Business 189 Strategic Management Syllabus
1. Course Information
Professor: S. Noorein Inamdar
Department: Organization and Management
College of Business, San Jose State University.
Course Title: Business 189 Strategic Management
Course Code: 10038
Class Hours & Location: MoTuWeThFr 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm BBC106
Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Office Location: BT 363
Office Phone: 408-924-3447
Preferred Contact: e-mail
Department Fax: 408-924-3555
2. Course Description:
a. Course Overview and Description:
Business 189 is a senior capstone seminar for business majors. The goal of the
seminar is to learn the fundamentals of how to manage organizations strategically.
Strategic management of organizations is a complex undertaking which starts with
the central question: why are some firms more profitable than others? The course
will require you to examine this question by integrating knowledge from prior
business courses, while simultaneously learning and applying new strategic
management concepts, principles, frameworks and methodologies.
New material will cover the various components of strategy formulation,
implementation and evaluation. Formulation components include conducting an
external and internal analysis, applying SWOT and differentiating among the three
levels of strategy (functional, business, corporate). Implementation components
include governance, ethics, organizational structure, control systems and culture.
Evaluation involves monitoring the execution of strategy to determine the extent
strategic goals are being achieved and the degree competitive advantage is being
created and sustained.
The case method will be used extensively to combine theory and application. To
effectively learn from the case method, the course will require considerable amount
of preparation, analysis and class participation. Class attendance is mandatory
because the case and theory discussions are central to learning. The course material
is cumulative; each part of the course builds on prior lectures.
The prerequisites are the completion of Business 100W and graduating senior status.
c. Required Texts:
Charles W.L Hill and Gareth R. Jones, Strategic Management: An Integrated
Approach, 8th edition without the cases, Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
The publisher of the text has the following website: http//college.hmco.com.
You are encouraged to use the website to review the course material.
d. Other Reading Materials:
Additional reading material will be provided as needed.
e. Student Learning Objectives for the Course:
There are six overarching objectives of the course to enable you to learn about
strategic management and to demonstrate the learning for evaluation:
1. To learn the fundamentals of strategic management using the case method.
2. To understand the fundamental principles of and relationships among
business functions such as: finance, human resources, marketing, and
3. To understand the relationships of business to individuals, other
organizations, government and society.
4. To analyze complex, unstructured qualitative and quantitative problems,
using appropriate tools.
5. To comprehend and critically evaluate information presented in written and
6. To express ideas clearly, logically and persuasively in oral and written
The course is designed to help you develop skills and judgment for your business
career. The intent is to sharpen your ability to think critically and logically, and to
help you learn to diagnose situations from a strategic point of view.
3. Course requirements:
a. Group Project:
There will be a group project focusing on a specific firm. The project includes
forming into groups, selecting a firm, applying strategic management tools to
analyze the firm and presenting your findings and recommendations to the class.
Groups will be evaluated on their project performance and how well they question
and comment on the presentations of the other groups. Also, groups will evaluate
team-members contribution within groups.
b. Exams and Quizzes:
There will be one quiz, midterm and final that will consist of material in assigned
chapters and mini-cases analysis.
c. Individual Assignments:
• Individual assignments are the chapter and case study questions that should
be completed prior to class for discussion.
d. Class Participation:
This is a seminar course with three central requirements:
• Class participation is critical to learning and demonstrating proficiency in strategic
management. Therefore, you are expected to contribute to class discussion by
sharing your viewpoint, comments and questions.
• Class attendance is mandatory. Absences will require prior notification with the
exception of emergencies.
• Accumulated unexcused absences will result in a lower grade and the possibility
of being dropped from the course.
• Name plates with first and last names clearly written are required for every class.
Individual participation will be graded on a five-point scale (1(poor), 2, 3(meet
expectation), 4, 5(excellent)) using four criteria: (a) attending class and being on
time, (b) demonstrating preparation of assigned material by participating in class
discussions, (c) critical thinking, performing research beyond the text readings and
listening and building on other students comments, and (d) avoiding disruptive
e. Case Method:
The case method will be used extensively in the course. Cases for class discussion
will be from the course text book. You are expected to prepare the case by reading,
answering the study questions and researching additional sources such as the annual
report, 10K and investor reports. More importantly, you are required to evaluate
company strategies and provide options and recommendations.
f. Communication Skills:
Written and presentation skills are critical in business. Therefore, your writing
should be clear and precise with minimal grammatical errors. Please proofread all
assignments before submission. Written assignments should be 12 point Times New
Roman, double spaced with one inch margins all around.
4. Tentative course schedule:
Date Topic Assignment Due Date
1 – 1/5 Overview Why are some firms more successful than others?
Chapter 1 Strategic Management for Competitive Advantage List of
Mini Case: The Best-Laid Plans – Chrysler Members
Review Group Project Requirements 1/5
Finalize Group Members and Projects
2 – 1/6 Chapter 2 External Analysis: Identify Opportunities and Threats
Chapter 3 Internal Analysis: Identify Distinctive Competencies
Mini Case: Starbucks
3 – 1/7 Quiz Quiz on chapters 1 to 3 and mini case 1/7
Chapter 4 Functional Level Strategy
Mini Case: Verizon Wireless
4 – 1/8 Chapter 5 Business Level Strategy
Mini Case: Samsung Changes Its Business Model
Again and Again
4 – 1/8 Chapter 6 Business Level Strategy
Mini Case: Nike’s Winning Ways
5 – 1/9 Review Class Review for Midterm – Any Questions on 1/9
the Material from chapters 1 to 6
Midterm Midterm on chapter 1 to 6
Group Project Report Discussion and Hand in the
Assistance – Group Meetings in Class – Develop Group
and Outline for Group Project Project
(One group member bring a computer to class) Outline
Date Chapter Assignment Due Date
6 – 1/12 Chapter 9 Corporate Level Strategy
Mini Case: Read All About It News Corp.
Chapter 10 Corporate Level Strategy
Mini Case: United Technologies has an “ACE in
7 – 1/13 Chapter 12 Strategy Implementation in Single Industries
Case: Nokia’s New Product Structure
Time to Work on Group Project
8 – 1/14 Chapter 13 Strategy Implementation in Multiple Markets
Case: GM Searches for the Right Global Structure
Report Final Report Due 1/14
9 – 1/15 Review Class Review for Final – Any Questions on the 1/15
Material from chapters 4 to 13 (not 8,9,11)
Final Final on chapter 4 to 13 (not, 8,9,11)
Outline for Group Project Presentation in Class
10 – 1/16 Group Project Presentations 1/16
(20 minutes each everyone presents)
Class Project 20%
Class Participation 20%
Final Exam 30%
Grading information: Grading Percentage Breakdown
94% and above A 76% - 74% C
93% - 90% A- 73% - 70% C-
89% - 87% B+ 69% - 67% D+
86% - 84% B 66% - 64% D
83% - 80% B- 63% - 60% D-
79% - 77% C+ below 60% F
6. University, College, or Department Policy Information:
a) Academic integrity statement (from Office of Judicial Affairs):
“Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San José
State University and the University’s Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be
honest in all your academic course work. Faculty are required to report all infractions
to the Office of Judicial Affairs. The policy on academic integrity can be found at
b) Campus policy in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act:
“If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you
need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an
appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential
Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish
a record of their disability.”
c) College of Business Policies and Procedures:
Please check the URL at:
To ensure that every student, current and future, who takes courses in the
Boccardo Business Center, has the opportunity to experience an environment that
is safe, attractive, and otherwise conducive to learning, the College of Business at
San José State has established the following policies:
Eating and drinking (except water) are prohibited in the Boccardo Business Center.
Students with food will be asked to leave the building. Students who disrupt the
course by eating and do not leave the building will be referred to the Judicial Affairs
Officer of the University.
Students will turn their cell phones off or put them on vibrate mode while in class.
They will not answer their phones in class. Students whose phones disrupt the
course and do not stop when requested by the instructor will be referred to the
Judicial Affairs Officer of the University.
In the classroom, faculty allow students to use computers only for class-related
activities. These include activities such as taking notes on the lecture underway,
following the lecture on Web-based PowerPoint slides that the instructor has posted,
and finding Web sites to which the instructor directs students at the time of the
lecture. Students who use their computers for other activities or who abuse the
equipment in any way, at a minimum, will be asked to leave the class and will lose
participation points for the day, and, at a maximum, will be referred to the Judicial
Affairs Officer of the University for disrupting the course. (Such referral can lead to
suspension from the University.) Students are urged to report to their instructors
computer use that they regard as inappropriate (i.e., used for activities that are not
Faculty will make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct in their
courses. They will secure examinations and their answers so that students cannot
have prior access to them and proctor examinations to prevent students from
copying or exchanging information. They will be on the alert for plagiarism. Faculty
will provide additional information, ideally on the green sheet, about other
unacceptable procedures in class work and examinations. Students who are caught
cheating will be reported to the Judicial Affairs Officer of the University, as prescribed
by Academic Senate Policy S04-12.
The College of Business is the institution of opportunity, providing innovative
business education and applied research for the Silicon Valley region.
Business 189 Strategic Management Study Questions
Why are some firms more successful than others?
Chapter 1: Introduction to Strategic Management
1. Define strategy, superior performance, competitive advantage and strategic
2. What are the three different levels of strategy and what role does each play in
the strategic management process?
3. What are the different components of the strategic management process of
strategy formulation and implementation?
4. How would you describe centralized verses decentralized strategic decision
making in a firm?
5. What are important characteristics of effective senior executives? Why?
Case Discussion: The Best-Laid Plans – Chrysler Hits the Wall
(Questions on page 38)
Chapter 2: External Analysis
1. Define external analysis, opportunities and threats.
2. What are the three main types of external analysis models?
3. Why is it important to define industry boundaries?
4. What is included in Porter’s five forces model?
5. How would you define strategic groups?
6. What is the difference between entry barriers, mobility barriers and exit
7. What are the three major limitations of the external analysis models? Why?
8. What are the major macroenvironment forces that could impact firm
competitiveness and profitability?
Chapter 3: Internal Analysis
1. Define internal analysis, strengths and weakness and discuss how these differ
from opportunities and threats (from chapter 2).
2. Define distinctive competencies, resources and capabilities and discuss how
they relate to a company’s strategies.
3. What are the main components of value creation and how are they related?
4. Define value chain and identify and discuss its various components.
5. Identify and define the building blocks of competitive advantage.
6. What are the two financial components of ROIC and why are they important?
7. What factors contribute to the durability of competitive advantage?
8. What are the main factors leading to company failure? How can companies
Case Discussion: Starbucks
(Questions on page 108)
Chapter 4: Functional-Level Strategy
1. Define functional-level strategies and show its location on an organizational
2. What are the primary roles of functions in achieving efficiency, quality,
innovation and customer responsiveness? (To answer this you need to read
the entire chapter)
3. How do economies of scale and learning effect drive down costs?
4. What is the most important building block of competitive advantage and why?
Case Discussion: Verizon Wireless
(Questions on page 148)
Chapter 5: Business-Level Strategy
1. Define business level strategy, competitive positioning, customer needs and
market segmentation. Why is competitive positioning dynamic?
2. Define and explain the different generic-business level strategies – give
examples of companies following the different types.
3. What is the value creation frontier? How does each of the four generic
business models allow a company to reach this frontier?
4. Define broad differentiators and give three examples of companies following
this strategy – explain how they are following this strategy in detail.
5. What is strategic-group analysis and why is it important for superior
Case Discussion: Samsung Changes Its Business Model Again and Again
(Questions page 185)
Chapter 6: Business-Level Strategy
1. Define fragmented industry and discuss the various strategies used by
companies in this industry.
2. Describe the changing nature of market demand and the type of customer
groups in the different stages of the industry life cycle.
3. How do companies on the value creation frontier change business level
strategies as they progress through the industry life cycle?
4. Why is game theoretic strategic thinking important in mature industries?
Case Discussion: Nike’s Winning Ways
(Questions page 227)
Chapter 9: Corporate-Level Strategy
1. What are the three major roles of corporate strategy?
2. How would a company think about business models if it decides to expand
into different industries?
3. Define horizontal integration and discuss its benefits and problems.
4. Define vertical integration and discuss its benefits and problems.
5. What are the alternatives to vertical integration?
6. Define strategic outsourcing and discuss its benefits and risks.
Case Discussion: Read All About It News Corp.
(Questions page 330)
Chapter 10: Corporate-Level Strategy
1. Define diversification, multipoint competition, related diversification,
unrelated diversification, restructuring and diversification discount.
2. What are the six main justifications for pursuing a multibusiness model based
3. What are the disadvantages and limits of diversification?
4. Discuss what is meant by the Web of corporate-level strategy?
5. What are the three main vehicles for entering new industries? List the
advantages and disadvantages of each.
6. Why are multibusiness firms restructuring?
Case Discussion: United Technologies has an “ACE in Its Pocket”
(Questions page 365)
Chapter 12: Strategy Implementation
1. Explain the role of organizational design and describe its components
(structure, control systems and culture).
2. What is the role of organizational structure? How do executives decide
between using a centralized structure and a decentralized structure? Discuss
the various external and internal characteristics central to this decision.
3. Describe the steps to designing and effective strategic control system.
Discuss the level and types of controls.
4. Define organizational culture and its role in strategy implementation? What
are the traits of strong adaptive cultures?
5. Define restructuring and re-engineering. When and why would companies
engage in either activity?
Case Discussion: Nokia’s New Product Structure
(Questions page 440)
Chapter 13: Strategy Implementation
1. Describe the two main innovations a multidivisional structure has over a
2. What are the advantages and problems associated with a multidivisional
3. Discuss the role of information technology in implementing a multibusiness
4. What are the four basic strategies that can be used by companies to expand
5. Compare the three different modes of entry into new industries for global
firms – describe the conditions in which each strategy works best.
Case Discussion: GM Searches for the Right Global Structure
(Questions page 474)