Dr. Marshall Schminke
University of Central Florida
Office College of Business Building 1
E-Mail Course: Capstone@bus.ucf.edu
Web Page Course: www.bus.ucf.edu/capstone
Office Hours Monday, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm or by appointment
Lecture Location 0M01-LEC MAN 4720 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
and Time BAI – Room 238
Monday, 1:30-2:50 -- Open attendance
Streaming video of lecture available at:
Textbooks Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter
Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter
The Wall Street Journal (discounted subscriptions available at: http://
Objectives Welcome to MAN 4720, Strategic Management. This is your
capstone course, one that attempts to draw together and integrate
what you have been learning over your time here in the College of
If you like business, you should really enjoy this class. It will
provide the opportunity for you to showcase a broad range of skills,
culminating with the Great Capstone Case Competition at the end of
the semester. Our intent is to provide one of the most practical,
hands-on classes you’ve taken here at UCF.
The course goals are threefold: 1) to familiarize you with the strategic
planning side of running a business unit, 2) to integrate the various
areas of expertise required to operate a business unit successfully, and
3) to provide an opportunity to practice using these tools in multiple
settings. In all, the objective of this course is to adopt a strategic or
long-term perspective of organizational effectiveness. The course is
deliberately placed near the conclusion of your undergraduate
education to provide you an opportunity to integrate the knowledge
and skills that you have learned in your other classes.
Of special note is that the strategic management tools and concepts
you’ll learn in this class are applicable to all organizations: large and
small, public and private, for-profit and not-for-profit, and domestic
and international. As such, you should find the content and skills
developed in this class to be immediately useful to you, irrespective
of what the next step is on your career path, or what type of
organization you’ll be joining.
Again, welcome to the class. You’re going to enjoy this…
Lecture and This course is taught in two separate classes: (1) lecture, which meets
Breakout Labs once a week and (2) the breakout lab, which also meets once a week.
In lecture, I will teach you the general framework and theories that
constitute the strategic management process. Your lab instructor will
show you how to apply the theories to real life situations, and will
evaluate your work and assign grades.
Specific questions about assignments, exams, and grades should be
directed to your lab instructor. You may direct other questions to me.
Relationship to the Cornerstone Experience
Teamwork You will use your teamwork skills as you work with other class
members on Strategic Applications and the development of Strategic
Analyses and Plans.
Communication You will have the opportunity to build stronger business
communication skills through participation in oral presentations and
Creative The development of solutions to real world problems facing the
Thinking companies you will study requires a high level of creative thinking.
In particular, you will have the opportunity to develop a specific set
of Strategic Recommendations for a firm.
Adapting to Furthermore, the course will teach you how organizations can
Change anticipate and adapt to changes over which the organization has little
control. You will analyze firms and evaluate their ability to adapt to
changes facing them, as well as make a recommendation for how a
firm might best adapt to their competitive environment.
Course Assignments and Grades
Your grade will be based on 1100 total points, assigned as follows:
First Case: Industry Analysis Presentation 50 points
First Case: Industry Analysis Paper* 50 points
Second Case: Strategic Analysis Presentation 100 points
Second Case: Strategic Analysis Paper* 100 points
Lecture Follow-Up Quizzes (administered in lab) 50 points
Midterm Exam 200 points
Final Exam 200 points
Ind. contribution to Industry Analysis Paper* 100 points
Ind. contribution to Strategic Analysis Paper* 100 points
3 Wall Street Journal projects (@ 50 pts. Each) 150 points
*Note: Case analysis papers will be assigned both individual and group grades. You will
be responsible for a specific section of each paper. Your individual grade will reflect
your instructor’s assessment of that portion of the paper. Your instructor will also assign
an overall grade to reflect how well the individual sections come together as an overall
Extra Credit Opportunities
Participating in the Semi-Finals of the Case 10 points
Perfect Attendance in Labs (discussed below) 10 points
Possible Participation in the Dean’s Office 5 points
A 1012+ C 792+
A- 990+ C- 770+
B+ 968+ D+ 748+
B 902+ D 682+
B- 880+ D- 660+
C+ 858+ F fewer than 660
Early in the semester you will be divided into groups of several students within your labs.
You will stick with the same group throughout the semester, and will act as a consulting
firm, charged with delivering several strategic analyses. You will work with your group
on both un-graded and graded activities.
The labs will include in-class exercises designed to help you learn and apply the concepts
presented in lecture. Some of these exercises will require reading and pre-class
preparation on your part. Please be sure to check your schedule each week so that you
can arrive to lab prepared. Ten extra credit points will be given to students who have
perfect attendance in their lab section, as indicated above. No exceptions will be given
for missing a class in regard to receiving the 10 extra points.
The labs will also include five separate “lecture follow-up” quizzes. Each quiz will be
worth 10 points. The dates of the quizzes will not be announced in advance, and they
will be based on the previous Monday’s lecture material.
Wall Street Journal projects
During the course of the semester, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in three
projects drawing on real-time issues and events unfolding in the Wall Street Journal
(WSJ). Details for each of the projects will be distributed in your labs. You’ll want to
get your subscription started as soon as possible. Significantly discounted subscriptions
are available for the semester at: http://subscribe.wsj.com/semester.
Your team will prepare two in-depth case analyses during the semester. The first will
involve an industry analysis, and the second, a strategic analysis of a specific company.
Each will involve both a paper and a presentation. Your instructor will provide more
details regarding both, but in brief:
Case 1: Industry Analysis Paper and Presentation
Your team represents a consulting firm that has been asked to provide an analysis of a
specific industry. Your lab instructor will assign your team one of several industries to
examine with respect to its current, real-world situation. A significant portion of class
material and activities will be oriented toward learning how to perform quality industry
analyses. This effort will culminate with a 10-minute presentation of your team’s
analysis of the industry, to be presented in class, and a paper no longer than 15 pages
(excluding appendices & references). These analyses will be presented to the entire lab
section over a two-session period as assigned by your lab instructor.
The Industry Analysis Paper
Early in the semester, your lab instructor will assign each team to analyze one of several
previously selected industries. Your team will conduct a competitive analysis of that
industry. Each member of the team will be individually responsible for one of six
required sections of the paper. Five of these sections reflect the five forces facing each
industry (2 pages each), plus a sixth set of responsibilities that includes creating a 2 page
analysis section (Collectively, what do these reports regarding the five forces tell us?), a 2
page summary section (Understanding what they tell us, what would we DO with this
information?), and a brief (1 page) executive summary. Each of the five forces
components is shorter, but requires more outside work, than the final (analysis, summary)
sections. Teams will self-manage the assignment of each section. If your team has fewer
than 6 members (which is nearly always true) you’ll want to combine some of these
sections so your paper reflects as many distinct sections as you have team members. For
example, it would be very straightforward to combine the buyers and suppliers forces into
a single section of the report. Likewise, it would be easy to combine current competitors
with potential entrants.
Two important notes: First, if you place a single member as responsible for more than
one section of the report, the page guidelines remain the same. That is, if you combine
buyers and suppliers as the responsibility of a single member, you’ll need two pages for
each, not two combined. The extra two pages isn’t much (in previous semesters, each
student produced an entire 15 page industry analysis solo!). But if someone views the
extra two pages as especially burdensome, it’s easy enough for the group to even things
out via workloads on the presentation, or even the second case project. Most group
members are really good about things like this. But you’ll want to be sensitive to the
workload across the two case projects. Make it as fair as you can. Second, note that each
component will lead to an individual grade for the person responsible for that component.
However, in analyses like these, the whole may be more (or less) than the sum of the
parts. Therefore, instructors will also assign an overall grade to reflect the quality of
integration and insight represented in the analysis overall.
Industry Analysis Presentation
Your team will have the opportunity to present the core findings of your analysis in a 10-
minute presentation to the class, followed by five minutes of Q&A. Your goal in this
presentation is not simply to present your paper. (Nobody wants to sit through eight
consecutive reports of five forces analyses.) Rather, your goal will be to quickly
summarize your industry (less than a minute) for the benefit of the audience, and then
move directly into what you learned from the five forces analysis. For example, which of
the forces is/are most critical at this point? Why? What did you take away from these
analyses in terms of understanding the attractiveness of this industry? Would your
consulting firm recommend entry into this industry? Don’t recite. Provide insights. That
is, we don’t want you to simply recite your paper. (Your instructor will see all the details
of what you did in the paper and its appendices. S/he will evaluate all of that via the
paper.) Rather, we want you to convey the insights that your industry analysis has
All papers are due at the beginning of your lab section meeting on the assigned date.
Industry Analysis papers handed in late are subject to a 15 point penalty for every 24
hour period they are late.
Case 2: Strategic Analysis (of a specific company) Paper and Presentation
Your consulting firm will also be asked to prepare a strategic analysis of a specific firm.
For this strategic analysis, all teams in all lab sections will be assigned the same company
to examine with respect to its current, real-world strategic situation. A significant portion
of class material and activities will be oriented toward learning how to perform quality
strategic analyses. This effort will culminate with a 10-minute presentation of your
team’s analysis of the firm, to be presented privately to your instructor. In addition, you
will prepare paper no longer than 15 pages (excluding appendices & references).
Strategic Analysis Paper
Later in the semester, your lab instructor will assign all teams a company to be analyzed.
Your team will conduct a strategic analysis of that company, using current data and
assessing their current situation and strategic needs. Each member of the team will be
individually responsible for one of six required sections of the paper. (More on those
later in the semester.) Teams will self-manage the assignment of each section. Note that
as with the industry analysis, each component will lead to an individual grade for the
person responsible for that component. Again, the whole may be more (or less) than the
sum of the parts. Therefore, instructors will also assign an overall grade to reflect the
quality of integration and insight represented in the analysis overall.
Strategic Analysis Presentation
Your team will then have the opportunity to present the core findings of your strategic
analysis in a 10-minute presentation to your instructor, followed by five minutes of Q&A.
Once again, your goal in this presentation is not simply to present your paper. (Nobody
wants to sit through eight consecutive SWOT analyses.) Rather, your goal will be to
quickly summarize the firm’s situation (less than a minute) for the benefit of the judge(s),
and then move directly into what you learned from the analysis, and what strategic
initiative(s) you recommend to the top management team at the company. For example,
which aspects of the SWOT analysis present the greatest challenges? What sustainable
competitive advantage will we build (or build upon)? What is the most opportune
strategic initiative available to us right now? Do we have the capacity to execute on it?
How will we make it happen? Etc. Again, the goal is not to recite (your paper) but to
provide insights. As with the industry analysis, your instructor will see all the details of
what you did in the paper and its appendices. S/he will evaluate all of that via the paper.)
Strategic Analysis papers handed in late are subject to a 15 point penalty for every 24
hour period they are late.
This second case analysis forms the foundation for:
The Great Capstone Case Competition
The Capstone Case Competition is the culminating event for this class, and for most of
you, your experience at the UCF College of Business. After hearing each team in the lab
present their strategic analysis, each lab instructor will choose one team from his/her
section to advance to the semi-finals of the Capstone Case Competition. The instructors
will be looking for teams that can not only think strategically but also work well together
as a consulting firm, and deliver a rigorous, competent presentation of those ideas. All
teams will have the opportunity to complete their case portfolio by preparing and
presenting a strategic analysis of a company in real time. Of these, the best will be
invited to participate in:
The Great Capstone Case Competition Semi-Finals and Finals—Friday, April 25
The top 20 teams from all Capstone sections will advance to the semi-final round of the
competition. The teams will be divided into five groups, and each team in a group will
deliver their presentation to a panel of two faculty judges. The judges will pick a winner
from each group to advance to the finals. The semi-finals will begin at 3:45 pm. The
four winners of the semi-final competition will be announced around 5:30 pm.
All students participating in the Semi-Finals will be invited to a Pizza Party following the
presentation sessions. Teams that advance through the Semi-Finals will go onto the
Finals later that evening and will receive awards for their efforts. The finals will begin at
6:00 pm. They will be judged by a panel comprised not only of faculty experts, but
industry experts representing the Dean’s Advisory Council, the College of Business Hall
of Fame members, etc. This is your opportunity to present your skills to some of the top
business leaders in the area!
Incentives for Excelling in the Great Capstone Case Competition
If your lab instructor chooses your team to advance to the semi-finals, your team may
choose to participate or not. Your incentives to participate are as follows:
Participation in the Semi-Finals • Terrific resume point
• Exempt from the final exam
• Final course grade will be calculated on
900 points instead of 1100 points, since
the final exam is worth 200 points.
• All members of the semi-finals teams
not reaching the finals will receive 10
extra credit points for participating in
the semi-final competition.
Advance to the Finals • Even better resume point
• Exempt from the final exam
• Grade received on presentation portion
of the Strategic Analysis case will take
the place of your final exam score. For
example, a 95% on the presentation
portion of your Strategic Analysis
translates into a 190 out of 200 for your
final exam grade. (In the unlikely event
this option lowers your grade, you will
simply be exempt from the final exam).
Winning the Competition • Exceptional resume point
• Exempt from the final exam
• Your final exam score will be 200
Midterm and Final Exams
Both the midterm and final exams will be administrated in the testing lab in BAII (the
newer College of Business building). The midterm and the final are worth 200 points
each. Check the weekly schedule for the dates of the midterm and final exams.
Exams will not be administered early for any reason. We realize that there are some
legitimate reasons that you may have to miss an exam and we allow for makeup exams to
be administered in these exceptional situations. However, students must be willing to
adjust their own schedules to take the makeup exam at the time scheduled by their
instructor. Students are expected to work with their lab instructors to find a mutually
agreeable time. All makeup exams will be in essay, short essay and short-answer format.
Problems with Team Members
If a team member’s lack of contribution is hurting the team’s progress, the team should
carefully document relevant issues, and meet with their lab instructor. If the issues
cannot be resolved, the team member may be fired by unanimous vote of all team
members and approval of the instructor. If this happens, the fired team member will be
expected to complete all remaining team assignments on his/her own. The group
presentations will be replaced with individual written analyses. These assignments are
due the same date that groups make their presentations. The same late penalties apply.
The Golden Rule
Academic dishonesty in any form will be dealt with strictly in accordance with UCF
Academic Behavior Standards in The Golden Rule: A Handbook for Students and the
UCF Undergraduate Catalog. Please review the Golden Rule to learn your rights,
obligations, and responsibilities. The Golden Rule is available at
Both the presentations and the individual paper require substantial research. You are
expected to use a variety of resources to complete your work. You must cite your source
material thoroughly. This includes a complete bibliography as well as references
embedded into the text of the paper. This concern is less critical in your presentations.
However, an interested party should be able to deduce from your paper specific
references utilized in the presentation.
Cheating, Plagiarism, and Academic Dishonesty
The lab instructors and I have a strict “Zero Tolerance” policy towards cheating,
plagiarism, and academic dishonesty as they relate to all aspects of the course, its
assignments, exams, and all other activities. Any student caught violating any policy in
the Golden Rule Handbook will receive an “F” for the semester and will be immediately
dismissed from class. The student will also be referred to Student Judicial Affairs for
further potential sanctions.
Your written Industry Analysis and Strategic Analysis must be submitted to Turnitin.com
by the date the assignment is due. Your lab instructor will provide you instructions for
how to interface with the Turnitin.com Web site. Although your paper may be returned
to you with a grade, no grade is final until a satisfactory report from Turnitin.com has
Turnitin.com has several good sources of information for you to investigate:
For a good definition of what plagiarism is, see:
For hints on how to avoid plagiarism, see:
For facts about plagiarism, copyright law, and fair use, see:
Saying “I did not know” is not a viable excuse for plagiarizing material. In addition,
being sloppy with paraphrasing and referencing are not legitimate excuses. If you
plagiarize, then we can only assume that it was your intent to be deceitful. One of the
best ways to avoid the temptation of plagiarism is to get an early start on your paper
rather than waiting until the last moment. The temptation to cut corners gets greater as
the due date for an assignment nears. It is better to hand in a paper a day or two late (and
be penalized for a late paper) than to fail the course.
Weekly Schedule MAN 4720 Spring 2008
Date Lecture Topic(s) CS: Competitive Strat. Lab events
CA: Competitive Ad.
Jan 7 Course introduction. CS: Introduction & Introduction.
Introduction 1980. Select team presidents.
CA: Ch 1, pp. 1-22.
Jan Mission & strategy. CS: Ch 2, pp. 34-46. Form teams (draft).
14 Exercise: A tale of three tales.
Syllabus/assign. in depth.
Assign: Case 1 (industry
Assign: WSJ 1 (industry
Jan MLK day – no lecture. None. Q&A re: assignments.
21 (Note: All labs (except Finding information.
Mon.) meet this week!) WSJ DVD.
Jan Intro/refresher on CS: Ch 1, pp. 1-33. Exercise: ID current
28 SWOT. competitors.
OT: External analysis.
Feb 4 OT: External analysis CA: Ch 2, pp. 33-53. Exercise: Hall’s model.
SW: Internal analysis.
Feb SW: Internal analysis CA: Ch 3, pp. 97-118. Due: WSJ 1.
11 (cont’d). CA: Ch 4, pp. 150-163. Assign: WSJ 2 (TBA).
Exercise: Robin Hood
Feb Midterm 1 week None. Help sessions (cases,
18 Q&A midterm review. assignments).
Feb Formulating strategies. CS: Ch 15, pp. 324-338. Exercise: Creative strategies.
25 CS: Ch 16, pp. 339-342.
CS: Ch 16, pp. 350-357.
CA: Ch 2, pp. 53-59.
Optional: CA: Ch 10, pp.
Mar 3 Portfolio approaches. CS: Ch 5, pp. 88-107. Due: WSJ 2.
Evaluating strategic Optional: Assign WSJ 3 (evaluate
options. CS: Appendix A, pp. strategic initiatives).
361-367 (portfolios). Exercise: Balancing portfolios.
CS: Ch 16, pp. 342-350 Exercise: Evaluating strategies.
CA: Ch 13, Strategy
CA: Ch 15, Attacking an
Mar Spring break. (No None. None.
10 lecture or labs this week.)
Mar Strategic control. Optional readings for Due: Case 1 papers.
17 strategies in various Case 1 presentations.
CS: Ch 9, Fragmented.
CS: Ch 10, Emerging.
CS: Ch 11, Mature.
CS: Ch 12, Declining.
CS: Ch 13, Global.
Mar Implementation: None. Due: WSJ 3.
24 Planning and process. Case 1 presentations.
Mar Implementation: Ethics. None. Exercises: Ethics.
Apr 7 Implementation: CA: Ch 1, pp. 23-25. Due: Case 2 papers.
Structure. CA: Ch 2, pp. 59-61. The Great Case Competition
(Case 2) presentations.
Apr Implementation: None. The Great Case Competition
14 International. (Case 2) presentations.
Apr Final lecture. None. Final lab meetings.
21 Q&A review for final (Mandatory attendance.)
exam. Course wrap-up.
Apr The Great Capstone Case None. Semi-finals: 4:00-5:30
25 Competition: Semi-finals Finals: 6:00-7:30.