MBA 695 Business Policy & Strategy
F1P 2012 DL
Dr Ruth Achterhof
PhD, Capella UniversityMA, Western Michigan UniversityBS, Texas Tech University
9 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time
August 20 - October 14
Title: Strategic Management: Text & Cases, 6/e
Authors: Gregory G. Dess, University of Texas at Dallas
G. T. Lumpkin, Texas Tech University
Alan B. Eisner, Pace University
Copyright year: 2012 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
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)
Initial post made by
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
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 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)
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
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)
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
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
143 points or less
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. Please give your MFT your best effort.
What is the test like?
The ETS-MFT and CPC tests consist 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 My Park at the bottom of Request for ETS-MFT Proctor e-form.
What happens next?
The Park School of Business is using a random sampling system to assign capstone courses to the major field tests. You may take one, but not both of these assessments. Your professor will know and confirm if your class is scheduled for testing within the first week of the course. The assessment may be taken via proctored examination centers, taken online, or face-to-face in our course. These are typically administered during the 5th or 6th week of the course.
If you are required to take a proctored assessment, you can access the proctor request form through My Park. Click the Student (tab), and then click Request for ETS-MFT Proctor e-form link where detailed instructions are provided.
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.
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%
90 - 100% (900 to 1000 points)
80 - 89% (800 to 899 points)
70 - 79% (700 to 799 points)
60 - 69% (600 to 699 points)
59% and below
Late Submission of Course Materials:
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
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
1. Describe a company and a poor strategic decision they have made. It may be a well-known organization or one from your personal experience. Use concepts and terms from Chapter 1, including the lists of types of strategy analysis, formulation and implementation (pp. 12-15) as you identify elements of the decision and results.
2. Select one of the 12 topics from pages 486-490 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
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: Within your team, 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/
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 resulting in a final paper that is due by the end of week 3. Post the paper in your Week 3 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
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
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.
Team Case #2: Within your team, complete step one, two and three of the 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
1. Using the figure on top of page 349, converted to an outline for posting, Do the Experiential exercise on McDonald’s, pp. 348. 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 step four and five for the case analysis resulting in a final paper that is due by the end of week 6. Post the paper in your Week 3 team forum: 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
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:
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:8/3/2012 3:59:31 PM