at the assigned time. I highly discourage you from asking for a makeup exam. Please plan to attend the two exam dates. Please let me know immediately if you have any schedule problem.
       It is in your best interest to keep current with your work. I recommend working ahead to prevent problems in case of unexpected health or computer problems. There are no excused late submissions. In this course, many of your assignments are designed to contribute to the learning of your classmates, so timeliness is your responsibility to all of us. All work submitted after the BEGINNING of the class in which it is due will be penalized. It is your choice whether the reason you are late is worth the penalty. The late penalty is 20% of the possible points if the work is submitted after the class beginning but before the ending of the class in which it was due. (This means never be late on a day in which you have an activity due!) The late penalty is 50% if you reschedule with me to a later class time. Otherwise, late work will not be accepted.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

        DO enter or leave very quietly if you are not able to attend the full class session. You can earn partial class participation points for partial attendance by quietly placing a note on my table with the date, your name, and the time you arrived and departed. If I do not get this note or if it does not reflect your correct, complete information, you will lose your participation points for the day.
        DO silence all electronic devices. If you must take an emergency call during class time, you must leave the room quietly and follow the above rules for not attending the full class session. If your electronic device makes noise during class, you lose your participation points for the day because you disrupted the class.
        DO participate actively, listen attentively, and refrain from all forms of disruptive activities during the class period. Disruptive activities can cancel out your positive class participation for the day and may result in my asking you to leave for the remainder of the class period.
        DO bring your electronic devices to class for use in class activities.
        DO NOT use electronic devices or any other materials during class time for unauthorized purposes.
        EXAM RULES : During an exam, I recommend you leave everything except a few pens at home. All other materials you bring including cell phones, backpacks, papers, etc., will be left at the front of the classroom during the exam. BE SURE YOUR DEVICES ARE SILENCED! IF WE HEAR YOUR DEVICE MAKE NOISE (vibration or other noise) DURING THE EXAM, YOU LOSE 10% OF YOUR EXAM POINTS FOR EACH OFFENSE because this disturbs your classmates.
        You MAY eat or drink quietly in class IF your food or beverage does NOT disturb anyone in any way (smell, noise, mess, etc.) You MUST immediately and completely clean up any mess. If there are problems with this policy, the right to eat or drink in class will be revoked for everyone.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


Textbook Chapters
(Reading = basic daily requirement)

Work Due



Tu: Introduction & Requirements
Th: Ch 12-Case Analysis                  Case 27 Dollar General

Tu: Get your textbook
Th: Prepare to apply analytical principles to case in class activity



Ch 1-Strategy, Environment & Decision Making

Th: Bring ideas for and Chapter Overview, Case Study Analysis, and Strategic Business Analysis.                   Ch 1 Overview: Phillip; Edna

Sept 3

Monday Labor Day

Monday Labor Day


Tu: Ch 2-Corporate Governance
Th: Ch 3-Ethics & Social Responsibility

Recommended:                                   Porter & Kramer (2006)

Tu: Ch 2 Overview: Kjongorzul & Zaya

Th: Prepare to evaluate how CSR can be a source of sustainable competitive advantage                                               Ch 3 Overview: Janay 3.1; Caleb 3.2



Ch 4-Environmental Scanning & Industry Analysis (Porter's 5 Forces) Case 12 Google - Joel & Leo

Prepare to apply Porter's Five Forces Analysis in class to identify sources of competitive advantage                           Ch 4 Overview: Alyssa 4.1,4.5; Jared 4.2; Temuulen 4.3,4.4,4.6,4.A   Case: All prepare, Joel & Leo present.



Ch 5-Internal Competencies, Value Chain & Competitive Advantage       Case 19 Harley-Davidson - Brittany & Derek

Prepare to apply value chain in a case analysis in class Ch 5 Overview: Andraia 5.1,5.2,5.5,5.6; Richa 5.3,5.4 Case: All prepare, Brittany & Derek Present



Tu: Ch 6-SWOT & Business Strategy Recommended: Porter (1996) What Is Strategy?                                           Case 24 Best Buy - Racheal & Juston
Th: Ch 7-Corporate Strategy, Growth & Alliances                                           Case 25 Gap - Olessya & Justin

Tu: Prepare to choose from Porter's 4 generic strategies in case analysis in class Ch 6 Overview: Brittany 6.1-3; Derek 6.4; Leo What Is Strategy? Case: All prepare, Juston & Racheal present   Th: Ch 7 Overview: Juston 7.1-2; Racheal 7.3-4 Case: All prepare, Justin & Olessya present



Tu:  Case 32 Panera - Nadia & Edna
Th: Exam Review

Tu: Prepare to participate in case analysis in class Case: All prepare, Edna & Nadia present
Th: Prepare 3 exam review questions for class



Tu: Midterm Exam
Th: Case 16 Carnival - Temuulen & Maggie

Tu: Study for Exam                            Th: Case: All prepare, Maggie & Temuulen present


Fall Recess

Enjoy your recess



Ch 8-Choosing Functional Strategies Case 31 Wal*Mart - Richa & Caleb

Tu: Ch 8 Overview: Patrick 8.1-2; Kayla 8.3-5                                                      Th: Case: All prepare, Caleb & Richa present

          Take Peregrine CPC-CommonProfessional 
Component assessment by Nov. 17



Ch 9-Implementation & Organizational Structure                                          Case 17 Chrysler - Andraia & Jeff Case 13 Yahoo! Phillip & Patrick

Tu: Ch 9 Overview: Justin 270-283; Olessya 283-295 Case: All prepare, Jeff & Andraia present                                     Th: Case: All prepare, Patrick & Phillip present



Ch 10-Staffing & Leading Culture Change                                                Case 7 Apple - Jared & Alyssa

Tu: Ch 10 Overview: Maggie 10.1, Joel 10.2                                                       Th: Case: All prepare, Alyssa & Jared present



Ch 11-Evaluation & Control            Case 22 Volcom - Zaya & Khongorzul Case 15 Marvel - Janay & Kayla

Tu: Ch 11 Overview: Nadia 11.1-2, Jeff 11.3-6 Case: All prepare, Khongorzul & Zaya present                                     Th: Case: All prepare, Kayla & Janay present



Tu: Exam Review

Tu: Prepare 3 exam review questions for class 


Thanksgiving Break

Happy Thanksgiving!



Tu: Strategic Business Analysis           1. Nadia, Phillip, Racheal                     2. Caleb, Edna, Juston                          3. Brittany, Derek, Maggie                   4. Jeff, Leonardo, Zaya   

Th: Strategic Business Analysis           5. Janay, Kayla, Richa                            6. Alyssa, Jared, Temuulen                   7. Justin, Khongorzul, Olessya              8. Andraia, Joel, Patrick

Tu: Paper due & presentations
Th: Presentations


Tu: Dec 11, 10:15-12:15

 Comprehensive 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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
In this course, confirmed plagiarism will result in a zero for the assignment or examination. I am excellent at catching plagiarism. Just don't do it!

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 "F".
  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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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:
 Please use American Psychological Association (APA) style for referencing, citing, and paper formatting.


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Explain what is meant by the term                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Provides Porter's definition of the term, a thorough explanation of how a firm has a superior position to that of competitors, and at least one actual example Provides Porter's definition and an explanation of competitive advantage which supports the superior position of the firm to that of competitors Provides only a definition of the term “competitive advantage” No answer or insignificant explanation 
Identify the five forces that shape competition as described by Porter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Identification and description of Porter's forces and an explanation of how each force impacts the competitive environment. Identify all five of  the forces as described by Porter. Identification of less than five of the forces. No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data. 
List three directional strategies.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
List of the three different directional strategies,  a description of each, and an explanation of the effect of use on the organization's plans. List  three directional strategies that may be used in planning by an organization. List less than three different directional strategies. No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data. 
Define the term “strategy”.  Define the term “strategic management”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Provide a complete definition of the term(s) and an explanation of how each term is used in the analysis of business plans. Provide a complete definition of the term(s). Provide a partial definition of the term(s). No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data. 
List the five stages of international development.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Provide a list of the five stages and explain how the stages may or may not be evolutionary. Provide a list of the five stages in order of development. Provide a list of less than five stages and/or not in the order of development. No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data 
*List four phases of strategic management. *List four basic elements of strategic management.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
*Provide a list of the four phases along with an explanation or description of the activities that occur during the respective phase.

*Provide a list of the four elements along with an explanation or description of  how the element is important to the overall management plan. 
*Provide a list of the of the four phases in order of  phasing.

*Provide a list of the four elements.

*Provide a list of less than four  phases and/or not in the order of  phasing.

*Provide a list of less than four  elements. 
*No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data

*No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
List four phases of strategic management.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Provides a thorough, detailed list, description and explanation of the company's phase of strategic management, the elements being used, the competitive advantage, and a prediction of the long range effect on the organization. Using the lists and an actual company case report, identify the phase of strategic management, the elements being used, the strategic direction, and the competitive advantage. Provides incomplete list(s), and partial  or incomplete identification of the phase of strategic management, the elements being used, the strategic direction, and the competitive advantage. No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data 
List the five stages of international development.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Submits a complete list, identifies the stage of development in an actual (or provided) business, and predicts the long range outcome or effect on the business. Provides a complete list and using the list, identifies the stage of international development in an actual (or provided) business. Provides an incomplete list and/or unable to use the list, to identify the stage of international development in an actual (or provided) business. No answer or a provision of  unrelated, insignificant data 


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Last Updated:9/5/2012 1:20:13 AM