MG495 Business Policy

for S1AA 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


MG 495 Business Policy


S1AA 2008 LC


Allen, Robert E.


Professor of Management and Human Resources


B.S. in Business Administration, SUNY at Buffalo
MBA, SUNY at Buffalo
Ph.D. in Management, SUNY at Buffalo

Office Location

8002 Corinth Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78413

Office Hours

Whenever needed

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

January 14 to March 9, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

4:45 - 7:25 PM


EC141, EC142, EC315, EN306B, FI360, MG260, MG352, and MK351 or permission of instructor

Credit Hours



Fred David, Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, 11th ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2007, ISBN 0-13-186949-3

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS 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.
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Course Description:
A series of business cases and materials dealing with a variety of problems confronting general management selected="true"="true"="true" 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

Strategic management involves the activities of the firm intended to answer three basic questions: Where are we as an organization at the present time? Where do we want this organization to go? And, how are we going to move the organization from where we are today to where we want it to be in the future?   Unlike your other classes that focused on the various functions of the organization such as accounting, finance and marketing, strategic management requires an overall organizational perspective. Strategic management takes place at the highest level of the organizational hierarchy.

A strategy is like a game plan in sports. It represents the organization’s approach to gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage. A competitive advantage is when a firm generates profits greater than the average in the industry in which it operates and then sustains this level of profitability over time. Organizations able to do this have an advantage over the other firms in their industry. Above average profits will make them more attractive in capital markets. It also helps ensure that the resources (e.g., financial, technological, R & D, human capabilities) needed to take the steps necessary to maintain their competitive position will be available. If businesses operated in a static environment, it would be necessary to establish a firm’s strategy once and then just implement it. However, the business environment today is extremely dynamic. Changes in areas such as social conditions, technology, information processing, consumer tastes, and global politics and economics shape the conditions in which businesses operate and determine what organizations need to do in order to develop a competitive advantage. As a result of these discontinuities in the business environment, today’s organizations need to be thinking strategically on an on-going basis.

The purpose of this class is to study the strategic management process. This process is implemented at the top management level of the organization. It includes the activities by which organizations determine how they are going to develop and maintain a competitive advantage. The question “where are we today” is answered by strategic analysis. Through strategic analysis, businesses review their goals, examine the industry in which they operate, and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. To determine “where do we want to go,” organizations formulate strategy. A strategy represents a set of decision the organization makes concerning how it intends to secure its competitive advantage, or in other words, achieve its objectives. Strategy formulation involves the establishment of specific goals the organization intends to achieve and examines alternative ways of achieving those objectives.   Strategy implementation addresses the “how are we going to get there” question. For strategic decisions to influence the outcomes of the organization, the must be effectively implemented. To do this, organizations need to be properly structured, resources need to be effectively allocated, compatible values need to be in place, and mechanisms for change established and made operative. The assumption underlying this course is that the likelihood that organizations will be successful will be enhanced if they systematically engage in the strategic management process by performing strategic analysis, strategy formulation, and strategy implementation activities on an on-going basis.

Educational Philosophy:

When approaching MG 495, Business Policy, I assume that I am educating future managers. When serving as managers, either while in the Air Force or as part of civilian life, you have to be prepared to compete effectively with the “best and the brightest.” Some of the people with whom you will interact will have degrees from the best schools in the country. You have to be prepared to compete effectively with them. This competition can be very demanding.   My job is to prepare your for this competition, and by doing so, contribute to your success in life and as managers.

My intention is to offer you a rigorous course through which you will acquire the subject matter knowledge needed to be an effective manager. Because everyone does not learn in the same way, I will employ a number of different approaches. In addition to reading the textbook, we will utilize on line discussions, in class discussions, oral presentations with visual support. We will view videos, perform on-line research, and utilize computers. Because I believe that learning is best promoted by “doing,” I have designed a course that relies heavily on the use of case studies. The work we do will be handled individually and in small groups. By taking this course, your will be exposed to the up-to-date relevant information needed to perform effectively as a manager.

However, becoming an effective manager involves more than acquiring knowledge. It also involves the acquisition of attitudes and skills sets needed to effectively perform the wide range of tasks performed by managers in contemporary organizations. Although having a strong knowledge base is essential to managerial success, it is not enough. You also have to have good problem solving skills, verbal and written communications skills, a dedication to high quality work, and the ability to think critically.   Therefore, it is part of my responsibility to provide you opportunities to develop these critical skills. I have designed a class that will demand your time and attention. It will push you to work hard and to develop new understanding as well as new skills. 

We have a shared interest. Both you and I want you to leave this class better prepared for life, in general, and career success, in particular. I will be thorough in my review of your work and objective in its evaluation. I will be available to you in class, by telephone or by the use of e-mail. I will come to class prepared so that we don’t waste any of your time. I am committed to work hard to ensure that the objectives of the class are met.

As you well know, it takes mote than a good professor to have a good class. The commitment of students to the course’s success is also necessary. Just like you have expectations of me, I have expectations of you. I expect you to attend class, arrive on time, and to stay for the full amount of time for which it has been scheduled. I expect you to complete reading assignments prior to the class for which they have been assigned. I expect you to be rigorous in your work and thorough when completing class assignments. I expect you to pay close attention to the syllabus so that you can keep track of when we are having classes and when assignments must be submitted. I expect you to be respectful of both your classmates and me. I expect you to participate fully in classroom activities. Most of all, I expect you to THINK. Think about the meaning of the readings. Think about assignments and the learning that they have been designed to encourage. Think about what you need to do in order to take full advantage of your college experience. Think about what it means to be a successful manager. You can’t take this class on autopilot. To be successful, you need to be fully engaged in the learning process. It is your responsibility to help make this class one of the best in your college experience. 

At all times you must remember that this is an eight-week course. This doesn’t mean that we will only cover one-half of the material found in a traditional sixteen-week course. It means that we have to do everything twice as fast. Double time, all of the time. 

If you live up to your responsibilities and I live up to mine, we should have a great semester.

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.

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:

Your performance in MG 495 will be tested by means of three exams and a major case study.  There will be a midterm and final examinations that will focus on your knowledge of the material read this term as well as material introduced in class.  These examinations will be worth 100 points each for a total of 200 points (33% of the 600 points available in MG 495).  Additionally, Park University requires that I test as part of your final examination your understanding of MG 495's core learning objectives.  This part of the final exam is worth 200 points (33% of the 600 points available in MG 495) as mandated by university policy.  This is a separate closed book in class essay examination given at the end of the term.  In addition to the three examinations, your grade in MG 495 will be determined by your performance on a major case analysis.  As part of this assignment, you will complete four smaller assignments that are components of the major case (environmental scanning, five forces model and competitor analysis, internal analysis and SWOT analysis).  Each of these components are worth 50 points each for a total of 200 points (33% of the 600 points available in MG 495). 


Your final grade in MG 495 will be determined by the number of points you accumlate in the rquired assignments:

A:                     540 to 600 points

B                      480 to 539 points

C:                     420 to 479 points

D:                     360 to 419 points

F:                     Fewer than 360 points

The course grade for students will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course in accordance with the weighting of the various requirements as stated in the syllabus.

All final exams in all School of Business and Management courses will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes. They will constitute 30% of the total course grade and will not be a take-home exam. They will be completed during the test week in the period designated by the registrar or by the Proctor in the case online courses. If calculators are allowed, they will not be multifunctional electronic devices that include features such as: phones, cameras, instant messaging, pagers, and so forth. Electronic Computers will not be allowed on final exams unless an exception is made by the Dean of the School of Business and Management.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
The expectation is that all assignments will be submitted on time and as.  Late work will be accepted but with a penalty that is intended to encourage the timely completion of assignments.  The penalty will be the loss of 20 points from the assignment's grade for each day late.  Students need to secure instructor approval and have a valid excuse in order to take exams at times other than when they are scheduled.  The ability to take make-up exams is at the instructor's discretion.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

All reading assignments must be completed as scheduled.  You are expected to attend class as scheduled, remain the full scheduled length of the class, and participate fully in class activities.  Cell phones are to be turned off at the beginning of class.  Respect for your classmates and your instructor is a prerequisite for the successful completion of MG 495.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


Date           Topics to be covered                                          Assignments and due dates

Jan 14        The strategic management process                    David, Ch. 1

Jan 16        The strategic management process                     David, Ch. 2, and "How to  

Prepare and Present a Case Analysis, David, p. 360             

Jan 21        External assessment                                          David, Ch. 3          

Jan 23        External assessment

Jan 25        Internal assessment                                           David, Ch. 4

Jan 28        Internal assessment                                           Environmental scanning case

Feb 4         Strategic alternatives                                         David, Ch. 5

Feb 6         Midterm examination

Feb 11       Strategic alternatives                                         Five forces assignment

Feb 13       Strategic alternatives                                         David, Ch. 6

Feb 18       Strategy implementation                                    David, Ch. 7

Feb 20       Strategy implementation                                    David, Ch. 8

                                                                                          Internal assessment case

Feb 25       Strategy evaluation                                            David, Ch. 9

Feb 27       Second exam

Mar 3         Strategy evaluation                                            SWOT analysis

Mar 5         Core competency 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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:12/6/2007 10:29:29 AM