BA 460.02 Senior Seminar in Business
Wartburg College - Course Syllabus, Winter 2008
Office: WBC 103
Phone: 319-352-8485 (office) 319-830-4130 (cell)
Class Time and Place:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:40 in WBC 116.
Office hours are Mondays and Fridays from 11:00 to 12:30, Tuesdays from 8:30 to 9:30, and
Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30. I am typically around my office during normal business hours
except for class times, chapel, and committee meetings. Feel free to stop by at any time but you
are likely to find it easier to make an appointment.
Course Description: This is the capstone course for business majors focusing on strategy and
ethics. The focus is on application of ethical theories and strategic theories to real business
situations. As you start your career, you will be called on to solve complex problems in
unstructured settings. The course is designed to give you the frameworks and application
experiences that will prepare you. Content will include reading and lecture on ethical and
strategic theory, case study applications, outside research and reading, and written analysis.
Discussions on career planning and decision making are also part of the course.
This is a writing intensive course as required by the curriculum. Fourth year standing is a
prerequisite. This course will be conducted in a seminar style. This requires students to bear a
significant degree of responsibility in the development and delivery of the content. You are
expected to participate actively, lead assigned discussions, and make connections between the
content of this course and other business courses that have been part of your major.
The required books for all students are:
Good to Great, Jim Collins
Ethics in the Workplace, Craig E. Johnson
In addition, there will be various assigned readings that will distributed or posted on
MyWartburg throughout class. A partial list includes:
Breene, T. S., Nunes, P. F., & Shill, W. E. (2007). The chief strategy officer. Harvard Business
Review, 85 (10), 84-93.
Freeman, R.E., Wicks, A.C., & Parmar, B. (2004). Stakeholder theory and “the corporate
objective revisited.” Organization Science, 15 (3), 364-369.
Hamal, G. & Prahalad, C. K. (2005). Strategic Intent. Harvard Business Review, 83 (7/8),
Porter, M. E. (1996). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 74 (6),61-78.
The student should be able to:
1) Compare and contrast ethical decision making models and be able to apply them to
personal and business decisions.
2) Articulate an understanding of stakeholder theory and corporate social responsibility and
analyze their relevance to organizations.
3) Demonstrate an understanding of strategic decision making approaches, concepts, and
theories and be able to synthesize them into a comprehensive whole.
4) Apply the principles of ethical and strategic decision making to organizations.
5) Demonstrate an ability to conduct academic research.
6) Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving in complex business situations
involving strategy and ethics.
7) Demonstrate an ability to write business analysis applying concepts and theories to real
world businesses and/or business challenges.
8) Demonstrate adequate preparation for a job search.
Grading: A total of 940 points are possible
Ethics Reflection Log You are required to keep a reflection log on various activities that
are covered in the Ethics text. Your reflection log will be collected
three times during the term and will be graded on completeness,
clarity, effort, and level of personal insight. It is a component of
the written work required for a writing intensive course and a
professional format should be used.
150 points –
Written Assignments There will be two five page written assignments due in the course
that will call on you to analyze some of the reading material. The
first assignment is related to ethical theories and the second is
related to strategy models.
100 points –
Team Presentation You will form teams of four. Each team will prepare a
presentation on either 1.) leading an ethical life in the world of
business or 2.) approaching strategic decisions or 3.) a review of a
current business book. This is purposefully designed as an
unstructured assignment to challenge your thinking and analysis.
The in class presentations must be a minimum of 20 minutes of
content and an additional 20 minutes of facilitated discussion with
the class. As a team based assignment, part of the grade will
include a peer assessment of your individual contribution to the
team. Presentation material must be submitted to the instructor.
150 points –
Participation/ Discussion As a seminar-style class your active participation is critically
important to your success. “In the News” discussions and case
discussions are the primary basis for this grade, although active
participation in all class activities will be considered. There is a
high level of grade weight in this area to encourage you to properly
prepare and engage in critical discussion of the course materials.
You will be expected to lead discussions as assigned.
Note: Participation is not the same as attendance, but attendance
is required for participation. Speaking up in class frequently is
not the same as high quality participation. Speaking up is
required but is not sufficient if the quality of your comments does
not reflect critical thinking and analysis. Your opinion matters!
Your opinion should be backed by relevant material to support
200 points –
Research Paper You are responsible for an individual research project. This
research will be conducted on a company of your choice or a topic
of your choice, with instructor approval. The written analysis
should apply the strategic and ethical concepts covered in the
course. The paper should include text, exhibits, and a bibliography
of sources used. Appropriate academic sources must be used. The
paper should range from 10-12 pages in length, excluding cover
and bibliography. The paper should demonstrate higher level
thinking and analysis on ethics and/or strategy. Reporting facts
alone will not meet the requirements of the research paper.
100 points –
Career/Resume Prep You are required to prepare a resume (25pts), cover letter (25pts),
and company research profile (25pts). In addition you will
participate in mock interviews (25pts). As your capstone course in
you major, you should leave the course prepared to undertake a job
search in your field of interest.
100 points –
Final Exam The final exam will allow you to reflect on course material. It is
not designed to test fact and data retention, but rather call on you to
demonstrate critical reasoning.
Non-graded Assessment -
Required participation Wartburg College participates in the Collegiate Learning
Assessment (CLA) sponsored by the Council for Independent
Colleges. The General Education Committee (GEC) of Wartburg’s
faculty would like to use the CLA to assess several of the student
learning outcomes in the Essential Education plan. In order to do
this, students in the Winter Capstone courses are required to take
the CLA as a non-graded assignment. The GEC will administer
the CLA on January 15, 16, 17, 19 (T,W,TH, Sat.) and 22, 23, 24,
26 (T,W,TH, Sat) from 4:30 to 6:30 pm during the week and 10:00
am to 12:00 noon on Saturdays. (Students may arrive during the
first 30 minutes of each assigned time. The examination takes
about 90 minutes to complete.)
Participation and Attendance: Attendance is required. If you must be absent, inform me
before class. It is your responsibility to see me for handouts and assignments given during your
absence. If you must miss more than three class periods, your grade may be adversely impacted.
Class members who must miss class due to extracurricular activities must make advance
arrangements with me. Being in attendance is not the same as participation. There is a great
deal of discussion in class and your participation is vital to your success in class.
In the News: As seniors, you are about to enter the “real world” where your ability to speak up
and carry on relevant business conversations with you coworkers is essential. You are expected
to model that behavior in Senior Seminar. Each class will start with an “In the News”
discussion. You are expected to develop a habit of checking a business news source each day.
Suggestions include the Wall Street Journal (available in the business department office or the
library) or any online business source such as Yahoo finance, the bbc.co.uk, cnbc.com or others.
You are to read relevant stories to your chosen career field or business in general and be
prepared to share that news in class. In addition, we will rotate responsibility for leading this
discussion among class members. We will establish a schedule in class early in the term.
Late Penalties: Late assignments are subject to a penalty of one letter grade per day late.
Assignments are always due at the beginning of class on the due date. Anything turned in after
that time is subject to penalty.
Special Needs: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides protection from
illegal discrimination for qualified individuals with disabilities. Students requesting instructional
accommodations due to disabilities must arrange for such accommodations by contacting
Pathways Associate for Testing and Advising Carla Coates. She can be reached at the Pathways
Center, 314 Vogel Library, Wartburg College, Waverly, IA 50677, 352-8230,
<Carla.email@example.com>. Presenting documentation of a student’s disability early (before
the beginning of classes) is helpful and often necessary to secure needed materials in a timely
way. Accommodations should be requested PRIOR to affected assignment due dates. For more
detailed information, please see
You are expected to demonstrate academic integrity in this course. This includes honesty in test
taking, original work in assignments, and citing of sources in papers. “By attending Wartburg
College, students are demonstrating their dedication to the Honor Code. The Honor Code
reminds students of their responsibilities to promote academic honesty by opposing cheating and
plagiarism and reporting dishonest work.”
Please note I may be submitting student work to Turnitin.com.
This is a tentative course schedule. It is subject to change throughout the course. Updated
schedules will be posted in MyWartburg.
Date Topic Assignments Due
Tue., Jan. 8 Course introduction Start reading Good to
My teaching philosophy Great.
Class introductions and goals
The BHAG and the Hedgehog
In The News discussion assignments
Case discussion assignments
Thur., Jan 10 Ethics Introduction and Chapter
Introduction and Chapter One One of Ethics in the
BHAG and Hedgehog – further Workplace
discussion Reflection Log – 1
Tue., Jan 15 Ethics: Chapter Two Reflection Logs 2 and 3
BHAG and Hedgehog – cont. Case 2.
Thur., Jan 17 Ethics: Chapter Three Reflection Logs – 4 and 5
Tue., Jan 22 Career Planning Reflection Logs 1-5
Discuss peer editing of resume and cover Written analysis on ethics
letter, company research, and mock due: compare and contrast
interviews. three of the ethical theories
covered in chapter one.
Thur., Jan 24 Strategy Overview – assigned reading First draft of resume and
Porter article – What is Strategy? cover letter due.
Reflection Logs 6, 7, 8.
Tue., Jan 29 Strategy: Good to Great – chaps 1-5
Thur., Jan 31 Strategy: Good to Great – chaps 6-9
Tue., Feb. 5 Strategy – assigned reading Peer edits on resume and
cover letters due.
Thur. Feb. 7 Career planning and great companies Revised resumes and cover
Great Places to Work letters due.
Topics for research paper
Identify two examples of companies you submitted – write up a few
are considering working for and be sentences describing your
prepared to discuss what makes you feel proposed topic.
they are great companies. How do ethics
and/or strategy play a role in your
Tue., Feb. 12 Research Paper
Class in Vogel
Information literacy in business writing
Thur. Feb. 14 Career: Mock Interviews Graded class activity
Slotted interview schedule
versus class session
Tue., Feb. 19 Ethics: Chapters 4 and 5 Reflection Logs 9 and 10
Thur. Feb. 21 Ethics: Chapter 6 Reflection Logs 6-10
Tue., Feb. 26 Ethics: Chapter 7 Reflection Log 11
Thur. Feb. 28 Ethics: Chapter 8 Reflection Log 12
Cases 7 and 8
Career Prep: final resume
and cover letter due.
Tue., March 4 WINTER BREAK – NO CLASS
Thur., March 6 WINTER BREAK – NO CLASS
Tue., March 11 Strategy – assigned reading
Thur. March Ethics: Chapters 9 and 10 Written analysis on strategy
Reflection Logs 13 and 14.
Tue., March 18 Career Planning: Career Prep: company
Present and discuss company search search summary due.
Thur., March Strategy and ethics case discussions Final Reflection Logs 11-14
Cases 10 and 11
Tue., March 25 Strategy and ethics case discussions Cases 12 and 13
Thurs., Mach. Team Presentation
Tue.,April 1 Team Presentation
Thur., April 3 Team Presentation
Tue., April 8 Team Presentation
Thur. April 10 Team Presentation Final research paper due
Tue., April 15 8:00 to 10:00
Final Exam – Reflection on Learnings