BA453 – Business Strategy and Planning
Fall 2007 MW 10am & 12pm 275 Lillis (CRN 3079310851 & 10852)
Professor Anne Parmigiani
Office: 471 Lillis
Office Hours: Mondays 9-10 am & 3-5 pm and by appointment
Take home Final Exam due (10am class): 10:15am Friday, December 7
(12pm class): 10:15am Monday, December 3
This course involves business strategy which is concerned with answering two key questions:
“What businesses should a firm participate in?” and “How should a firm compete and optimize
performance?”. With that in mind, we first analyze the external environment and the firm’s
unique features, then consider measurement tools, and finally investigate interrelationships
between firms within industries. The culmination of the course is a comprehensive, well-
reasoned strategic plan for an existing business.
This is a capstone course which brings together ideas and skills from a variety of functional areas
(such as accounting, decision sciences, finance, marketing, and management) into a coherent
whole. This integration will underscore how the functional elements of a business are
interrelated and equally important.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
• Assess an industry to determine its attractiveness
• Evaluate a business using specific analytical techniques and frameworks
• Understand how to compare and choose among strategic alternatives
A few ground rules to make our course more productive:
1. The Lundquist college of Business Code of Ethics must be followed at all times. You are
encouraged to familiarize yourself with the code
2. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Please read the information posted at this site so we do
not have any misunderstandings (http://libweb.uoregon.edu/guides/plagiarism/students/).
3. If you have a documented disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this
course, please make arrangements to meet with me soon. Please bring a notification letter
from Disability Services outlining your approved accommodations.
4. Cell phones, pagers, and related devices must be turned off during class time.
5. Laptop computers may be used for notetaking in class, but not for e-mailing, stock
trading, gaming, or other non-class activities.
6. You must be in class and ready to participate by the start of the class period. You are
also expected to be in class for the entire period. This enables all of us to respect each
other’s valuable time.
• Course packet – This packet includes most of the cases and some readings. It is available
at the bookstore.
• Blackboard – All of the outside readings will be posted on our Blackboard site.
Typically, they are PDF files and/or can be accessed via the Knight Library website.
• Text – Strategic Management Theory: An Integrated Approach by Charles W.L. Hill and
Gareth R. Jones (2007 – 7-th edition). It is available at the bookstore and on-line. We’re
using the paperback version but a hardcover version is also available. You can also use
the 6-th edition (2004).
Course Requirements and Evaluation
There are five components of evaluation in this course, with 60% of your grade individually
determined (participation, exams, assignments) and 40% of your grade determined by group
performance (business plan). The breakdown of the evaluation is as follows:
Class participation 15%
Written Assignment 10%
Business Plan Situation Analysis 15%
Strategy and Budget 15%
Class participation is a function of preparation, skills, attitude, and a willingness to share one’s
ideas with the class. Frequent and ongoing evaluation will be made in this area, and credit will
be given for progress over the term.
Due to the participatory nature of this course, class attendance is essential. You may miss two
classes, no questions asked and without penalty. All further absences will reduce your
Comments in Class
Simply attending class is necessary but not sufficient. This course has a large case component
and thus requires more of students than a conventional, lecture-based course. Not only should
students be familiar with the fundamental concepts presented in the accompanying text for each
class, but even more importantly, they should also be intimately familiar with the details of the
case. You should identify the critical problems presented in the case, calculate and assimilate
appropriate financial figures, generate and evaluate alternate courses of action, and be able to
select and defend your choice. This course prepares you for a managerial career, in which you
will do these same tasks, albeit in significantly more detail. Please bring all case materials,
including notes, calculations, and/or outlines you’ve generated during your preparation, to class.
Roughly, participation for each class will be evaluated as follows:
Attendance 1 point
Comment that contributes to discussion 2 points
Comment that substantially moves discussion forward, such as by 3 points
applying relevant frameworks, solving problems, providing
alternate interpretations, etc.
Comment that alters everyone’s perceptions and takes discussions to a 4 points
Written Assignment: This individual, written assignment is two double-spaced pages in length
and involves an analysis of the ski resort industry. Details will follow.
Midterm Exam: On Wednesday, October 17 we will have a 100 minute midterm exam in class.
This will cover all materials covered through that date.
Final Exam: A take home final exam will be distributed on the last day of class and will be due
at the time and dates listed above.
Business Plan: The centerpiece of the course is a comprehensive, well-reasoned strategic plan
for an existing business. You will learn that successful businesses are determined by the nature
of the industry in which the business competes, its position within the industry, its interactions
with rivals, and the way it is organized and managed. See the business plan handout for more
details on this group project.
By mutual consent of all instructors that teach BA453, there is a common grading policy. Under
this policy, class grades will be distributed using a curve, with a rough target of 10-20% As, 50-
60% Bs, and 20-30% Cs. Performance that falls below the C range will result in grades of D or
Class/Date Topic Readings & Assignments
Class 1: M Sept 24 Strategy and Performance Porter “What is Strategy?”
Text: Chapter 1
Class 2: W Sept 26 Research Methods Determine group
Guest Lecturer: Sahlman “How To Write a
Kaiping Zhang, Great Business Plan”
Class held in the library – Fahey “How Corporations
Edmiston Classroom Learn from Scenarios”
Text: Appendix on
analyzing and writing case
Class 3: M Oct 1 Industry Analysis - Case: Pharmaceutical
External Environment Industry
Text: Chapter 2 (pp 57-70)
Class 4: W Oct 3 Industry Analysis - Case: Vail Resorts, Inc.
Industry Environment &
its Five Forces Text: Chapter 2 (pp 42-57)
Written Assignment Due
Class 5: M Oct 8 Internal Analysis – Company Determination
Resources, Distinctive E-mail Due
Competitive Advantage Case: Martha Stewart
Text: Chapter 3
Class 6: W Oct 10 Competitive Strategies - Case: Husky Injection
Differentiation, Cost Molding
Text: Chapter 5
Class 7: M Oct 15 Project Work Day
Class 8: W Oct 17 Midterm Exam Study for the Midterm
Class 9: M Oct 22 Competitive Analysis – Brandenburger & Nalebuff
Industry Life Cycles, “The Right Game: Use
Strategic Groups, & Game Theory to Shape
Competitor Responses Strategy”
Case: Charles Schwab 2002
Text: Chapter 6
Class 10: W Oct 24 Differentiation & MacMillan & McGrath
Marketing “Discovering New Points of
CP: Kotler “Chapter 11”
Case: Gucci Group
Situation Analysis Due
(F Oct 26 Accounting Review Session CP: Horngren et al
Time/place TBA) Guest Lecturer: TBA Chapters 1 & 2
Class 11: M Oct 29 Metrics I: Accounting & Case: ZipCar
CP: Harrison Ch 3
Class 12: W Oct 31 Metrics II: Balanced Kaplan & Norton “Using
Scorecard the Balanced Scorecard as a
Hope & Fraser “Who Needs
Case: Boston Lyric Opera
Friday, November 2 Project Discussions
Class 13: M Nov 5 Corporate Strategy: Case: Bombardier
& Acquisitions Text: Chapter 9, 10
Class 14: W Nov 7 Technology Strategy & Case: NonStop Yacht
Alliances Text: Chapter 7
Class 15: M Nov 12 Global Strategy Case: Domino’s Pizza Intl
Text: Chapter 8
Class 16: W Nov 14 Implementation & Case: Patagonia
Text: Chapters 11, 12
Class 17: M Nov 19 Bringing it all together: Strategy & Budget Due
discussion Case: Amy’s Bread
Class 18: W Nov 21 Group Presentations Group Presentations
Class 19: M Nov 26 Group Presentations Group Presentations
Class 20: W Nov 28 Course Finale & Lessons Take home final
Note: Readings are available on-line via Blackboard; cases are in the course packet.