BA 460.02 Senior Seminar in Business


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BA 460.02 Senior Seminar in Business

  1. 1. BA 460.02 Senior Seminar in Business Wartburg College - Course Syllabus, Winter 2008 Julie Clarkson Office: WBC 103 Phone: 319-352-8485 (office) 319-830-4130 (cell) Email: Class Time and Place: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:40 in WBC 116. Office Hours: 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), 148-161.
  2. 2. Porter, M. E. (1996). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 74 (6),61-78. Course Objectives: 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 140-points – 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.
  3. 3. 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 your position. 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
  4. 4. 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, 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, <>. 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 Honor Code: 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
  5. 5. 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 Case 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 Case 3 Tue., Jan 22 Career Planning Reflection Logs 1-5 submitted. 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. Assigned reading. 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 thinking? Interview Questions
  6. 6. Tue., Feb. 12 Research Paper Class in Vogel Information literacy in business writing Appropriate references 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 Case 4 Thur. Feb. 21 Ethics: Chapter 6 Reflection Logs 6-10 submitted. Case 5 Tue., Feb. 26 Ethics: Chapter 7 Reflection Log 11 Case 6 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 13 due Reflection Logs 13 and 14. Case 9 Tue., March 18 Career Planning: Career Prep: company Present and discuss company search search summary due. papers Thur., March Strategy and ethics case discussions Final Reflection Logs 11-14 20 submitted. Cases 10 and 11 Tue., March 25 Strategy and ethics case discussions Cases 12 and 13 Thurs., Mach. Team Presentation 27 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