Management 5700 - Advanced Strategic Management
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Anu Phene, Assistant Professor
Office: KDGB 215 Tel.: (801) 587 9055 Fax: (801) 581 7214
Office Hours: Tuesday 10:30 am – 12:00 noon
Thursday 10:30 am – 12:00 noon and
RESOURCES : Required Text: Strategic Management: An integrated approach
(6th edition); Hill & Jones
Class website: www.business.utah.edu/~mgtap/mast5700.htm
(Slides, case assignment questions available)
TEACHING Carl Liu
ASSISTANT: Office: BUC 16 Tel : (801) 581 4996 Fax: (801) 581 7214
Office Hours: By appointment
This course focuses on the analysis of the strategic challenges facing the modern business
enterprise. The class will explore the goals and objectives of firms in various industries and the
manner in which these firms can achieve these goals. Analyses of the industry, interfirm rivalry
and firm specific competitive advantage are the key components of the course. The course
initially focuses on strategy at the business level and then moves on to multi-business firms and
firms that have diversified across national borders. The class goes on to examine the
phenomenon of globalization by looking at the factors that permit firms to be globally
competitive. The class formally covers the following conceptual areas:
- the concept of strategy
- industry analysis
- firm capabilities
- global competition and strategies
This course adopts a general management perspective and maintains that strategy is fundamental
to not just the chief executive, but to managers at all levels of the firm. As a result, it provides
you with the opportunity to analyze business decisions from the perspective of the general
manager. This approach is fundamental for developing critical thinking skills. To achieve this
objective, we will use case analysis and discussion to connect strategic management theory with
practice. Additionally, this course allows you to practice management judgment, and make
mistakes in a cost-free environment. Strategy can also be uncomfortable because the questions
and answers are often ambiguous and the solutions unclear. However, there are frequently better
alternatives that can be reached through careful understanding of the competitive environment.
The overarching goal of this course is to enable students to develop, and/or fine tune skills in the
analysis of strategic and organizational problems and issues. These skills include:
Critically diagnosing strategic and organizational problems at various levels (e.g.
individual, group, division, firm, industry group, society, and global) and developing
an awareness of the fundamental assumptions involved.
Developing viable solutions and implementation strategies to those problems.
Articulating the above both orally and in writing.
The specific objectives for the course are:
(a) To gain an understanding of the role of the manager in formulating and implementing
(b) To gain an appreciation of how the different functions contribute to the strategic success of
the business as a whole.
(c) To develop a competence in applying techniques in industry and competitive analysis.
(d) To gain an understanding of how to evaluate firm resources and activities and to identify
competitive advantages and disadvantages.
(e) To gain a sensitivity to ethical issues in strategy making.
(f) To gain an understanding of the basic issues in multinational strategy.
This is a case/discussion method course. The primary instruction vehicle will be the analysis of
selected management, strategy, and policy cases. Short lectures and discussions of assigned
readings will be used to complement the discussion of the case material. In addition, readings in
the popular business press will be used to supplement the conceptual readings and formal case
material. This material will be used primarily to understand the practical application of the
competitive strategy frameworks.
Note: The professor reserves the right to change assignments and cases as necessary to facilitate
an improved learning experience.
Preparation for the case discussion should begin with a rapid reading of the assigned case and
other materials. It is also helpful to review the assignment questions for guidance regarding
which particular issues require special attention. The next step is to re-read the case carefully,
taking notes and sorting information, facts, and observations under a number of relevant
headings. Most students will then want to evaluate the financial information to develop a more
in-depth understanding of the firm's position. Finally, preparation should include notes that can
be used to help your participation in class discussions.
Students often feel uncomfortable in this course because of the high level of ambiguity and
the lack of "precise" answers. We will, however, examine real problems, messy problems,
and problems without "optimal" solutions. Tools are important, but are inadequate by
themselves and the ever changing conditions of today's business world quickly renders
yesterday's analysis inappropriate for tomorrow. Consequently, it is critical to develop skills
in both the "art" and the "science" of strategy.
1. Strategic analyses 15%
2 individual assignments (@ 5%)
1 team assignment 5%
2 News commentary 5%
1 individual assignment
3. Major Project (team assignment) 20%
Written report 15%
4. Exams (2) 50%
Exam 1 (25%)
Exam 2 (25%)
5. Class participation 10%
Cases and the business press provide important windows into the real problems that firms
face. The use of cases and news articles provides students the opportunity to evaluate and
make recommendations in an environment that is "safer" than having to make choices that
have immediate and real business implications.
1. Strategic Analyses
a. Individual, written strategic analyses are required for two cases. You may choose any 2
cases out of 10 (indicated in bold, in the schedule). An individual strategic analysis
may not be submitted for a case, that your group is presenting. One individual strategic
analysis is required before the mid term. Please do not select Minicases. The strategic
analysis should address the questions assigned for the particular case and utilize theory
and concepts from the relevant chapter (the chapter immediately preceding the case as
outlined in the session plan). Case questions are available at the class website. The analysis
should support your position and relate the concepts to evidence from the case. The strategic
analysis involves responding to the questions by expressing what you believe the firm should
do. Recommendations should be clearly supported, indicating why you think a particular
course of action makes sense. Cases should be evaluated at the point in time in which they
These assignments are limited to one page of discussion (single spaced, essay style,
instructor legible font size) and additional discussion will not be reviewed. The one page
limit will help you focus both your thinking and writing. The analysis should not be a
summary of the case or a list of issues. Such statements will be awarded 0 points.
You may choose to submit one additional case analysis, in addition to the two assignments. If
you do so I will consider the two best scores (out of the three submitted) for calculation of
your final grade.
b. Team Assignment: Each team will be assigned one case from the 10 cases indicated in
bold in the schedule, during the course of the semester. The team assignment involves two
components i) leading and managing class discussion for the relevant case session (45
minutes – 1 hour) and ii) a written team analysis for the particular case. The team
presentation and class discussion should address the individual assignment and class
discussion questions posted for the case. The team is responsible for stimulating class
discussion. Therefore credit will be given for raising issues and questions that go beyond
what is obvious and for creativity in involving the class. The team will also turn in a one
page written strategic analysis for the group. For the written analysis, please follow the
guidelines indicated for individual strategic analysis assignments.
2. News Article Commentary
A written news commentary is required to be turned in on the date indicated in the class
schedule. Please include both the news article and your commentary concerning its
importance for firm strategy. You should clearly identify what the strategic issue or issues
are, why they are important for firms today, and how it relates to the conceptual material
discussed in class and in the text. You many use any source for your articles such as
newspapers (e.g. Wall Street Journal, New York Times), magazines (e.g. Business Week,
The Economist, Fortune), or internet sources. To ensure relevancy to current business events,
please select a news article published within the last three months. News commentaries
should not exceed one page (typed, single spaced, essay style, instructor legible font). The
purpose of this exercise is to increase your scanning and awareness of issues that will have an
impact on firm success. Critical to this skill is developing a sense of the implications of the
issue - not just summarizing the event. It is most important to describe why something is
important and give support for your beliefs, not just state that it is important.
You may choose to submit one additional news commentary (in addition to the required
assignment) on the date indicated in the syllabus. If you do so I will consider the better score
(out of the two submitted) for calculation of your final grade.
Turning in assignments
The assignments (strategic analyses and news commentaries) must be handed in at the
beginning of class (for strategic analyses at the beginning of the session in which the relevant
case is discussed) and should be identified with your name, course name and section number.
If for some reason you are unable to attend class the day an assignment is required (e.g.,
illness, business trip), you may submit it before class to my office, or use alternative
technologies such as fax, or email. Be sure to have the secretary date and time your papers
before they go into my mailbox. Please let me know in advance if you will be submitting
your assignment using one of the alternative approaches. Such submissions are still due
before the start of class time. Late assignments will not be accepted in fairness to other
Exceptional analyses/commentaries that address the assigned questions, support assertions,
show substantial insight, integrate concepts from the text and attempt to draw conclusions
regarding the implications of the issue will receive 5 points. Analyses/commentaries that
make general comments, generally support the assertions, but do not fully draw conclusions
or insights regarding the implications of the issue will receive 4 points. 3 points will be
awarded to underdeveloped analyses/commentaries that make statements generally, but do
not support positions or draw any conclusions. Zero points will be awarded to bullet lists that
do not include support, evidence or rationale for the position.
Examples of good news commentaries are available at the instructor’s web site.
3. Major Project (Team)
The large strategic analysis project will be conducted in teams of 6-7 students. Teams are
not assigned by the professor and students choose their own project partners. Because
students select their own project partners, team management is the responsibility of the
members. One of the most important developments in the workplace today is the idea of
self-managed teams. The self-selection approach is designed to encourage students to
practice constructive self-management techniques.
Each team selects a publicly-held corporation that is discussed in the current business press
and facing interesting strategic problems. The use of a publicly-held firm rather than one that
is closely-held is important to ensure adequate access to important corporate information
such as financial statements. All teams will develop both a written analysis and a brief oral
presentation. The final written report should follow the outline attached at the back of the
syllabus. This outline should be viewed as the firm's strategic balance sheet. Groups are
expected to use the professor as a resource throughout the process. Fundamentally, the team
project allows you to use both the "art" and "science" of strategic management by developing
your research skills in competitive analysis, applying the strategic tools learned in class, and
using your imagination and judgment to formulate the recommendations and implementation
a) Written project
The written analysis should be about 20 pages, double-spaced, not including exhibits. The
paper should describe and evaluate the firm's current position, and include an analysis of the
relevant industry issues. Finally, the paper should conclude with recommendations for both
future strategy and implementation. Please see the attached outline for the specific points to
be included in the report. Using the questions outlined at the end of each chapter, under the
Strategic Management Project Module, will help you to link some of the theory to your
specific case. Papers are required to be fully referenced in the body of the paper and with a
complete bibliography of sources. A lack of appropriate referencing is considered
plagiarism. Although some firms are more heavily cited in the business press than others, a
minimal bibliography should have at least ten major references.
b) Oral presentation
Oral presentations will be conducted at the end of the semester in class. Each presentation
should last about 12 minutes and focus on the key strategic issues and recommendations
facing the firm investigated. Teams must provide an executive summary of the firm to the
class summarizing the central issues and recommendations. Order of presentation will be
determined by a random draw of dates. All members of the team are expected to
participate in the final presentation. Students should use visual materials such as overhead
slides or power point to support their presentations. Presentation style and creativity as well
as efforts to engage the participants will be rewarded.
c) Choice of company
Each team must indicate their choice of the company for the team project by September 30th.
An early choice is recommended, since duplication of companies across teams, is not
There will be two exams that will cover the general strategic frameworks discussed in class.
Cases and other material discussed in class (e.g., current news articles) not in the text will
also be included in the exam. The format of the exam may be short answer, multiple choice,
and/or short essay. Exams must be taken at the times indicated in the class schedule.
5. Class participation
Individual : An important aspect of learning by the case method is class discussion of the
issues, problems, and solutions. This approach, however, depends on students being
thoroughly familiar with the details of the case under consideration. The quality of
individual preparedness in case discussions is important. Although it can be difficult,
students should anticipate being called on at random, and attendance at all classes is
expected. If you are not present, you cannot participate.
Criteria which will be used to judge case preparedness include:
* Are the discussion points relevant to the case?
* Do the points go beyond recitation of the case facts?
* Is there evidence of analysis to back up statements?
* Are the implications of facts clearly drawn and stated?
* Are comments linked to those of others?
* Do comments further the class understanding of issues discussed?
* Do comments raise interesting questions?
* In discussion, do the comments fit in the class context?
* Does the analysis make use of models and techniques from the readings or lectures?
* Are comments made in a respectful, professional, and constructive manner?
Students should not expect to receive full points for participation. Simply being present does
not warrant full credit, nor does frequent participation that does not advance the learning of
All students are expected to pursue the highest standards of academic honesty. Any
assignments not meeting such standards are subject to failure. The Student Code (University
Regulations - Chapter X, Article XI of the Student Code) defines academic dishonesty as
"including, but not limited to, all forms of cheating, plagiarism, research misconduct,
misrepresenting one's work, and/or inappropriately collaborating." Plagiarism and
misrepresentation specifically refer to the copying of another person's material, even with
modification, that is not fully referenced. Specific details of each of these issues are
discussed in the University of Utah Class Schedule.
In addition, papers that are acquired (either for free or for a fee) through electronic or non-
electronic methods also will be considered to have been plagiarized and are subject to failure.
Finally, students should not use the same or substantially similar paper to meet the
requirements of more than one course. If the same firm is used for a project in another class,
there should be no more than 20% overlap of material. Papers exceeding this level of
overlap will not be accepted.
Adding a course
Students have the option of adding a class the first three days of the term if seats are
available. After these three days of the term, students must have a permission number to add
the class until the last day to add, which is September 2, 2003 for Fall 2003. The University
Registrar allows students to add a course late by completing the Late Add Form and paying a
$50 fee; however, the departments have discretion on permitting late additions to their
courses. The Management and Marketing Departments will not permit students to add
courses past the add deadline stated above. In the case of compelling, non-academic
emergencies students can add a course by submitting a Late Add Form and supporting,
written documentation to the instructor and the Chair of Management and Marketing
Dropping a course
Students may drop a class through the seventh calendar day of the term (August 29, 2003).
Dropped classes are deleted from the student’s record, and no tuition is charged. Beginning
the eighth calendar day of the term and extending through the October 17, 2003, a student
may withdraw from a class or from the University. A “W” is recorded on the academic
record. Students may appeal the deadline for withdrawal in the case of compelling, non-
academic emergencies by submitting a petition and supporting documentation to the Dean of
the College of their major department. For extraordinary reasons approved by the student’s
Dean and the Registrar, the grade of “W” may be given after the end of the term. Such
requests must be submitted within three years of the affected term(s) or prior to graduation
from the University, whichever comes first.
The prerequisites for this course are MKT 3010, FIN 3040, MGT 3660 and MGT 3680. If
you have not completed the prerequisites for the class, please drop this course as soon as
possible. If you have questions concerning the prerequisites, please contact the Business
Undergraduate Advising Office in KDGB 440.
Final Examinations and Papers
Students who wish them back may either pick them up from the faculty member, or provide a
self-addressed envelope for the exam/paper to be mailed.
Excused Absences: Students absent from class to participate in officially sanctioned
University activities (e.g., band, debate, student government, intercollegiate athletics) or
religious obligation, or with instructor’s approval, shall be permitted to make up both
assignments and examinations. The University expects its departments and programs that
take students away form class meeting to schedule such events in a way that will minimize
hindrance of the student’s orderly completion of course requirements. Such units must
provide a written statement to the students describing the activity and stating as precisely as
possible the dates of the required absence. The involved students must deliver this
documentation to their instructors, preferably before the absence but in no event later than
one week after the absence.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The University of Utah David Eccles School of Business seeks to provide equal access to its
programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need
accommodations in this class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the instructor and
to the Center for Disability Services, http://disability.utah.edu/, 160 Olpin Union Building,
581-5020 (V/TDD) to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in
this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center
for Disability Services.
It is the student’s responsibility to contact instructors and submit necessary forms. If you
have a problem with a course, please deal with it immediately.
TEAM PROJECT STRUCTURE
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND GENERAL INTRODUCTION
II. CORPORATE DESCRIPTION
A. Company and Industry Description
1. History of firm
2. Ownership characteristics
3. Financial condition: past, present, trends
a) Financial statements (may be placed in appendix)
b) Level of Performance
c) Soundness (doing well or poorly)
B. Industry type: Manufacturing/Service/Labor/Capital/Talent/Knowledge Intensive (for example)
C. Organization and Structure
1. Diversification and Centralization
2. Differentiation and Integration
3. Type of organizational structure
II. EXTERNAL AND INDUSTRY ANALYSIS
1. Stakeholders (other than core 5 forces)
2. Social/demographic trends
3. Governmental issues
4. Technological issues
5. Global issues
6. Other issues of particular importance to specific firm
B. Industry environment and strategic groups (5 Forces evaluation)
2. New entrants, entry barriers
C. Summary of opportunities and threats
D. Evaluation of strategic fit with external environment and industry
III. INTERNAL STRATEGIC EVALUATION
A. Strategic condition of the Firm
1. Mission statement (if exists)
2. Resources and capabilities
3. Distinctive competencies
B. Organizational Culture
1. Norms, assumptions and expectations
2. Traditions, ways of doing things, personality
C. Summary of strengths and weaknesses
D. Current Strategies
1. Generic strategy
2. Current functional strategy
3. Current business-level strategy
4. Current global strategy
5. Current corporate strategy
E. Evaluation of strategic fit with internal organization
IV. COMPETITIVE EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Key strategic issues (synthesis and ranking of critical external and internal issues that affect sustained
2. Prioritized ranking of strategic issues
3. Recommendations and Required Actions
a. Critical recommendations and alternatives firm should pursue
b. Rationale for recommendations
c. Choose and prioritize recommendations
d. Analysis of potential resistance and outcomes
e. Implementation plan (timeframe, control and structural issues, politics and change issues)
V. EXHIBITS AND REFERENCES