University of Massachusetts, Boston
                                    College of Management

The primary focus of this course is to equip students with analytical reasoning skills in
unstructured business situations...
on the key strategic issues. Make sure you use the tools and concepts discussed in class and in
the book. The papers are d...
to get background information on a topic. Everyone in the group will receive the same grade,
   so be sure that you can wo...
Mission Statement Assignment

This assignment counts for 4% of the grade and is due 9.14.04. The assignment requires that ...

It was in early spring of the second year of his insurrection against the High Sheriff of
Nottingham t...
seemed increasingly remote. Besides, killing the Sheriff might satisfy his personal thirst for
revenge, but it would not i...
Guideline Questions For Case Analysis

To point you in the right direction, here are a few guideline questions for the fir...
5. SouthWest Airlines
Provide a brief industry analysis. Examine the degree of competition, the pricing structure, and
   •   You will be able to interact with the eBook in the following ways: text highlighting,
       making annot...
UMASS Boston Students on Prometheus
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t MGT 689
Fall 2004

Date        Topic                                          Assignment
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689 Grad Strategy Course Description

  1. 1. University of Massachusetts, Boston College of Management Mgt 689 Strategic Management Course Syllabus Fall 2004 Professor David Levy Course meets: Tuesdays 6 p.m. Office: Dept. of Management, 5th floor Room 220 Tel: 617-287-7860, E-mail: Office hours: Tues., Thurs., 3-4 p.m. or by appointment (best to e-mail anyway to confirm that I can be there). TEXT: Custom e-book by McGraw-Hill/Irwin (based on Thompson and Strickland) Supplementary materials on Prometheus at Course ID: 5528 Password: levyteach All materials are under: Collaborative Files COURSE DESCRIPTION This is the capstone course designed to help graduating students prepare themselves to become business leaders of the future. Strategic management is concerned with management of the overall direction of a company (or a business unit) rather than individual functions, such as finance or marketing. Strategic management is about analyzing the external environment and internal corporate capabilities so that a firm can develop an advantageous market positioning and prosper in a competitive environment. The course encourages students to develop strategic insights by integrating analyses from multiple functional areas. Today's competitive arena is becoming increasingly complex and firms must learn how to thrive in an era of rapid technological progress, increasing customer sophistication, and globalization of markets. The focus in this course is on developing strategic analysis skills for use in this complex competitive environment. COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES: * to develop an integrative and cross-functional perspective about business processes by providing a realistic exposure to a variety of business situations. * to understand conceptual frameworks for assessing organizational competencies and environmental opportunities, formulating effective business strategies, and implementing business strategies. * to understand the ways in which a company can create and sustain competitive advantages, and manage change in a rapidly evolving business context Skills: 1
  2. 2. The primary focus of this course is to equip students with analytical reasoning skills in unstructured business situations. It emphasizes case studies, library and electronic research for analyzing industries and the competitive positions of firms. It encourages students to further develop their oral communication skills in group discussion. It sharpens students' written communication skills by requiring them to write reports that can be understood and acted upon by managers. It emphasizes team skills to accomplish group goals, particularly in the term project. THE CASE METHOD: The cases are "slices of life" that are drawn from a wide variety of industries and firms. Cases serve as a teaching method in class and as a vehicle for you to practice your skills of analysis. Good case analysis is a skill that you will build up during the semester through reading the cases, writing up assignments, and participating in class discussions. The skills you will learn can be applied in any organization, and can even help you develop strategies for your own careers. In general, there is no single correct answer to a case. The key to good case analysis is to analyze the situation, apply relevant conceptual material, and evaluate possible courses of action. Do not merely restate the facts of the case. Where appropriate, your arguments should be supported by calculations, charts, tables, or graphs. REQUIREMENTS: 1. You are expected to read the assigned materials prior to the beginning of the class on the specified date. Familiarity with the materials will make class discussions both more effective and more interesting for you. Be sure to check the syllabus so that you know which readings are assigned for each class. 2. You are expected to attend all sessions. Attendance will be taken at random during the semester. Remember that much of the learning in this course takes place during class discussions, and that 20% of your grade is based on your participation. Participation means showing up, and being able to make informed, relevant comments based on your knowledge of the material. You start off with a D for participation. Missing more than two classes without good reason can lower this grade. To encourage you to speak up in class, misinformed comments will not hurt your grade. 3. You will form teams of three people to work on a group project. You will choose, in consultation with the instructor, an industry and at least two major competitors on which to conduct research and write up an extended analysis. This should be an industry that we have not studied in class. The analysis must use all of the core concepts from this course, such as industry and company analysis, core competencies, and implementation, as well as other concepts where relevant, such as international or innovation strategy. The report must not be adapted from another course. The papers are due Friday Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. but earlier is fine too! 4. You will prepare individually written analyses of three of the cases that we discuss in class during the semester. Papers should be about 6 pages (typed and double-spaced) and focus 2
  3. 3. on the key strategic issues. Make sure you use the tools and concepts discussed in class and in the book. The papers are due at the beginning of class on the day when that case is due to be discussed - no exceptions. You cannot write up Robin Hood, and at least one case must be handed in by 10.21 i.e. you have to do at least one of the first 3 cases. GRADING: % of total grade: Mission statement write-up 4% Individual written assignments 51% (17% each case) Participation 20% Final project report 25% (includes 5% on the presentation) --- 100% NOTES: 1. Reports should be written in prose, not in summary points. I do not directly penalize for grammatical and spelling errors, but a well-written paper always makes a better impression. Good structure and style are important. 2. Please use proper citation format in your papers – examples are given at the end of this syllabus. Copying from classmates during tests and exams, and plagiarism of materials for papers will not be tolerated. Plagiarism means copying sentences from other sources, whether on the internet, the newspapers, or a journal, without attributing the citation. If you want to cite a phrase or occasional sentence to emphasize a point, put it in “quotation” marks and cite the source. Note that it is unacceptable to copy large chunks of text in your papers, even if you cite a source. It is also unacceptable to copy large sections and make minor editing changes. In other words, the paper needs to be your own work, and written in your own words. Use sources to reference facts, ideas, and specific quotes taken from elsewhere. Depending on the severity of the case, plagiarism can lead to penalties ranging from failing the assignment, failing the course, or even suspension from the university. I am very good at detecting academic dishonesty and deal with it harshly. Students are expected to follow regulations and procedures regarding Academic Standards, Cheating, Plagiarism, and the Documentation of Written Work in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog at UMASS/ Boston. 3. Grading will take into account progress in the course, i.e. a more sophisticated understanding will be expected of cases later in the course. 4. The final project report should be 13-15 pages long, typed and double spaced, not including exhibits such as tables and graphs. Organize the paper well, and make sure it reads like one report rather than 3 sections with different styles stapled together. The paper should be based on a minimum of 12 sources, including newspapers, internet sites, popular business journals such as Businessweek, and at least some academic articles. Be sure to be in contact with me 3
  4. 4. to get background information on a topic. Everyone in the group will receive the same grade, so be sure that you can work effectively together. If one person is not able to contribute adequately, please be sure to give a warning as early as possible, then, after consulting with me, the person can be “fired” from the group. The person will have to work on a separate project. 5. Please pay attention to the style guide, framework for case analysis, and code of student conduct available at: Citation format: I prefer to see brief (author, year) references in the body of the text, with a full citation at the end of the paper. For example, as Levy (1997) put it, “the relationship between business and society is essentially political”. Or mention an idea or a statistic, and then put the author and year in brackets (Levy, 1997). Bibliography example: Korten, D. C. (1995) When corporations rule the world. West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press (for a book) Levy, D. L. (1997) Business and international environmental treaties: ozone depletion and climate change. California Management Review, 39(3), 54-71. (for an article: the numbers refer to volume, issue number, and page numbers in that order). McCormick, J. (1993). International nongovernmental organizations: Prospects for a global environmental movement. In S. Kamieniecki (Ed.), Environmental politics in the international arena . Albany, NY: SUNY Press. (for a chapter in an edited book) For an internet site, try to provide the author’s name, the name of the organization running the site, the URL, and the date accessed. 4
  5. 5. Mission Statement Assignment This assignment counts for 4% of the grade and is due 9.14.04. The assignment requires that you read Chapter 2 (actually, this is the first chapter in the book!) and then try to evaluate two mission/vision statements. A good mission statement describes a company’s products, markets, positioning, value chain activities (manufacturing? retail? R&D?) and distinctive mode of competing in the marketplace (the ‘how’ – e.g. through technology, low costs, high levels of service etc.). A well-crafted mission statement should help you identify the company, if it is well known – and even if it is not a well-known company, it should describe the particular way a company is succeeding in a competitive arena. A poor mission statement is usually overly generic and could apply to any company. A mission statement should also balance a description of current operations with long-term aspirations – where the company is now, and where it wants to go. Mission statements should be a communication device – they inform internal constituencies (managers, employees) as well as external stakeholders (consumers, investors, etc.) about the company’s unifying themes and goals, to help guide decision making, resource allocation, and planning. You need to find two mission statements – basically, you can search on the web for the home pages of your favorite companies or other organizations – hospitals, public agencies, non- government organizations, and activist groups such as environmental organizations often have interesting mission statements. Mission statements are sometimes called vision statement, statements of purpose, ‘who we are’, or similar. Try to find something that is at least a sentence or two – good ones can run to a couple of paragraphs long. You probably won’t find many that cover everything mentioned above. Very short ones are often inspirational marketing slogans, and are not intended to serve the strategic purpose outlined above. Print out the mission statements, and write up one page (double spaced) evaluating why you think these are good or not. Attach the mission statements to your one-page write up. 5
  6. 6. Case 1. ROBIN HOOD It was in early spring of the second year of his insurrection against the High Sheriff of Nottingham that Robin Hood took a walk in Sherwood Forest. As he walked he pondered the progress of the campaign, the disposition of his forces, the opposition's moves, and the options that confronted him. The revolt against the Sheriff had begun as a personal crusade. It erupted out of Robin's conflict with the Sheriff and his administration. However, alone Robin Hood could do little. He therefore sought allies, men with grievances and a deep sense of justice. Later he welcomed all who came, asking few questions, and demanding only a willingness to serve. Strength, he believed, lay in numbers. He spent the first year forging the group into a disciplined band, united in enmity against the Sheriff, and willing to live outside the law. The band's organization was simple. Robin ruled supreme, making all-important decisions. He delegated specific tasks to his lieutenants. Will Scarlett was in charge of intelligence and scouting. His main job was to shadow the Sheriff and his men, always alert to their next move. He also collected information on the travel plans of rich merchants and tax collectors. Little John kept discipline among the men, and saw to it that their archery was at the high peak that their profession demanded. Scarlock took care of the finances, converting loot to cash, paying shares of the take, and finding suitable hiding places for the surplus. Finally, Much the Miller's son had the difficult task of provisioning the ever- increasing band of Merrymen. The increasing size of the band was a source of satisfaction for Robin, but also a source of concern. The fame of his Merrymen was spreading, and new recruits poured in from every corner of England. As the band grew larger, their small bivouac became a major encampment. Between raids the men milled about, talking and playing games. Vigilance was in decline, and discipline was becoming harder to enforce. 'Why', Robin reflected, 'I don't know half the men I run into these days.' The growing band was also beginning to exceed the food capacity of the forest. Game was becoming scarce, and supplies had to be obtained from outlying villages. The cost of buying food was beginning to drain the band's financial reserves at the very moment when revenues were in decline. Travellers, especially those with the most to lose, were now giving the forest a wide berth. This was costly and inconvenient to them, but it was preferable to having all their goods confiscated. Robin believed that the time had come for the Merrymen to change their policy of outright confiscation of goods to one of a fixed transit tax. His lieutenants strongly resisted this idea. They were proud of the Merrymen's famous motto: 'Rob from the rich and give to the poor.' 'The farmers and the townspeople,' they argued, 'are our most important allies. How can we tax them, and still hope for their help in our fight against the Sheriff?' Robin wondered how long the Merrymen could keep to the ways and methods of their early days. The Sheriff was growing stronger and becoming better organized. He now had the money and the men, and was beginning to harass the band, probing for its weaknesses. The tide of events was beginning to turn against the Merrymen. Robin felt that the campaign must be decisively concluded before the Sheriff had a chance to deliver a mortal blow. 'But how,' he wondered, 'could this be done?' Robin had often entertained the possibility of killing the Sheriff, but the chances for this 6
  7. 7. seemed increasingly remote. Besides, killing the Sheriff might satisfy his personal thirst for revenge, but it would not improve the situation. Robin had hoped that the perpetual state of unrest, and the Sheriff's failure to collect taxes, would lead to his removal from office. Instead, the Sheriff used his political connections to obtain reinforcement. He had powerful friends at court, and was well regarded by the regent, Prince John. Prince John was vicious and volatile. He was consumed by his unpopularity among the people, who wanted the imprisoned King Richard back. He also lived in constant fear of the barons, who had first given him the regency, but were now beginning to dispute his claim to the throne. Several of these barons had set out to collect the ransom that would release King Richard the Lionheart from his jail in Austria. Robin was invited to join the conspiracy in return for future amnesty. It was a dangerous proposition. Provincial banditry was one thing, court intrigue another. Prince John had spies everywhere and he was know for his vindictiveness. If the conspirators' plan failed, the pursuit would be relentless, and retribution swift. The sound of the supper horn startled Robin from his thoughts. There was the smell of roasting venison in the air. Nothing was resolved or settled. Robin headed for camp promising himself that he would give these problems his utmost attention after tomorrow's raid. 7
  8. 8. Guideline Questions For Case Analysis To point you in the right direction, here are a few guideline questions for the first few cases. You do not have to structure your papers this way, and you can choose to examine other issues that you think are important. Be sure to apply the appropriate conceptual material from class and the readings. 1. Robin Hood (this case is for class discussion only) What are Robin's goals? Which are the primary goals, and which are tactics to achieve them? Do Robin's goals coincide with those of the band? Assess whether Robin's current strategy is working, relative to the goals. Why is the band now encountering problems? Attempt an economic analysis of the performance of the band: what is the relationship of costs and revenues to the size of the band? Evaluate the options facing Robin. 2. Retail Brokerage Industry Analyze the online brokerage industry using the tools of industry analysis. In particular, pay attention to the degree of competition, the driving forces, and the key success factors. An industry group map is useful here. Does the industry exhibit economies of scale, differentiation, brand loyalty, high switching costs, or other sources of sustainable advantage for dominant firms? What impact do data security concerns and financial scandals have on this industry? Can full-service firms sustain their high-priced services even as they introduce their own discount online services? Can you explain both the high number of new entrants and the trend toward mergers and consolidation? 3. Apple Analyze the PC industry. In particular, explain how has the competitive environment facing Apple has changed from low-competition, high margin in the late 1970s and early 1980s to a high-competition low-margin environment in the 1990s. How has the ‘Wintel’ standard managed to dominate the industry despite the fact that many consider Apple’s products to be superior? Provide a company analysis of Apple. In particular, what are Apple's core capabilities and positional advantages? Evaluate some of the strategic options open to Apple. Does it really have a future in PCs? Is Apple well placed to expand into other consumer electronics items like the I-Pod? Software such as I-Tunes? What opportunities are offered (and threats presented) by the increasing compatibility and portability of Mac and Windows software? 4. Wal-Mart Provide a brief industry analysis. What driving forces have caused the expansion of large suburban discount stores? What stage of growth is the industry at, and is there a strong threat from rival retail formats (e.g. category killers, like Best Buy, or alternative channels, like Provide a company analysis. In particular, how does Wal-Mart achieve its low- cost position? What are Wal-Mart's core competencies and positional advantages, and is its advantage sustainable? What distinguishes Wal-Mart's approach to implementing strategy? How might Wal-Mart continue to grow? What are its prospects in the grocery business and in international markets? 8
  9. 9. 5. SouthWest Airlines Provide a brief industry analysis. Examine the degree of competition, the pricing structure, and segmentation in the industry. How do you account for the strong growth of the discount airline sector in the airline industry? Analyze SouthWest’s strategy. In particular, compare its strategy based on direct flights with the hub-and-spoke operations used by other airlines, in terms of costs, on-time service, aircraft utilization, and customer convenience. What are the company’s core competencies and positional advantages, and is its advantage sustainable? What distinguish- es SouthWest's approach to implementing strategy? Can the company continue to grow without comprising its core business model? --------------------------- Instructions for Accessing Prof. Levy’s Strategic Management eBook Go to: The instructions for purchasing are available at the website. If you encounter any problems you can contact the Technical Support Team or Customer Service at 1-800-962-9342. Click on register and set a user name and password Click on: Custom eBooks: Locate the custom eBook created by your professor. Select the State: Select: Massachusetts Choose the School: Select: University of Massachusetts, Boston Select the eBook you wish to purchase: Select: Strategic Management (NOT MBA Strategic Management – that is Prof. Franko’s book!) Decide which way you want to access the book – see below Buy the book for $50.41 About eBook Options In buying your eBook you have two options: Online Viewing or Download. Online viewing allows you to view the eBook from any computer. Downloading an eBook locks it to one computer. There is no difference in price between the two versions of eBook: online viewing and the download. These are the key differences between our eBook options: ONLINE VIEWING Purchasing the online viewing option for your eBook makes sense if you don’t always use the same computer or you are taking a lab course. It is also the quickest way to get started using your eBook. The advantages of online viewing are: • You will be able to access your eBook from any computer that can be connected to the 9
  10. 10. Internet. • You will be able to interact with the eBook in the following ways: text highlighting, making annotations, setting bookmarks, searching the web on highlighted words or terms, links to encyclopedias and dictionaries, etc. • You will be given a set number of page-views of the book. It will be sufficient for reading, studying, and reviewing your eBook. If you require more, the subscription can be extended. • You will be able to print out the pages in the book once for free. You must install the necessary plug-in before accessing your online account eBOOK DOWNLOAD Purchasing the download option for your eBook is preferred if you always use the same computer and you have a very fast connection to the Internet. The advantages of a download are: • You will be able to download the eBook directly to your computer. It can only be opened from the computer to which it is downloaded. It cannot be copied or saved to another computer. You will own the eBook for as long as you own the computer. Download times can be long, depending on your connection, and the files are very large. • You will be able to interact with the eBook: text highlighting, making annotations, and setting bookmarks • You will be able to print your eBook more than once. You must install or have already installed the Adobe eBook Reader on your computer. 10
  11. 11. UMASS Boston Students on Prometheus SignUp Now at (Please do not create multiple accounts.) 1. If you already have a Prometheus account please skip to step #6. (Please do not create multiple accounts.) 2. Link your Internet Browser to 3. Click “Create New Student Account” under the login field. 4. To begin using this system, please fill out the information. All of the entries are required. After submitting this form you may change your account information at any time by selecting the “Account” link on the course listings page. {Please only create one account – if you forget your username or password simply click on the “Forgotten Your Password?” link and the information will be immediately emailed to you.} FAll future logins will require your username and password-it is important to remember this info.E 5. When you have completed this process, you will have access to your portal page. 6. Once you have successfully registered and can see your portal page, click on the word “Courses” and then click “Add Course”. {If you would like to add the generic Student Tutorial use Course ID: ‘618’ and Course Password: ‘student’.} Use the following information for your instructor’s Course: 7. The information for YOUR Course: <insert Course NAME> is as follows: Course ID: <insert COURSE ID> Course Password: <insert Course PASSWORD>. • Features of this service:  Student Help Guide and FAQ’s/Technical Specifications are available online at  If you have questions or would like more information, please eMail ~ 11
  12. 12. Strategic Managemen t MGT 689 Fall 2004 Date Topic Assignment ----- ------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------- 9.7 Introduction to Strategic Management 9.14 Mission and Vision Ch. 2. Write up 1 page on 2 mission statements Class discussion: Robin Hood Read case, but not for write up. efile: Mintzberg1999 10 schools 9.21 Industry analysis Ch. 3 9.28 Company Analysis Ch. 4 Case: Retail Brokerage Industry efile: Teece2000 dynamic capabilities 10.5 Strategic Positioning Ch. 5 efile: Christensen TR2002 Case: Apple 2002 10.12 Strategy Implementation Chs. 11-12 Case: Walmart 10.19 Technology and the internet Ch. 6 efile: Henderson Clark ASQ1990 Case: Southwest Airlines 10.26 Global Strategies Ch. 7 efile: MNE multidomestic e-Bay in 2002 efile: Levy lean production 11.2 Diversification Chs. 9 Case: Dell - Selling Directly, Globally 11.9 Corporate Political Strategy efiles: Levy Egan99, Baron integrated strategy Case: Black and Decker 11.16 Case: Oil industry and Climate Change efile: Levy Kolk EMJ01, Climate Change case Group Work time 11.23 Case: FedEx Corp. Group Work time 11.30 Case: Music on the Internet efiles: music internet 2004, AppleBW newstrategy, Student Presentations Apple music2 12.7 Student Presentations 12
  13. 13. Summary and Feedback 13