Business 481. Business Strategy & Policy
Dr. Curtis W. Roney
Class meetings: T,Th: 2:40 - 4:10PM PC 276
Office: Horne Bldg. Rm. 119
Office telephone: (252) 985-5584
T 4:20 – 5:50pm Th 4:20 – 5:50 pm
W 1:15 – 2:15 pm F 1:15 – 2:15 pm
Other: By appointment
This course concentrates on the managerial tasks of crafting and implementing
comprehensive strategies and plans for achieving sustained competitive advantage. The
course utilizes lecture, text, discussion and case study methods. A fundamental theme of
the course is that firms are most likely to achieve sustained success if their managers
have sound strategic plans of business. This “big picture” course integrates knowledge
gained from prior core business courses. It sharpens the student’s ability to “think
strategically” by assessing and matching internal competences to opportunities in the
external business environment. Thus, the course integrates perspectives of the chief
executive, senior management and the entire management structure.
COURSE CONTENT: SCOPE
• The strategic management process and decision making;
• Evaluating competitive capabilities;
• Assessing the industry, market and competitive position;
• Selecting mission, goals and objectives;
• Formulating strategy to create competitive advantage;
• Implementing strategy, performance evaluation and control.
• To develop basic strategic management skills and abilities;
• To gain an appreciation of the firm’s distinctive competence and its competitive
position in the environment as requisites for sustainable competitive advantage;
• To appreciate the differences in conducting strategic analyses of a single-business
firm and a multi-division corporation;
• To learn techniques for formulating commercial goals, objectives and strategy;
• To gain awareness of commonly employed strategy implementation methods;
• To appreciate the dynamic nature of strategy and the need to re-plan;
• To reflect on the strategic concerns of Top Management.
• Business 205 • Business 307
• Business 308 • Senior standing
EXPECTATIONS OF THE STUDENT
• Comprehension of technical principles covered in the text and class lectures,
demonstrated by results of quizzes, three tests and a final examination.
• Participation in a team project to analyze a strategic management case, and its
presentation in class at the end of the course; periodic progress briefings throughout
• A formal report on the above case.
The first eleven weeks will be devoted to examinations of strategic management
principles. Each class meeting may consist of:
• Review of a chapter in the text;
• A lecture by the instructor on strategic management principles;
• Review of cases in which strategic management principles apply; and
• Discussions of strategic issues which occur in actual business settings.
This period of intensive instruction will emphasize the theory of strategic management.
Text readings for all classes are listed on the attached agenda. It is the student’s
responsibility to read all material to be discussed in a class session before it begins.
Quizzes will be given to confirm students’ acquisition of essential principles covered in
class and the text. Three tests and a final examination also will be given.
In weeks 12 - 14, teams of students will present analyses of strategic management cases
which they selected during the first week. Each student also will prepare a written report
on his/her team’s case, following a “required outline” that is attached to this syllabus.
Reports must follow the required outline to be accepted. Case analysis methods will
be discussed throughout the course. Reports will be judged on the basis of quality more
than length. Required topics must be separated by major headings (all capital
letters). Minor headings (initial capitals) should be used to divide complex topics
into separate sections. Your report is due one week after your team’s presentation!!!
In the final class meeting, time will be taken to review the principles of strategic
management demonstrated in these cases, as well as other cases that may be discussed in
course. The final examination will focus on strategic management principles
demonstrated by those cases.
EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE
• Quizzes 15%
• Case Report (individual) 20
• Team Presentation* 15
• Three tests** 35
• Final Examination 15
* Includes progress briefings
** Test 1: 10 points; test 2: 15 points; test 3: 10 points
Author: Hill, Charles W. L. and Gareth R. Jones
Title: Essentials of Strategic Management. 2008.
Publisher: Houghton-Mifflin, New York
1. Mission -- economic functions performed by the firm for Society.
2. Environmental Assessment -- relevant economy; market trends and potentials;
industry structure and competition; critical success factors; summary of problems
3. Internal Capabilities – resources; capabilities, strengths & weaknesses;
4. Goals & Objectives – acceptable level of risk; competitive and financial success
standards; long term growth.
5. Strategy – approach to goals’ accomplishment: rationale for selection from
6. Implementation – organization structure; projects and programs; responsibility
assignments; schedules; incentives; costs and benefits; progress tracking and re-
7. Exhibits – statistical schedules describing market trends and forecasts; financial
trends and projections.
Your case analysis should address each of the above topics using actual and/or assumed
information. Sufficient information may not be provided, in assigned cases, to address all
of the items mentioned above. Still, you should try to be as comprehensive in your
analysis as possible. To obtain missing information, you might gather additional facts
from companies’ annual reports, Forms 10-K, etc.; consult reference sources on
market/industry conditions at a library; or even contact the company, itself. You also
may make assumptions regarding management’s capabilities, forecasted market
conditions, etc., as necessary. If goals, strategy and objectives are not disclosed in the
case documents, recommend them. You also are at liberty to recommend goals and
strategy that differ from those in the case; but be sure to provide your rationale.
Team Progress Reports
Class #4. Prepare a brief profile of your company, including your view of the company’s
mission; its lines of business; sales and profit contributed by lines of business; last year’s
income statement and balance sheet; foreign sales and profit contributions; the chief
executive’s name, age, salary and bonus. You will find all of this information in the
company’s Form 10-K and proxy statement: these usually can be accessed on-line
through the company’s web-site. If you have any difficulty obtaining this information,
ask the instructor for help.
- Contact your company and request that an “investor’s packet” (containing
an annual report, Form 10-K, quarterly earnings releases, news releases, proxy
statement and any recent prospectus that may be available) be sent to a member of
Class #8. Provide a summary of markets served by your company; trends in those
markets; sales and profit trends of your company’s industry; significant problems and
opportunities faced by companies in this industry. How do U.S. and foreign companies’
economies affect your company’s industry and markets? Sources of this information
include several government web-sites and industry trade associations, among many
others. See the instructor for suggestions before beginning.
Class #16. Assemble and present graphs that portray long term trends in your company’s
sales, operating profit margin, ROI, and leverage. (Source: Value Line Survey)
Describe some of the possible goals and strategies selected in your company’s
management. How have these strategies been implemented? (Sources: articles about the
company and your own judgment) Be sure to describe your firm’s goals and strategies
in terms of the concepts and models discussed in the text and class lectures.
Remember: this is not your final presentation; it is just a progress report. You are only
asked to discuss the progress of your work on goals and strategy to date.
EACH TEAM PROGRESS REPORT SHOULD TAKE ABOUT 20 MINUTES.