MAN6721 – Summer, 2004
APPLIED STRATEGY AND BUSINESS POLICY
INSTRUCTOR: Richard A. Quinn T-R 2:00PM – 4:50 PM Room CBA212
OFFICE NUMBER: 407-823-5295 FAX: 407-823-3725
CELL NUMBER: 407-963-7431 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE HOURS: Homepage: www.bus.ucf.edu/rquinn
Summer Office Hours by appointment only
We will be using the same text as Dr. Neubaum’s MAN4720 class. This is a custom text that
combines the best chapters from two leading strategy texts (Dess/Lumpkin/Taylor, and
Thompson/Strickland) There are ample used copies in the bookstore.
The course is the capstone course in the MBA program and is designed to integrate the various
functional disciplines that you have covered in your program of study. The overall perspective
taken in this course is that of the CEO. Even though most students will be functional or general
managers throughout their careers, an appreciation of their organization’s strategy is essential for
functional specialists to successfully coordinate their activities with the overall needs and
strategy of the firm.
For successful completion of this course, you must learn to:
1) become familiar with the principle concepts, language, frameworks and techniques of
2) analyze and develop a competitive business level and corporate level strategy. In
particular, you must understand the reasons for good/poor performance, generate options
of the firm, and assess the viability and expected outcomes of these options in conditions
of imperfect knowledge, select the most appropriate strategy, and recommend the best
means of implementing the chosen strategy.
3) integrate other areas of the business curriculum into the development of business
4) think critically and problem solve
5) write and speak effectively
The following scale will be used to assign the final course grade:
930 - 1000 =A
900 - 929 = A-
880 - 899 = B+
830 - 879 =B
800 - 829 = B-
780 - 799 = C+
730 - 779 =C
700 - 729 = C-
680 - 699 = D+
630 - 679 =D
600 - 629 = D-
below 600 =F
Your final grade will be assessed on the following components:
2 Exams (150 points each) 300
Business Level Strategy Paper 150
Participation (a maximum of 25 points per group
assignment, awarded by peer evaluation) 100
Business Level Strategic Analysis/Presentation 100
Corporate Level Strategy Paper 150
2 In-class Case Analyses (100 points each) 200
From the Current Graduate Catalog (page 116):
"The end-of-program requirement for the Master of Business Administration degree will
include the following:
Students completing the program in three (3) consecutive years (no interruptions)
or less will complete the capstone, integrative course MAN 6721, Business Policy
and Responsibility, with a grade "B" or better.
Students requiring more than three (3) years to complete the profession core and
those who do not complete MAN 6721 with a "B" or better must pass a
comprehensive integrative examination consisting of four (4) equal parts covering
the areas of economics, finance, management, and marketing."
I do not give extra credit assignments. Please manage your grade, effort, and time accordingly. If
you need an "A", do Outstanding work. If you need a "B", do not do Average work.
Individual Work - Exams
The two exams will be short answer, essay-type exam covering the theories, frameworks, and
concepts of strategic management. Questions will focus primarily on the lecture material. Some
questions will be "read and regurgitate," while others will require the integration of different
frameworks or concepts. The first exam will cover material reviewed prior to the exam; the
second exam will only cover material presented after the first exam (non-cumulative).
Individual Work – Business Level Strategy Papers
At the beginning of the semester, each student should identify an industry they wish to research
or have an interest in learning more about. Throughout the semester, you will conduct a business
level strategic analysis. You will start by analyzing the industry, and then broaden your analysis
to include specific details about several firms competing in that industry. This paper is worth
150 points. This assignment is designed to simulate the strategic process of a real firm. More
information about this paper will be provided at a later date.
When selecting the firms within the industry, use your power of choice wisely. Be sure to
choose narrowly diversified firms (e.g., competing in only one industry, or having the vast
majority of their profits coming from a single business unit). Analyzing the strategy of firms like
Time Warner or GE would be a nightmare. Also, be sure you can get sufficient information
about the firm, its industry, and its rivals. Further, non-profits and some service sectors (like
banking, payroll services, software/consulting, etc.) can be difficult as well. Just be sure you
have enough information to sufficiently complete the assignment. Poorly performing firms tend
to be good choices. A good approach is to select two large firms, two small firms, and one
midsize firm. This approach will provide you with a more balanced view of the industry’s
dynamics than if you only analyzed large firms.
Please make sure you get my "okay" for the firms you choose. Failure to get my "okay" will
reduce your ability in the future to receive "sympathy" concerning your inability to find
information about your firms.
This paper will be approximately 15-20 pages long (12 pt. font, double spaced please, one inch
margins all around).
Group Work - Corporate Level Strategy Paper –Guidelines are posted on my website.
Each team will conduct a written strategic audit of a diversified firm. This audit will discuss
issues such as synergy, structure, value chain utilization, and relatedness. This assignment will
be approximately 15-25 pages. Diversified firms like Seagram's (Seagram's & Universal),
Microsoft (application/operating systems, peripherals, MSN.com, MSNBC) are appropriate
choices for this assignment.
Individual Work – Participation
Students are expected to attend and participate in class. Since the course demands student
involvement and contributions through active class participation, attendance is vitally important
to the learning process. In the event of absences, it is the student's responsibility to remain
informed about what transpired and/or what was assigned from a particular class, either by
contacting other members of the class, teammates, or the instructor.
Participation will be evaluated by your peers using an online peer evaluation form.
Evaluations will be completed for every team assignment.
Group Work - Strategic Analysis/Presentation – Presentation Guidelines are posted on my
Each group will select a firm of their choosing and conduct a comprehensive strategic
analysis/audit of that firm. This assignment includes a 30-minute presentation to the class. The
strategic audit will focus on issues such as external and industry analysis, internal analysis,
segmentation, key success factors, competitive analysis, alternatives and implementation. In
addition to their presentation, each group must provide a copy of the slides from their
PowerPoint presentation to the instructor immediately before beginning their presentation. The
firm selected can not be any group members' individual business level strategy firm, nor may it
be in the same industry of any group members' business level strategy firm. Creativity,
generating and maintaining the audiences' interest, as well as content, are important
considerations in the grade of this assignment.
Group Work - In-class Case Analyses
Each group will conduct two in class case analyses. Two weeks prior to the day of these
analyses, the instructor will notify the students which case will be used. Each student is then to
research and prepare for the case analysis. On the day of the in-class case, each group will have
90 minutes to consolidate and prepare their analysis. The instructor will then select a student
group by lot. That group will have the duration of class to present their analysis of the case and
answer questions from the other students. The grading of cases will be largely based on the
group's use of materials covered in class. Be sure to use the appropriate frameworks and
concepts as presented in the text and lectures. Other factors such as clarity, professionalism,
quality of analysis, etc., will be considered as well. Clear writing reflects clear thinking. The
guidelines for preparing these analyses are posted on my website.
Students unable to attend class during the day of the in-class case analysis will receive a zero
until they make up the missing assignment. The make up assignment will consist of a 7-10 page
written analysis of the case.
These assignments bear both the advantages and disadvantages of group activities. In order to
evaluate individual contributions and to provide incentive to group members who attempt to
shirk their duties, a comprehensive Peer Performance Rating Form is required for each
assignment from each individual in the group. This form will then be used to adjust individuals’
grades up or down to reflect each team members’ contribution to the project (see the attached
Peer Performance Rating Form)
Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Ten percent will be deducted for each 24-hour
period the assignment is late. Students should feel free to contact the instructor should they need
to make alternative arrangements. Assignments sent via e-mail will not be accepted without the
instructors’ prior approval.
The Golden Rule
This class will follow all conditions and procedures concerning student conduct as directed in
the Golden Rule handbook. In particular:
Cheating is a violation of student academic behavior standards. The common forms of cheating
1) Unauthorized assistance; communication to another through written, visual, or oral
means. The presentation of material which has not been studied or learned, but rather
obtained by someone else's effort and used as part of an examination, course
assignment or project. The unauthorized possession or use of examination or course
related material may also constitute cheating.
2) Plagiarism, whereby another's work is deliberately used or appropriated without any
indication of the source, thereby attempting to convey the impression that such work
is the student's own. Any student failing to properly credit ideas or material taken
from another is plagiarizing.
3) A student who has assisted another in any of the aforementioned breach of standards
shall be considered equally culpable.
When a violation of student academic behavior standards becomes known, the instructor
shall take appropriate measures ranging from counseling to an academic action (loss of
credit for a specific assignment, examination or project, or removal of the offender from
the course with a grade of "F") to recommendation of disciplinary action to the director
of Judicial Services or designee.
(taken from the Golden Rule Handbook)
Both the strategic analysis and the corporate strategy audit require substantial research. I expect
you to use both the library and the Internet to find information about the companies you analyze.
You must, however, properly cite your source material. I do not care which publishing style you
choose to use, as long as you are consistent and give appropriate credit to each source. This
includes a complete bibliography, as well as references imbedded into the text of the paper.
Failure to appropriately reference original source material can be penalized in any of the
following manner(s), depending upon the severity of the offense:
1) points deducted from the assignment - at least one letter grade
2) receiving a "0" on the assignment
3) receiving an "F" in the course
4) being referred to Judicial Affairs for further disciplinary review/action
5/24 In-Class Case Analysis #1
5/31 No Class - Memorial Day
6/2 Exam #1 Covers chapters 1-7
6/7 Individual Papers Due
6/14 In-Class Case Analysis #2
6/21 Presentations/Group Papers Due
6/23 Presentations/Group Papers Due
6/28 Study Day
6/30 Final Exam Covers chapters 8-11