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  1. 1. Syllabus Advanced Strategic Management School of Business Spring 2005 Dr. Allyn 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. 6. AIM: 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 their proposals. 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) Real Options Competitive analysis Firm resources 1
  2. 2. Sustainable competitive advantage Cost and differentiation strategies Product innovation and life cycle Economies of scale and scope Learning curves Value chains Mergers and Acquisitions Organizational design Strategic groups Incentives and governance Balanced Scorecard Strategic measurements Ethics A key portion of the course content is the preparation of a Strategic Initiative for a company of the student’s choice. This process is divided into three phases and the student will prepare a written document for each phase. These include (1) a proposed new strategy based on a situation analysis, (2) a proposed set of strategic initiatives to implement the new strategy, and (3) a valuation of the new strategic initiatives. Each of these three pieces will be separately graded. In addition to the Strategic Initiative, the course requires a group project employing the Balanced Scorecard approach for a selected company provided by the instructor. 8. EDUCATIONAL DIMENSIONS OF THE STRATEGIC CHARTER SUPPORTED BY THE COURSE: The principal educational dimensions of the strategic charter this course supports are thinking and communication skill development. Students apply analytic tools to businesses to determine the competitive position of firms, evaluate prospects for success in a business-as-usual mode, develop alternative strategies, and propose implementation plans. This is the heart of the case analysis method and is a fundamental activity in real-world strategic management. Students prepare case analysis material supporting their ideas and defend them in freewheeling classroom discussions. 9. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPLETION OF COURSE: At the first class meeting eight teams of 3-4 students will be formed, either via friendship and acquaintance, or by brute force instructor intervention. Each team will have two tasks. One task, described next, will be a case presentation to the class. The second task is to present a balanced scorecard [BSC] for a company selected by the team. Both presentations require PowerPoint. Students will prepare group case analyses on a specific issue/company using the course case materials. The specific cases are contained in the textbook and shown in the attached course schedule. In all, there will be eight (8) cases. A tentative list of them is provided in the course schedule. The instructor will provide a requirement document that sets out what areas of each case need to be discussed and it is the student's responsibility to develop responses to the issues. In addition students are encouraged to look up additional material in the business management literature that is pertinent to the case questions. Extra credit will be given. Students will prepare a PowerPoint presentation of their findings and this [brief] presentation will be graded. Each team will provide a hard-copy of the presentation to the instructor. Each case write-up will be worth a 1 - 2 points depending upon difficulty and creativity, for a total of 10 points. The second group project is a Balanced Scorecard. Groups of four persons will be created at the opening meeting. Each group of four will work on a Balanced Scorecard Project. The project will be described in a separate set of instructions available on the course Frontpage site. The teams will create POWERPOINT© presentations of their projects and present them near the end of the semester. All of the written portion of the group project will be due on the first night of the oral presentations— November 30, 2004. The grade on this project will be worth 20 points. 2
  3. 3. 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 firm. 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 total) 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 concept. Classroom time is at a premium and on-time arrivals are a "must". 3
  4. 4. 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: FRONTPAGE.MONTCLAIR.EDU/ALLYNM 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 0-390-38126-8. 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 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 ( or your firm’s own web site. I also recommend looking at some recent articles on your firm in Fortune, Forbes, and/or Business Week. 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. Phone: 973-655-7708 610-838-6818 (home) E-mail: (home) Revised Saturday, January 01, 2005 4