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San Jose State University

  1. 1. San Jose State University Department of Organization & Management COURSE SYLLABUS FALL 2007 ___________________________________________________________________ BUS 189: SENIOR SEMINAR IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT Professor H. L. Boschken Office: BT 653 Phone: (408) 924-3563 email: This course is the senior “capstone” seminar in the core series required of all business majors. It is a comprehensive, integrated course focusing on the formulation, planning and implementation of organizational strategy. The course deals with the analysis of complex business situations, bringing together knowledge from all functional and conceptual areas of business study. As such, this is a “big picture” course, a trait that makes it different from other business courses. The others you have taken were concerned with a specific functional area (like production, marketing and finance) or a well defined body of methodological procedures (like statistics or quantitative methods). More than a few of your previous courses have been highly structured and related closely to a well developed body of theory. This course shares few of these characteristics. The problems and issues of strategy formulation, planning and implementation cover the whole spectrum of organization and management. Many variables and situational factors must be dealt with simultaneously. Capturing this distinction, one noted scholar in the field tells us the strategic decision-making process is “characterized by novelty, complexity, and openness, by the fact that the organization usually begins with little understanding of the decision situation it faces or the route to its solution. . . Only by groping through a recursive, discontinuous process involving many different steps and a host of dynamic factors over a considerable period of time is a final choice often made” (Mintzberg, ASQ, 1976). The field of strategic management addresses a number of business areas: the choice of objectives, the identification of products, markets and technologies, the molding of organizational culture, the definition of functional tasks needed at operational levels, and the mobilization and integration of resources for the attainment of strategy. Effective decisions made by executive management are interconnected, involving more than knowledge of a single function. Correctly done, they result from an interactive set of continuous activities and processes.
  2. 2. The study of strategic management is also central to the personal and career concerns of each student. Indeed, whenever a person is challenged -- in business or out -- by the problem of establishing personal goals and paths of achievement, he/she will find the process of determining strategy of central importance. Strategy is helpful to the discovery and assessment of one’s capabilities, to seeing one’s life options and their tradeoffs, and to analyzing personal decisions.
  3. 3. COURSE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The over-riding pedagogical objective is to sharpen your abilities to “think strategically” and to diagnose situations from a strategic perspective. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, each student should be able to achieve the following: 1. Integrate discipline-based knowledge through the analysis of various cases which require conceptual understanding and quantitative methods to arrive at synthesis and recommendations. 2. Assume a strategic management point of view in comprehending the overall corporate situation, complete with specifying courses of action in a variety of environments. 3. Assess the firm’s potential strengths and weaknesses in terms of internal resources and the manner in which they are structured. 4. Identify and understand policies in relation to their role in organizational governance and their impact on people. 5. Differentiate the impact of external forces and indirect macro-environmental conditions as they constrain or facilitate organizations. To assess student competence in meeting these objectives, each student will be examined throughout the semester using various instruments as described below. REQUIRED TEXTS AND MATERIALS $ Hill and Jones, Essentials of Strategic Management (Houghton-Mifflin) $ Boschken, Readings Package for BUS 189, Fall 2007 (Maple Press) $ Wall Street Journal (signup sheet circulated in class) $ MARK-O-LOT (broad-tip felt pen) found at bookstore $ 27”x34” Flip Chart pad (found at Office Depot or Staples) $ Package of Scantron 882 test forms PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS This seminar will immerse you in the critical factors that corporate strategists confront every day: factual and conceptual ambiguity pertaining to the future, an obligation to “read between the lines” and recognize sub-texts, severe decisional time constraints, and the need to anticipate the consequences of outcomes. Given this setting, the seminar favors those who think of themselves as “an active verb” (George Bernard Shaw) and insist on taking responsibility for intellectual discovery and edification. The following specific performance requirements will be used: A. INDIVIDUAL IN-CLASS PARTICIPATION. This senior seminar is a class to be prepared 3
  4. 4. for, is not a class to be late to, and is not a class to miss. It will be conducted on a lecture/seminar basis where students are expected to be actively involved in discussion directed by the instructor. Building your self-confidence to participate in such an interactive, goal- directed setting is an important aspect of your education, but its successful achievement in this class depends heavily on your daily preparation of required reading assignments. Your individual participation will be graded according to a 3-point scale (+, chk, -) using four criteria: (1) being on time to class, (2) being proactive and taking initiative, (3) offering discussion relevant to course content which shows preparation from readings, and (4) avoiding disruptive behavior. Participation will account for approximately 25 percent of your course grade. B. MIDTERM EXAMINATIONS. Four objective examinations will be given in class using a Scantron 882 form (see course outline for exam session numbers). The exams will test how well you can identify important concepts and relationships found principally in the assigned readings and apply the concepts to business situations illustrated by assigned cases (including videos shown in class). The four exams combined will be graded according to a class curve and account for 50 percent of your grade. Please note: NO makeup exams or other special arrangements will be provided unless requested in writing by the student and granted by the instructor PRIOR to the specific exam time. Requests on the same day of the exam will not be considered. C. STUDENT GROUP-PROCESS ACTIVITIES. According to a recent Wall Street Journal, “Getting a job in the future will be very difficult without team experience on a person’s resume.” To maximize your exposure to a team-process experience, some of your required tasks will be completed as a member of a semester-long group. Activities of your team will include the following: 1. GROUP MEMBER SELECTION. It is essential for you to operate in a focused, cooperative and goal-oriented group. In accord with the characteristics spelled out by “Establishing Ground Rules for Groups” (found as part of the second-session readings in the xeroxed course reader), you have the responsibility of seeking out fellow students with whom you have confidence will be good co-workers. Depending on total class size, four- to six-member groups will be formed and identified not later than Session 3. 2. FLIP-CHART PRESENTATIONS. During the semester, your group will be responsible for five case-analysis presentations, most pertaining to our master case on a mid-size corporation called Vail Resorts. You will be afforded class time prior to each presentation day to discuss possible solutions in your group, but your “deliverable” will be in the form of a group “flip chart” created outside of class. The session for each presentation is noted in the course outline with an asterisk (*). The in-class process for analyzing each flip-chart presentation will involve side-by-side comparisons of the different groups’ solutions. Assignments for each flip chart are found in attachment #1 of this course syllabus. The content of your group’s flip-chart and its professional presentation serve as the basis for grading team results. Your group=s solution to each assignment should reflect an ability to “read between the lines” in the case descriptions and see what is not always 4
  5. 5. obvious to the average observer. Ability to make relevance of course concepts (found in assigned readings) in your solutions is also of central importance to the discussion. In your presentation, you are required to support each item shown in your flip chart by referring to the exact content found in its source-of-origin (e.g., specific page of the written case, video content, website content or news article). Grading will use a 3-point scale for each chart and aggregate to a total. NOTE: The group activities account for 25 percent of your grade. While the majority of this is determined by the quality, substance and completeness of your flip charts, the character of your group relations matter a great deal as well. To encourage and support individual effort and responsibility for group success, we will complete co-worker evaluations of all students. If you come prepared and participate actively in your group, you will receive the group grade. If you do not, your grade will be reduced from that of the group by a factor determined by your co- workers through an evaluation form administered toward the end of the semester. COURSE OUTLINE AND REQUIRED READINGS* *Assigned readings for each session are located under each session topic and are to be completed prior to the class session for which they are assigned. PART I: COURSE ADMINISTRATION SESSION 1: Course Launch B Understanding The Syllabus Readings: None SESSION 2: Strategic Planning Teams B Vail Resorts (The Master Case) Readings: “Establishing Ground Rules for Groups” (xerox); Boschken, “Vail Resorts, Inc.” (xerox) PART II: STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT B THE PROCESS SESSION 3: Strategic Management B An Overview Readings: Hill and Jones, Essentials of Strategic Management, pp. 1-13; Hambrick and Fredrickson, “Are You Sure You Have A Strategy” (xerox); WSJ, “The Best Laid Plans” (xerox); WSJ, “Small Firms Struggle with Latest Management Trends” (xerox); WSJ, “Shifting Gears” (xerox); “Ranking the [Student] Attributes” (xerox) ≡ DEADLINE: Group membership Selection SESSION 4: Strategic Planning B the Ivory Tower Model 5
  6. 6. Readings: Hill and Jones, pp. 13-21; “Strategic Planning Process” (Xerox); Business Week, “The New Breed of Strategic Planner” (xerox) SESSION 5: Strategic Planning B the Group Consensus Model Readings: Hill and Jones, pp. 13-21; Eden and Huxham, “Action-Oriented Strategic Management” (xerox) SESSION 6: Strategic Planning at the Intel Corp (team preparation session) Readings: Boschken, “Verhalen Interview” (xerox); “Atop the Silicon Mountain” (xerox) SESSION 7: Strategic Planning at the Intel Corp.* ≡ Flip-Chart Presentation (#1) _______________________________________________________ SESSION 8: IN-CLASS MIDTERM (bring Scantron form 882) _______________________________________________________ PART III: STRATEGY FORMULATION B THE CONTENT SESSION 9: Strategic Situation Methodologies B External Analysis Readings: Hill and Jones, Chap. 3 SESSION 10: Strategic Situation Methodologies B Internal Analysis Readings: Hill and Jones, Chap. 4 SESSION 11: Vail Resorts B The Situation (video, Part I) Readings: Boschken, “Vail Resorts, Inc.” (Xerox); the SWOT template (xerox) SESSION 12: Vail Resorts B The Situation (team preparation session) Readings: The SWOT template (xerox); Boschken, “Vail Resorts, Inc.” (xerox) SESSION 13: Vail Resorts B The Situation* ≡ Flip-Chart Presentation (#2) 6
  7. 7. ___________________________________________________________ SESSION 14: IN-CLASS MIDTERM (bring Scantron form 882) ___________________________________________________________ SESSION 15: Strategy Formulation B Designing the Business Strategy (Part I) Readings: Hill and Jones, Chap. 2; Boschken, “Strategy Template” and template description sheets (xerox); WSJ, “For a Higher Share Price...” (Xerox); WSJ, “A Turnaround Primer” (xerox); WSJ, “Telling a Big Story in a Few Words”; WSJ, “Visioning Missions Becomes Its Own Mission” (xerox); SESSION 16: Strategy Formulation B Designing the Business Strategy (Part II) Readings: Boschken, “Strategy Template” and descriptive sheets (xerox); WSJ, “Corporate America Confronts the Meaning of ‘Core’ Business” (xerox); Boschken, “The Upper Middle Class as a Market for Preschool Reading Materials” (xerox) SESSION 17: Strategy Formulation B Business Strategy and the Industry (Part I) Readings: Hill and Jones, Chap. 5; WSJ, “Seeking New Business Core?”; WSJ, “How Gingham and Polyester Rescued a Retailer” (xerox); “Streamlining Plane Making” (xerox); SESSION 18: Strategy Formulation B Business Strategy and the Industry (Part II) Readings: Hill and Jones, Chap. 6; WSJ, “Invisible Supplier has Penny=s Shirts All Buttoned Up” (xerox) SESSION 19: Vail Resorts B The Strategy (video, Part II) Readings: Boschken, “Vail Resorts, Inc.” (xerox) SESSION 20: Vail Resorts B The Strategy (team preparation session) Readings: Boschken, “Vail Resorts, Inc.” (xerox) SESSION 21: Vail Resorts B The Strategy* ≡ Flip-Chart Presentation (#3) ________________________________________________________ SESSION 22: IN-CLASS MIDTERM (bring Scan-Tron form 882) ________________________________________________________ 7
  8. 8. PART IV: STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION B THE CONTENT SESSION 23: Designing Strategy-Driven Functional Programs Readings: Hill and Jones, Chap. 8; Porter, “How to Profit from a Downturn” (xerox); Boschken, “Strategy Implementation: Components of Program Design” (xerox) SESSION 24: Vail Resorts B Functional Programs (video, Part III) Readings: Boschken, “Vail Resorts, Inc” (xerox); SESSION 25: Vail Resorts B Functional Programs* ≡ Flip-Chart Presentation (assignment #4) SESSION 26: Designing the Strategy-Structure Relationship Readings: Hill and Jones, Chap. 9; “Office Democracies: How Many Bosses Can One Person Have?” (xerox) the strategy-structure diagram (xerox) SESSION 27: Vail Resorts B Organizational Structure (team preparation session) Readings: Boschken, “Vail Resorts, Inc.” (xerox) SESSION 28: Vail Resorts B Organizational Structure* ≡ Flip-Chart Presentation (assignment #5) ________________________________________________________ SESSION 29: IN-CLASS MIDTERM (bring Scan-Tron form 882) ________________________________________________________ 8
  9. 9. ATTACHMENT #1: FLIP-CHART CASE ASSIGNMENTS Bus. 189: Strategic Management (Prof. Boschken) INSTRUCTIONS. For those four sessions in the course outline marked with an asterisk, your group will prepare a flip-chart solution to the assignments listed below. The session prior to each flip-chart presentation will be devoted to in-class preparation. However, the flip-chart itself will be done outside of class time and must be ready for hanging at the beginning of the session for which it is assigned for presentation (late arrivals will not be accepted for presentation and will not be graded). Please note: you are allowed only one sheet of 27”x34” paper for hanging, so make sure your solution is succinct, well thought-out and to the point (use accepted abbreviations or icons and key phrases rather than complete sentences). The content of your group’s flip-chart and its professional presentation serve as the basis for grading team results. Two criteria are used. First, your group’s solution to each assignment should reflect an ability to “read between the lines” in the case descriptions and see what is not always obvious to the average observer (this is sometimes called “insight”). Second, your group’s ability to make relevant application of course concepts (found in assigned readings) in your solutions is also of central importance. In your presentation, you will be required to support each item shown in your flip chart by referring to the exact content found in its source-of-origin (e.g., specific page of the written case and concept readings, and video content, website content or news article identification). For example, you will be asked in your verbal comments supporting the flip chart to identify the exact location in the case that attests to the correctness/appropriateness of specific chart content. SESSION 6 & 7: INTEL CORP. This case deals with the nature and intent of the strategic planning process (not authority structure). In a single pictorial diagram, show as part of the whole process the following process ingredients described in the “Verhalen Interview” (xerox): (1) the role of the “strategic business segment” (SBS) chairperson, (2) the role and activities of the “high integration microprocessor operations” (HIMO) personnel in SBS planning, (3) the nature of the relationship formed between these two roles (what process and activities are occurring?), and (4) the integration/linkage of this relationship with all other units or activities of the firm (i.e., how are others involved in Intel’s planning process from the perspective of HIMO’s SBS?). Then, at the bottom of your flip-chart, list the principal benefit achieved by this process and its most significant problem. Finally, decide whether Intel’s process is characterized most by the ivory tower model of planning or the team-interaction model. SESSIONS 11, 12 & 13: VAIL RESORTS B THE SITUATION After a thorough analysis of the case using stage I methods (external and internal methods), do the following: (1) provide a SWOT analysis (formatted to the template found in the xerox package) of the firm’s internal and external situation; (2) after reviewing Hill & Jones (Chap. 3), decide which is the more critical external component: the five-forces rivalry or the macro- environment; (3) indicate whether the internal strengths and weaknesses are the result of imitation of industry practices or creative innovation within the firm. Show your logic for the 9
  10. 10. last two parts. SESSIONS 19, 20 & 21: VAIL RESORTS B THE STRATEGY Complete the strategy template for Vail Resorts. Be especially conscious of “reading between the lines” since this exercise takes some imagination and reasoned thinking about what this firm does and for whom. Then, analyze consistency of the strategy to the situation analysis done in the previous flip chart (what inconsistencies do you find?). Finally, decide which “generic strategy” is emphasized by the firm and indicate why. SESSIONS 24 & 25: VAIL RESORTS B FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMS (no flip-chart exercise) In order for a good strategy to be properly carried out, it must be implemented by functional programs that are consistent with the strategy. This means one can observe direct and specific reference points in a firm’s business strategy around which functional programs can be designed. During Session 24, you will watch the final part of the Vail Resorts case video. Its focus is on the implementation of functional programs, but by now, you also have a comprehensive knowledge of the firm’s strategy and industry situation. Using the template “Implementation: Components of Program Design” (xerox package), you will be watching the video, noting specific programs (displayed across the top of the template) and associating their attributes with particular strategy components acquired from analysis in previous exercises (displayed along the left side of the template). With this information, you will copy the template to your flip chart for presentation in Session 25. Include the following: (1) reach agreement within your group about how many and where “X”s (i.e., specific points of consistency) should be placed on the flip chart, (2) form an argument that supports each “X” by placing it in pencil alongside the “X”, and (3) noting the overall pattern of “X”s on the flip chart, indicate at the bottom which of Porter’s generic strategies the pattern best supports. SESSIONS 27 & 28: VAIL RESORTS B ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE Examine the organization structure of Vail Resorts (found in Figure XII on page 22 of the case), and answer the following questions on your flip chart: (1) According to the structural types identified in lecture (e.g., functional, multiple sub-types of divisional, multiple sub-types of matrix), what structural forms are present in the Vail organization chart and where are they located? Do this by color-coding different areas of the VR organization chart according to structural types. (2) Are specific areas of the organization chart designed to meet the needs of particular component-characteristics of the firm=s strategy (i.e., same list as on left side of program evaluation template)? Create icons to represent particular characteristics of the strategy and place the icons on the organization chart corresponding to where the specific strategy needs are met structurally. (3) What inconsistencies between strategy and structure can you identify? Specifically, is the strategy not being optimized because an essential structural type is missing, being inappropriately used or is in the wrong place of authority? Hint: there are at least 3 areas of concern. 10
  11. 11. ATTACHMENT #2: UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE, AND DEPARTMENT POLICIES a) Academic integrity statement (from Office of Judicial Affairs): “Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San José State University and the University’s Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty are required to report all infractions to the Office of Judicial Affairs. The policy on academic integrity can be found at b) Campus policy in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act: “If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish a record of their disability.” c) College of Business Policies and Procedures: Please check the url at %20SERVICES/cobpolicy.htm To ensure that every student, current and future, who takes courses in the Boccardo Business Center, has the opportunity to experience an environment that is safe, attractive, and otherwise conducive to learning, the College of Business at San José State has established the following policies: Eating: Eating and drinking (except water) are prohibited in the Boccardo Business Center. Students with food will be asked to leave the building. Students who disrupt the course by eating and do not leave the building will be referred to the Judicial Affairs Officer of the University. Cell Phones: Students will turn their cell phones off or put them on vibrate mode while in class. They will not answer their phones in class. Students whose phones disrupt the course and do not stop when requested by the instructor will be referred to the Judicial Affairs Officer of the University. Computer Use: In the classroom, faculty allow students to use computers only for class-related activities. These include activities such as taking notes on the lecture underway, following the lecture on Web- based PowerPoint slides that the instructor has posted, and finding Web sites to which the instructor directs students at the time of the lecture. Students who use their computers for other activities or who abuse the equipment in any way, at a minimum, will be asked to leave the class and will lose participation points for the day, and, at a maximum, will be referred to the Judicial Affairs Officer of the University for disrupting the course. (Such referral can lead to suspension from the University.) Students are urged to report to their instructors computer use that they 11
  12. 12. regard as inappropriate (i.e., used for activities that are not class related). Intellectual Property and Copyrights In the classroom, use of cameras (including cell phone cameras) and/or audio/video recording devices may not be used except with the expressed written permission of the instructor. Copyrighted materials acquired and/or used in the course (including but not limited to the course reader and videos) are the property of the instructor and/or others, and their duplication in any medium is prohibited by law without the expressed written permission of the instructor or those holding the copyright. Academic Honesty: Faculty will make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct in their courses. They will secure examinations and their answers so that students cannot have prior access to them and proctor examinations to prevent students from copying or exchanging information. They will be on the alert for plagiarism. Faculty will provide additional information, ideally on the green sheet, about other unacceptable procedures in class work and examinations. Students who are caught cheating will be reported to the Judicial Affairs Officer of the University, as prescribed by Academic Senate Policy S04-12. 12