SCHOOL OF NATURAL AND RURAL SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT
Room 229, new NRSM building
Gatton Qld 4343
Telephone (07) 5460 1028
Facsimile (07) 5460 1324
• Course outline
• Assignment Criteria Sheet
• Presentation Marking sheet
AGRIBUSINESS STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
To make an appointment contact Mrs Leesa Young, Reception desk, Floor 2 or 54601025;
Agribusiness Strategic Management is a compulsory course in the last semester of the Bachelor of
Agribusiness program. It is also available to students in other undergraduate programs in NRAVS
and to postgraduate students in agribusiness and rural systems.
ABUS3004 is an integrative course. This means that it requires you to utilise knowledge and skills
from this course and from courses studied previously and to apply knowledge to real world problems
and situations. Merely memorising or describing is not enough! In this course you must develop the
skills used by professional managers - critical thinking and creativity, as well as a professional level
Strategic management is critical to survival in business. The world of commerce is increasingly
dynamic and complex. As potential managers in an environment of global competition, it is essential
that you have an understanding of the principles of business strategy. Principles of business strategy
need to be applied across the whole range of managerial responsibility – including production, sales,
finance and human resources. This course is an opportunity to integrate discipline skills that you have
learnt in specialist courses and to analyse specific applications of strategic management in the field of
Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:
1. understand the basic principles of strategic management
2. identify and collect information which is relevant to strategic management decisions undertaken
by agribusiness firms
3. apply the principles of strategic management in the analysis of agribusiness case studies
4. prepare and present your analysis of strategic management issues as applied to agribusiness firms.
Students are expected to attend all sessions of this subject. If you are absent for a session please
discuss it with me, if possible in advance of the session. If you are absent unexpectedly, please
contact me as soon as possible after the session.
Provisions for students with disabilities
Any student with a disability who may require alternative academic arrangements in the course is
encouraged to seek advice at the commencement of the semester from a Disability Advisor at student
WEEK DATE TOPIC ACTIVITY
1 31 July INTRODUCING THE COURSE Library session (Alternate groups)
THE CONCEPT OF STRATEGY
• What is strategy?
• Models of strategy
• Introducing synopses
2 7 August WHO MAKES STRATEGY? HOW?
• Firm structure; strategic management responsibilities
• Strategic planning, SWOT analysis
• Futuring, scenario building ASSESSMENT: Set synopsis due
3 14 August ANALYSING THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
• The macro environment for the agribusiness sector
• Industry structure
• Porter’s industry attractiveness model ASSESSMENT: Additional synopses (2) due
4 Reschedule: for ANALYSING THE INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT Group interview techniques
negotiation • Assessing core competencies
• Change management ASSESSMENT : Synopsis presentations (2 groups)
5 28 August INDUSTRY VISIT 1
6 4 September INDUSTRY VISIT 2
7 11 September STRATEGY OPTIONS Discussion of industry visits
• Growth and disinvestment options
• Globalisation and international strategy
• Alliances ASSESSMENT: Case study report due
8 18 September STRATEGY MANAGEMENT Guest speaker: Lilly Lim (to be confirmed)
• Strategy management
• Strategy evaluation ASSESSMENT: Set synopsis due
9 25 September INDUSTRY CASE 3 ASSESSMENT: Additional synopses (2) due
Class may be Either teleconference case or written case 1
rescheduled if (to be confirmed once it is clear whether any
several groups undergrad groups will need to go overseas early)
MID SEMESTER BREAK
10 9 October INDUSTRY CASE 4
(Non-contact week: written case)
11 16 October NEW ENTERPRISES Discussion of industry cases
• Entrepreneurism Guest speaker: Helen Gamage (PhD candidate) – to be
• Regional development confirmed
• Government support schemes Guest speaker: Assoc Prof Janelle Allison – to be
ASSESSMENT: Synopsis presentations (2 groups)
12 23 October NEW DIRECTIONS FOR EXISTING FIRMS ASSESSMENT: Case study report due
• Organisational learning/ chain learning
• Creativity and innovation
• Rural R&D arrangements
13 30 October COURSE OVERVIEW AND REVISION
• Assessment arrangements
• Course evaluation
In order to pass this course a student must complete and submit each piece of assessment
You should follow normal principles for assignments noting especially:
• The requirement for a cover sheet with signed declaration of originality. Assignments without a
cover sheet will not be marked.
• The absolute requirement to avoid plagiarism
Plagiarism is the submission of work which is not your own for which you claim credit. This can
extend to work which you have done in a group, where you fail to acknowledge that the work is
the product of a group. Under the University Statutes, plagiarism constitutes misconduct. It is the
policy of the School of Natural and Rural Systems Management that work in which plagiarism is
evident will be given a grade of zero and that a recommendation will be made to the Executive
Dean that misconduct proceedings under the university Statues be initiated for all students
involved. The University Statutes provide for severe penalties for students found guilty of
• The need to fully reference material. This includes material drawn from the popular press, the
internet and the grey literature as well as academic references. The Harvard style of referencing is
preferred and all citations must be fully referenced in a comprehensive and correctly organised
Policy on late submission of assessment items
In the professional life you are about to enter, deadlines are important. This should be reflected in
your adherence to deadlines in this course.
The policy for this course is that extensions to deadlines MUST be negotiated in advance of the due
date. Approval will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and the new deadline will be
absolute. Failure to submit by the due date will result in an initial deduction of 10% of the total marks
for the first day and a further deduction of 5% for each additional day the submission is overdue.
Assessment 1. Synopses (10%)
Each industry contact or case will be associated with pre-class readings. You will be required to
produce a synopsis of a nominated reading. In addition you are required to find two additional current
journal articles (relevant to the theme of the visits) and produce a synopsis of each of these articles,
including a full reference for the article. The articles may be an article from an academic journal, an
electronic journal, or a chapter from a monograph. However, you must establish the credibility of the
source. Articles from newspapers, newsletters, and magazines are not acceptable.
The synopses are to be handed in at the beginning of the nominated class session. The reference for
each article should be emailed to Leesa Young. Include your name, the theme, and the course code.
This will allow a full list to be compiled for the class to use.
The synopses are compulsory. Marks will be awarded for submission of acceptable synopses.
Submission of all the synopses (6 in total – two set articles and four additional articles) will be
awarded 10% of the marks for the subject. Failure to submit an acceptable synopsis without
prior approval will result in an automatic penalty of 3% per synopsis. In addition your capacity
to participate in the class discussions, to prepare your case study reports, and to pass the examination
will be seriously impaired.
Suggested length: For each synopsis -2 pages
Contribution to assessment: 10%
Assessment 2. Group presentation of synopses (5%)
In addition students will be asked to form four groups (of equal numbers) and will present an
overview to the class of the additional articles of their choice.
Suggested length: 15 minutes (maximum 20 minutes)
Contribution to assessment: 5% (All students will receive equal marks
moderated by a peer assessment of contribution)
Assessment 3. Industry visits/ case studies (40%)
There will be two industry visits and two case studies (either written or teleconference). These will
occur in pairs (Weeks 5&6, and 9&10). You are required to prepare one report covering each pair of
industry contacts, examining a specific aspect of strategic management. The objective of the industry
contacts and your task will be documented on an assignment sheet given to you prior to the event. All
visits/ case studies are compulsory. Failure to attend a visit without prior approval will result in
a penalty of 10%. You should ensure that your personal appearance is professional and and
your behaviour appropriate for each industry visit.
Each report should follow established report structure with a title page, clearly marked sections which
address the set tasks outlined in the assessment sheet, and your interpretation and conclusions on the
evidence you have collected. Accurate references are essential, and should include the articles for
which you or other students have produced synopses. The emphasis is on concise description of the
business situations encountered, collection of appropriate additional information, analysis of the data
and application of the concepts of strategic management. The reports are to be handed in at the
beginning of the nominated class session.
Suggested length: Maximum 15 pages; may be as short as 10 pages.
Contribution to assessment: 40%
Assessment 4. Examination (45%)
There will be an end of semester examination. The format and timing of this assessment will be
determined by mutual agreement between us. In recent years this has been an oral examination
focussing on short answer questions covering concepts of strategic management and their application
to the businesses involved in the industry visits. Another option is a formal written examination.
The examination will occur in the university examination period 11-23 November.
Contribution to assessment: 45%
There is no set text for this course. You will find the main themes covered in any modern text on
strategic management. Readings will be placed in the library each week. You are expected to read at
least one article each week.
Collins, R J, Hall, E, and Gifford, D eds., Competitive performance. Morescope, Canberra, Australia,
DPI Global trends, implications and opportunities business brief series. http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au
Hanson,D, Dowling,P, Hitt,M A, Ireland, R D, and Hoskissen, R E, Strategic management.
Competitiveness and globalisation. Pacific Rim Edition. Thomson, Southbank ,Victoria,
Australia, 2002. *
Hill, C W L, and Jones, G R Strategic Management Theory. An integrated approach. 6th Ed.
Houghton Miflin Company, Boston, USA, 2002.*
Hitt, M A, Ireland, R D, Hoskisson, R E. Strategic Management. Competitiveness and globalization.
3rd Ed. International Thompson Publishing, Cincinatti, USA, 1999.
Hughes, D ed., Breaking with tradition. Building partnerships and alliances in the European food
industry. Wye College Press, Ashford, UK, 1994.
Lewis, G, Morkel, A, and Hubbard, G. Australian strategic management : concepts, context and
cases. Prentice Hall, New York, USA, 1993.
Lewis, Morkel, Hubbard, Davenport, Stockport Australian and New Zealand Strategic Management:.
Concepts, Context and Cases. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney,1999
Miller, A Strategic Management. 3rd Ed Irwin McGraw-Hill, Boston, USA, 1998.
Robbins, S P, Bergman, R, and Stagg, I. Management. Prentice Hall, Sydney, Australia, 1997.
*On sale at the UQ St Lucia bookshop in July 2003.
CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT OF ASSIGNMENTS
NOTE THAT ATTENDANCE AT INDUSTRY VISITS IS COMPULSORY.
MARKS PRESENTATION (2/20) THEORY/ PRINCIPLES OF REPORTING OF BUSINESS ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS
OUT OF 20 MANAGEMENT (5/20) SITUATION (5/20) SITUATION (8/20)
7 Written and oral expression is at a All key principles included and All key features of the business Theory and principles applied to
high professional standard. A understood. Evidence of additional which are relevant to the topic are the business situation. Analysis
professional vocabulary and principles from broader readings/ included accurately. Evidence of appropriate, and significance of
innovative approach used. knowledge. additional information about the the conclusions discussed
Presentation free of spelling, business or business sector from thoroughly and accurately.
grammar and punctuation errors. broader information sources. No Original ideas or perspectives
irrelevant information included. evident.
6 Written and oral expression is at a All key principles included and All key features of the business Theory and principles applied to
high professional standard. understood. which are relevant to the topic are the business situation. Analysis
included accurately. No irrelevant appropriate, and significance of
information included. the conclusions discussed
thoroughly and accurately.
5 Written and oral expression is clear, All key principles included. Most All key features of the business Theory and principles applied to
fluent and accurate. Spelling, principles understood but some errors which are relevant to the topic are the business situation. Analysis
grammar and punctuation generally or omissions. included with few errors. Little appropriate, and significance of
acceptable. irrelevant information included. the conclusions discussed
thoroughly with few errors.
4 Written and oral expression is Most key principles included. Most Most key features of the business Theory and principles applied to
mostly clear, fluent and accurate. principles understood but some errors which are relevant to the topic are the business situation. Analysis
Spelling, grammar and punctuation or omissions. included with few errors. Little mostly appropriate, and
generally acceptable but with a few irrelevant information included. significance of the conclusions at
errors. least suggested.
3 Written and oral expression is Some key principles included but Some key features of the business Theory and principles applied to
unclear and/or lacks logical flow. significant points missing. Most which are relevant to the topic are the business situation. Analysis
Spelling, grammar and punctuation principles understood but some errors included, but some are missing. limited, and significance of the
contain many errors. or omissions. Some errors or some irrelevant conclusions unclear.
0-2 Meaning is not clear. Poor Few principles included or Few key features of the business Theory and principles not applied
structure and/or high numbers of understood. included. High number of errors or to the business situation. Analysis
spelling, grammar or punctuation large amount of irrelevant confused or significance of the
errors. information. ield trip not attended. conclusions is unclear.
ABUS3004 ORAL PRESENTATION CRITERIA SHEET
Aspect 0 1 2 3 4 5 Score
Introduction to the Creates interest
articles Provides clear titles and references
Body of presentation Logical sequence
Clear coverage of main & supporting ideas
Presentation aids Relevant
Presentation skills Clear voice and appropriate speed of delivery
Frequent eye contact
Posture and mannerisms acceptable
Evidence of Relevance of articles clearly reviewed
orientation to the Main themes identified
target audience Evaluation provided of credibility and value
Contribution to final assessment (out of 5%)