Advanced Strategic Management
School of Business
1. COURSE NUMBER: MGMT 580
2. COURSE NAME Advanced Strategic Management-Section 1
3. PREREQUISITES: MBA Students ONLY, Completion of the Business Cores and a minimum of 12
S. H. of advanced courses.
4. CREDIT HOURS: 3
5. GENERAL DESCRIPTION:
Strategic management concerns how to analyze a firm's competitive position, how to develop strategic
options, and how to assess the value of those options. Strategic management must also necessarily
address the specifics of how to communicate strategic decisions to interested stakeholders and gain
their support or acquiescence, and how to measure progress toward meeting the agreed objectives once
the plan is implemented. This capstone course is specifically intended to prepare students for real
world problem solving as if they actually were members of a strategy team. Although it makes use of
important theoretical constructs it is all about applying those constructs to real world business
problems and selecting and presenting the most promising alternatives.
Students will complete this course with the conceptual tools to dissect a firm, evaluate its long-term
prospects, and propose viable initiatives that enhance its economic value. Students will complete this
course with a refined ability to present their evidence and conclusions to others and win approval for
7. COURSE CONTENT:
Strategy and Business Policy is a blend of prepared lecture material presented by the instructor, dialog
with and among class members using a case analysis approach, and intensive individual and group
project work. The instructor places heavy emphasis on contributions from class members. Each
meeting will cover assigned reading material from the text, answer questions, and stimulate additional
discussion. As they unfold we will be analyzing current business events using concepts developed in
the course. Such events might include, for example, the ongoing struggles at AT&T to recast its
business, the spectacular rise and fall of Cisco Systems, and, if we are really lucky, the breakup of
Hewlett-Packard (but this is only just a hope as of this writing). Students will prepare for discussion of
cases in advance and be expected to participate actively in case discussions during class. Besides a
group case study and a heavy dose of strategy making for a business of their choosing, the course
requires a group project output—this semester we will do a Balanced Scorecard project.
Major content areas are the following:
Economic profits (EVA)
A major requirement for the course is writing strategic initiative that brings together the major
activities that real strategic planners undertake. There are five individual written projects that
comprise the total package:
1. As a way of reviewing prior important financial concepts I have included a project on
financial and operational benchmarking. The firm you analyze will be the firm you are
using for your individual project. Separate instructions on this project will be posted on
the web site (see below). This project will be worth 5 points.
2. A second project, again to be done on your project firm, will involve the calculation of
economic value added by your firm if it pursues its current strategy. A separate set of
instructions for this project will also be posted on the course website. This project is
worth 15 points.
These two projects are an integral part of the strategic initiative project. The benchmark
project data and the EVA data will be incorporated as appendixes to your individual
project in its final version. There is no specific length requirement for them in terms of
page count, but both of them will require explanatory written material to accompany
them. Obviously, I envision both of these two projects containing tabular data as well as
the written discussion and the written instructions will make this clear.
3. Proposed NEW initiatives for your firm, covering the following major sub-topics
a. A brief industry analysis of your firm’s external environment, identifying
opportunities and threats in the environment.
b. A brief internal analysis of your firm’s resources and capabilities in your
c. A proposed set of initiatives that cover the gamut of the SWOT matrix.
(10 points total)
4. A proposed strategy for your firm that incorporates and selects from just one of the
initiatives in part 3 above. The strategy statement will identify the scope of the firm’s
activities, its goals, its competitive advantage, and the logic of the strategy. (10 points
5. In addition, you will provide an Economic Value Added assessment of the proposed
strategic initiative. This will include an assessment of the impact of the initiatives on your
firm’s Economic Value Add compared to a baseline projection (incremental value) and
an assessment of whether the top management team will accept it based on a risk
evaluation. (20 points total)
Students may pick any firm and industry to analyze provided the firm is publicly traded on a stock
exchange. I want students to pick a firm they don't work for, primarily because it will be fresh and
they won't bring a preconceived solution to the table. Students may pick a firm from the text, but it
must not be a firm used in the class case discussions. At the second class meeting students must
notify me what firm they intend to use. This entire project is worth a grand total of 60 points.
Instructions for writing each of the component projects will be provided on the course Frontpage site.
There will be no final exam. Instead, the final piece (EVA impact of your proposed strategy) of the
strategic initiative paper will serve as the final and it will be due on the morning of the scheduled final
exam (Tuesday, May 10, 2005).
Classroom participation and contribution will be worth 10 points. Attendance will be kept and used as
part of the participation value, but the greatest weight will be applied to individual oral contributions
concerning the business cases and/or ongoing events in the business world that illustrate a course
Classroom time is at a premium and on-time arrivals are a "must".
I also encourage students to bring their own "pet rocks" to the class. By this I mean that I want you to
read the daily business press and whenever an interesting and relevant article appears to bring it to
class for discussion.
Late work will not be accepted unless previous arrangements with the instructor have been agreed.
Keep copies of all papers you submit. You are responsible for making certain that the instructor
has received any material you have prepared.
ALL COURSE MATERIAL CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM:
4. REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS AND READINGS:
Pankaj Ghemawat. 2001. Strategy and the Business Landscape. Core Concepts. Upper Saddle River:
Prentice Hall. ISBN 0–13–028976-0
Strategic Management. Cases to accompany Management Strategy. McGraw-Hill Primis. ISBN
5. Suggested additional reading materials are available at the Frontpage web site given
above. In class I will give references to Balanced Scorecard papers written by Norton
and Kaplan and available for downloading from www.hbsp.harvard.edu for a modest fee.
These documents will be extremely helpful in doing the balanced scorecard project. I
also strongly recommend reading one of the Standard & Poor’s Industry Analyses for
your strategic initiative project firm. In addition, you should be sure to download up-to-
date financials on your firm from Edgar (www.sec.gov) or your firm’s own web site. I
also recommend looking at some recent articles on your firm in Fortune, Forbes, and/or
6. LOCATION OF OFFICE, OFFICE HOURS, PHONE/E-MAIL ADDRESS:
Dr. Allyn is in Room 336 in Partridge Hall
Office Hours: T 4 – 5:30 PM;
R 4 – 5:30 PM
…Or at a previously arranged time.
Revised Saturday, January 01, 2005