MGMT 485 Office: Davis 5
Strategic Management Tel: 508-213-2125
Spring 2008 Office Hours: Mon. 11:00 – 12:00
T, F 2:15 – 3:30 Tues. 12:45 – 1:30
Room: D211 Thurs. 11:00 – 12:00
Professor Mary Trottier Fri. 12:45 – 1:30
This capstone policy course for senior business students will draw upon and bring
together the general concepts and analytical tools that you have gathered from all
business subject areas in your four years at Nichols: it will draw on accounting,
economics, management, marketing, service and manufacturing operations and computer
applications. Furthermore, this course will put your experience to specific use in making
strategic management decisions.
The primary perspective will be from that of the upper middle and top general
management viewpoints. Emphasis will zero in on appropriate strategic and profit-
oriented decision making that upper level managers contend with every day.
The class will operate on a modified seminar basis. This requires timely completion of
reading and written assignments, plus active class participation. It specifically means
being prepared to pose, as well as answer, questions and enter into discussion and debate
on issues raised in class.
Syllabus: The syllabus is online. You are expected to check the syllabus every day, print
the linked materials and bring them to class. No excuses will be accepted.
Text: Dess, et al, Strategic Management: Text and Cases, 3e, Boston: McGraw-Hill
Irwin, 2007, ISBN: 0-07-310246-6
Recommended Reading: Ronstadt, R., The Art of Case Analysis, 3rd ed., Lord
Publishing This is on the Strategic Management 485 reserve shelf in the library.
Required Outside Reading: The Wall Street Journal
A current news publication (e.g. U.S. News & WR/Time)
Specifics for outside reading will be discussed in class
All students must have their own books to successfully complete the course.
Method of Evaluation
Period Exams 2 - 15% each 30.0%
Individual Written Cases 2 – 5% each 10.0%
Business Core Assessment case 10.0%
Class Participation 20.0%
Term Project 20.0%
Project Presentation 10.0%
The modified seminar format requires continued active participation. This should pose no
problem for seniors.
Individual Written Cases:
Students will individually prepare three written cases. These cases will be discussed in
class. Students will be asked to lead the discussion on a section of one of the cases. The
participation grade will reflect the degree to which the student is prepared, understands
the issues, and is able to generate active discussion and the degree to which individual
students participate in the discussion.
Students who miss more than two classes will forfeit one-third letter grade for each
There are two types of classes: lecture with student presentations of experiential,
application, ethics questions, and case presentations and discussion. Each student will be
a member of a team study group.
Team homework and case assignments will be presented to the class using PowerPoint.
Assignments will be submitted to the instructor as PowerPoint Handouts. Specifics for
case assignments and project presentations will be discussed in class. Extensive out-of –
class teamwork is a vital component of this course.
Homework assignments that are submitted late will not be accepted. Individual written
cases will be downgraded one letter grade for every day beyond the date on which they
Examinations will consist of essay and short discussion questions. Relying strictly on
class discussions to prepare for exams will not be sufficient, and it is strongly suggested
that you not come to class unprepared.
Students are expected to take exams on the day they are scheduled. Make-up exams will
be administered within the same week if pre-arranged or if the absence was excused due
to a documented illness or a documented family emergency.
The end of semester project will involve researching, studying/analyzing, recommending
and presenting a strategic management position for a major U.S. corporation. Each team
will select a firm from the FORTUNE 500 list. This project, the paper and in class
presentation will replace the course final examination.
Failure to adequately participate in the work of your team will adversely affect your
grade up to and including failure. Under no circumstance will a student receive a grade
for participation and the strategic project that exceeds the grade recommended by team
members based on contribution to the team effort.
Office hours are an extension of class time. They are available to give you the
opportunity to discuss individual challenges and interests. Specific times are listed above.
You are encouraged to drop by to discuss the course, team issues, career and job-hunting
plans. If you are unable to come during regularly scheduled times, please make an
Attendance in class following the add/drop date indicates that you understand the course
requirements as outlined here and explained in class; and you agree to follow these
requirements to earn a final grade for the course.
Accommodation for Disability
Please meet with the instructor to discuss accommodations. Every effort will be made to
meet your needs.
You are expected to do your own work except when you are engaged in group activities.
Plagiarism and cheating on exams are serious offenses and will incur consequences up to
and including a grade of “F” in the course. A record of the offense will be submitted in
accordance with current college policy.
As previously noted, Strategic Management is designed to bring together the tools you
have been exposed to/gathered in your four years at Nichols and to have you put them to
This course will prepare you for entry into the business world with a good understanding
of the issues your superiors face. The ultimate philosophy being that by understanding
their focus, you will be in a better position to carry out their assignments.
I expect you to work hard for this course and to come to class prepared for rigorous
discussion. Those who do will enjoy the course and get a lot out of it. Those who do not
will find the process tedious and very intimidating.
Date Topic Assignment Due
01/22 Introduction - SWOT
01/25 Competitive Advantage Chapter 1
01/29 External Environment Chapter 2
Financial Model Instruction
02/01 Internal Environment Chapter 3
Financial Model Discussion Financial Model Exercise
02/05 Intellectual Assets Chapter 4
Experiential Exercise – Top Goes the
App. Question 2 – Bird
App. Question 3 – Oper. Grad.
Ethics Question 1 – Whatchamacallit
Ethics Question 2 – Flying Elvis
02/08 Case Discussion Written Case 1
Written Case Model
02/12 Business-Level Strategy Chapter 5
Experiencial – Top Goes the …
App. Question 1 – Bird
App. Question 3 – Oper. Grad.
Ethics Queston 1 – Whatchamacallit
Ethics Question 2 – Flying Elvis
02/15 Business-Level Strategy (continued)
02/19 Case Discussion Group Case 1 Group case Format
Overview – Bird
SWOT – Oper.Grad.
Prob/Op and reco – Whatchamacallit
Value Chain – Flying Elvis
Porter – Hermes
Env. – Top Goes
02/22 Corporate-Level Strategy Chapter 6
ppt Experiential – Operation Graduation
App. 1 - Whatchamacallit
App. 2 – Flying Elvis
App. 3 – Hermes
App. 4 – Pop Goes
Ethics 1 – Bird
02/26 Term Project Assigned Company Off-Limits List
2/29 Case Discussion Individual Case 2
3/04 Test I Chapters 1-6 and Cases
Project Proposals due Study Guide
3/07 Corporate – Level
3/11 International Strategy Chapter 7
Experiential – Flying Elvis
App 1 – Hermes
App 2 – Pop Goes
App 3 – Bird
Ethics 1 – Operation Graduation
Ethics 2 - Bird
3/14 Digital Strategies Chapter 8
Experiential – Hermes
App. 1 – Pop Goes
App. 2 – Bird
App. 4 – Operation Graduation
Ethics 1 – Whatchamacallit
Ethics 2 – Flying Elvis
3/18 Spring Break
3/21 Spring Break
3/25 Strategic Control Chapter 9
Experiential – Pop Goes
App. 1 – Bird
App. 2 –Operation Graduation
App. 4 – Whatchamacallit
Ethics 1 –Flying Elvis
Ethics 2 – Hermes
3/28 Case Discussion Group Case 2
Ford Motor Company
Overview – Operation Graduation
SWOT – Whatchamacallit
Prob/Op and reco – Flying Elvis
Value Chain – Hermes
Porter – Pop Goes
Env. – Bird
4/01 Organizational Design Chapter 10
Team Meetings 2:50 Hermes
3:10 Pop Goes
4/04 Team Meetings 2:15 Bird
2:35 Operation Graduation
3:15 Flying Elvis
4/08 Strategic Leadership Chapter 11
Experiential – Bird
App. 1 – Operation Graduation
App. 2 – Whatchamacallit
App. 4 – Flying Elvis
Ethics 1 –Hermes
Ethics 2 – Pop Goes
4/11 Case Discussion Assessment Case
4/15 Team Meetings 2:15 Pop Goes
2:35 Operation Graduation
2:55 Flying Elvis
4/18 Test II Study Guide Chapters 7 – 13
4/22 Presentations Team Bird
Report Notebooks due Operation Graduation
4/25 Presentations Whatchamacallit
4/29 Presentations Team Hermes
Pop Goes the Weasel
NB: Everyone MUST be present for ALL presentations. Failure to attend will affect your
final grade in the course.