MGT 455-Porterfield Summer 2009.doc


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MGT 455-Porterfield Summer 2009.doc

  1. 1. UNCW - CAMERON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS MGT 455 - COMPETITIVE STRATEGY Summer II 2009 Professor: Dr. Rebecca I. Porterfield Office: CH 124 Phone: (910) 962-3514 Email: Office Hours: M-TR – 2:00-3:00 and by appointment Class materials will be made available on-line at: CSB page / Faculty & Staff / Directory / Name/MGT455 Required Text Thompson, Gamble & Strickland Crafting and Executing Strategy, McGraw-Hill, Irwin. 15th edition, 2007 Course Description Senior level capstone course in management strategy for all majors, designed to integrate the various business functions. Case analysis, computer simulations, and presentations are utilized to prepare students for strategic decision making, planning for competitive advantage, communicating decisions, and implementing strategies effectively. Course Prerequisites MGT 350, POM 370, BLA 361, MKT 340, FIN 355, INB300 and nine hours in the concentration. This course builds upon the material covered in earlier business courses; therefore, a lack of this knowledge may jeopardize your ability to perform in this class. Objectives of the Course This capstone course has several objectives: Integrating prior coursework. The course builds on previous courses, taking a systems approach to the functional areas and providing a "total business perspective". You are expected to utilize the principles learned in previous courses in preparation for assignments. Understanding decision-making from the perspective of the general manager: Emphasis is given to both the process and results of decision-making surrounding the difficult problem of relating the firm to its environment. Practicing decision-making with limited or incomplete information. This is what happens in most real world strategic decision-making situations, and students should be prepared to deal with this problem. Providing a bridge between the classroom and real-world organizational concerns. The analysis of current business events under the light of the conceptual frameworks discussed in class should prepare students for this transition.
  2. 2. Improving communication skills. The course provides a vehicle for improvement of oral and written communication skills. Providing global and ethical perspectives on managerial issues. Understanding how the globalization of markets and the ethical aspects of business decisions impact strategic decision-making is an absolute necessity for today’s managers. Outcomes and Feedback At the end of the semester, students should be able to: - Articulate an overall mission and a vision for an organization; - Formulate a set of objectives; - Assess strengths and weaknesses in a business plan; - Identify problem situations in organizations by assessing financial statements; - Make decisions under conditions of uncertainty and with limited data; - Understand industry analysis and the use of economic indices; - Calculate and use ratio analysis; - Understand the viability of product markets and of the firm’s products or services; - Define the role of organizational culture and company leadership; - Assess the external and internal environments of the organization as they affect multiple stakeholders; - Handle issues of diversity in multicultural business environments; - Research companies and industries using information from the Internet and other sources; -Understand the influences of global dynamics and culture - Make presentations and lead question and answer sessions, and; - Work effectively in heterogeneous work teams. Integration of Functional Areas As a decision maker, you must be able to select, integrate, and apply your understanding of the appropriate business disciplines (marketing, production, finance, accounting, human resources, information systems, etc.), and the material covered on corporate strategy, in order to successfully identify and respond to an organizational threat, problem, or opportunity. Ultimately, students should be able to make strategic decisions based upon a case scenario (in the time frame of the case) and defend those business decisions both orally and in writing. In other words, you should be making the transition from thinking like a student to thinking as a MANAGER. This course strives to encourage creative and critical thinking, the use of intuitive problem solving, adherence to corporate fiscal and social responsibilities, and the application of team management skills. It requires outside research, project and team management, and oral and written communication skills. For some of the management problems presented, there will be several correct strategies. It is expected that students will participate and think creatively, on an individual basis, to propose and analyze some of the possible solutions as well as to make use of team synergies. In-class training for teamwork should help students understand the various skills, perspectives, and abilities that come together in the workplace. However, performance, not effort will be rewarded in this class. 2
  3. 3. Grading and Evaluation The course objectives will be achieved through several methods and grading criteria: Points Exams (2 at 100 points) 200 Position Papers (5 at 10 pts) 50 Early response (team) 50 Group Case Analysis Written 100 Oral 50 Peer reflection 20 Challenge Team 75 Class Participation /Extemporaneous Viewpoint 30 Total 575 The grading system (percentage) for translating letter grades into numerical grades is: A : 94+ B : 84-86 C : 74-76 D : 64-66 A- : 90-93 B- : 80-83 C- : 70-73 D- : 60-63 B+: 87-89 C+: 77- 79 D+: 67-69 F : less than 60 Exams There will be two exams covering the textbook chapters and other materials indicated in the syllabus. The exams will be a combination of multiple choice and essay questions drawn from the text and in-class discussion. Position Papers Students will write five position papers during the term not to exceed two typewritten pages double spaced each. These will consist of an analysis of each case being presented by the groups. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the day of student presentation. You do not need to write a position paper on the case you are presenting. Suggested format for position papers: Part 1: Summary of what you believe to be the main issues facing the firm. Part 2: Use of strategic analysis frameworks provided in the text (current and previous chapters) to illustrate case facts. Part 3: Your stated opinion as to what the firm should do. You may use bullet points if desired. Early Response Team Each day in the news there are stories about real companies facing real challenges. For chapters 2-7, your team is to find an example in the “real world” to present reflecting the content of the chapter just discussed. The examples can be drawn from the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNN, or wherever. The presentation should be a “briefing” on the incident, drivers of the problem, and your perspective on the outcome. 3
  4. 4. Group Case Analysis You have been assigned to a team based on your major area of study. It is important to have diverse functional knowledge on each team to ensure comprehensive analysis and integration of the assigned cases. Team work is essential in today’s working environment. Your first class period will focus on team dynamics and problem solving. Use these skills throughout the course on team projects. Each team is to determine the leader for the group. It is important to learn how to work effectively in a team and to use all team inputs to formulate a thoughtful and effective recommendation. A case is used as an alternative to real company problems due to the limited timeframe within the class to assess and analyze company issues. Although the case is used as a pseudo real problem, the project itself is designed as a business analysis; not a college term paper. Teams are to identify the critical issues being presented to a company and use theoretical frameworks from the textbook to help develop solutions. The incorporation of theory should be cumulative for the semester. While students frequently express concern about the lack of data, the reality is that managers rarely have complete information and make decisions under uncertainty all of the time. While outside research is interesting, do not let your recommendations be guided by the current state of the company. And remember, everyone has read the case; don't repeat the details unless they are important to your conclusions. Written Analysis This is a business analysis. Therefore your primary consideration is the presentation of the document to your “boss”. This means that no boss wants to read 30 pages of text. Rather sentence structure should be short; much use of graphs, charts, comparatives, etc. should be used; no description of academic tools used (just use them); and writing in third person not first or second. The highest standards of grammar, spelling, and punctuation are expected on all written assignments. Written communication is an essential part of the business world. The content of your message can be obscured by how you say it; so be direct. Papers that do not meet excellent standards of written communication will not receive an “A” grade regardless of the quality of the analysis. Footnotes or other appropriate means of citation of other’s work are, of course, required when you directly quote materials used in writing your case analyses. This specifically includes material which you paraphrase or access via the Internet. Web-based citations should include a detailed http:/ locator (not just the “home” page of the site) and the date(s) accessed. A bibliography is expected. You should provide an executive summary. This is generally single spaced (as opposed to the paper being double spaced) and briefly summarizes the entire work. It is generally a page in length. 4
  5. 5. IMPORTANT TIP: Write your paper first, and then pull your power points from the paper. Many students lose points because they focus on the power points and the paper is just put together by separate individual efforts rather than the team. Oral Presentation Each presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes with additional time allowed for the challenge team and Q & A. In order to allow students to enhance their presentation skills, everyone in the group MUST speak. Suggested outline for the presentation: a) Summary of key issues b) Analysis c) Explanation of key issues according to the theoretical frameworks most applicable to the case. This integration should be cumulative. d) Findings and recommended course of action f) Current updates on firm g) Question and Answer session Peer Assessment Often students complain about team members who do not do their share of workload. In the working world outside the classroom, the repercussions can be serious, loss of job, loss of promotion and/or raises. In the classroom it is often believed that no serious consequences occur. In this course there are two means by which non-performing team members will receive consequences: 1) If a team member does not come to meetings, does not contribute, the team member’s name may be left off the analysis and they may be left out of the presentation. Teams should make an effort to provide information related to team meetings and to inform a team member in writing with a copy to me that their behavior is unacceptable. If the name is left off, the team member receives a zero for the case analysis. 2) Peer participation assessments will be provided. If all team members provided similar negative feedback on a member, then the instructor has the right to lower the non-performing team member’s grade by one or two grades. Peer Reflection Each student should turn in a single page describing the team experience and to reflect on lessons learned that they can carry into their working worlds. This should be double spaced and represent your true feelings and observations. Challenge Team Your team will be assigned the task of challenging another team’s case presentation. Your team should be prepared to challenge the logic, recommendations, use 5
  6. 6. of class analytical tools, and presentation. Your challenge case will be pre-assigned to you. Your challenges should be no longer then 5-10 minutes. Class Participation Your insights, observations and questions are very important and at this point in your career – risk free. In addition your boss may call on you unexpectedly in a meeting and you must be prepared. On occasion I will randomly call on you in class to ask your opinion. Your ability to articulate a position effectively will greatly contribute to your participation grade. In addition, excellent questions asked during case presentations, earns bonus points. This is an important part of the learning process. Classroom Policies 1) Attendance will not be taken. It is expected that you are adults making decisions as to how you spend your time and the importance of each activity. However, no makeup work is allowed – this includes examinations. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to obtain materials and class notes from a classmate or from the course’s website. 2) Classroom climate: The Cameron School of Business is a professional school providing education and training for careers in business. Classroom climate is designed to assist students in developing the habits of behavior that will contribute to their success in the business world. Therefore, classroom policies will be established to promote and maintain a business-like atmosphere and to promote a healthy learning environment. Expectations include, for example: • Good manners, including respect extended to all • All cell phones and pagers must be in the silent mode • Wearing of appropriate clothes and shoes while in the classroom which includes the removal of hats in the classroom. • Being on time for class as a courtesy to the professor and the students in the class 3) A fundamental principle of academic, business and community life is honesty. Violation of this ethical concept will result in penalties ranging from a grade of "F" in the course to dismissal from the University. Cheating in this class includes submitting work written by others as well as work written in other classes. The use of unauthorized material, communication with another student during an examination, attempting to benefit from the work of other students, or attempting to aid another student, and other similar behaviors which defeat the purpose of examinations and individual assignments is unacceptable. Violation of these standards is a serious offense and shall result in disciplinary actions allowed by the College and the University (Please check UNCW's Academic Honor Code) 6
  7. 7. MGT 455 – Competitive Strategy TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE (Summer 2009) DATE TOPICS READING EARLY RESPONSE ASSIGNMENTS TEAM/CHALLENGE TEAM Introduction to Syllabus June 23 Strategic Chapter 1 – What Is Management. Strategy and Why Is It Important Course Overview. Team building Introductions (instructor and students) June 24 Leading the Chapter 2 Process of Crafting and Executing Strategy June 25 Evaluating a Chapter 3 Team 1 Company’s External Environment June 29 Evaluating a Chapter 4 Team 3 Company’s Resources and Competitive Position June 30 The Five Generic Chapter 5 Team 4 Competitive Strategies: Which One to Employ? July 1 Supplementing the Chapter 6 Team 2 Chosen Competitive Strategy: Other Important Business Strategy Choices July 2 Exam 1 Chapters 1-6 7
  8. 8. DATE TOPICS READING EARLY RESPONSE ASSIGNMENTS TEAM/CHALLENGE TEAM July 6 Strategies for Competing Chapter 7 Team 6 In Foreign Markets July 7 Diversification Strategies Chapter 8 Team 5 for Managing a Group of Businesses July 8 Ethical Business Strategies, Social Chapter 9 Responsibility, and Environmental Sustainability July 9 Building an Organization Chapter 10 Capable of Good Strategy Execution July 13 Managing Internal Chapter 11 Operations: Actions That Promote Good Strategy Execution July 14 Corporate Culture and Chapter 12 Leadership: Keys to Good Strategy Execution July 15 Exam 2 Chapters 7-12 July 16 .Team 1 Case Presentation Team 4 July 20 Teams 2 and 3 Case Presentation Team 5 and 6,respectively July 21 Team 4 Case Presentation Team 1 July 22 Team 5 Case Presentation Team 3 July 23 Team 6 Case Presentation Team 2 July 24 Final Exercise 8
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