Mondays, 5:30 - 8:00 pm
University of Baltimore
Merrick School of Business
Students must be seniors in the final semester before graduation and must have successfully completed the Upper Division Core.
Strategic Management and Business Policy, 7th edition, by Thomas L. Wheelen and J. David Hunger, Addison-Wesley. Additional readings will be made available during the semester, through electronic library reserves, or handed out in class.
Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of the course is to integrate previous studies in the functional
areas of business into a general consideration of corporate purpose and
strategy in both domestic and international contexts. The objectives of
the course are:
The course will be conducted through case analyses, discussions, lectures,
a role-play simulation, and strategic management research reports. Case
Analyses will place students in the position of managers who are responsibility
for strategic management planning and implementation. Lectures will
elaborate on basic issues in the field to ensure a breadth of understanding.
Discussions and Reading Assignments will offer more specific
insights into particular areas of strategic management. The Role-Play
Simulation will put students in the shoes of two entrepreneurial companies
who are negotiating a strategic partnership. The Strategic Management
Team Research Project will serve as the capstone of this course, calling
on students to integrate course material in order to analyze environmental
as well as firm-specific factors, and to evaluate the firm's strategic
Assignments are due at the beginning of a class period. Assignments
will be accepted up to one week late, but will be penalized one letter
grade. If you are unable to attend class on any date when an assignment
is due, please turn it in before class, or fax your work to Dr. Nielsen
at (410) 837-5675 before class time.
COURSE GRADE EVALUATION CRITERIA
Participation in all class sessions is essential for the student to understand key concepts and to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Please note that attendance during both presentation dates for the Strategic Management Team Research Project is required. These contributions will be reflected in your participation grade. Your contributions to case analyses and participation in class discussions will be a major component of your participation grade.
Students will be drawn into in-depth analyses of real case examples from a variety of industries. Each student will be challenged to make significant decisions that will affect the strategic interests of the firms under review. Students will exercise their abilities to apply what they have learned in a proactive process.
Participation in case discussions should follow the guidelines summarized below:
- Students listen carefully in order to understand the comments of others
- Students are open to various points of view, recognizing there are no "right" or "wrong" answers (...although there may be "better" and "worse" solutions...)
"THE STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT TEAM RESEARCH PROJECT:
A DESCRIPTION OF THE CAPSTONE PROJECT FOR THIS COURSE
Student teams will describe and analyze the strategic management process of a local area firm. In most cases students will include the following components of a Strategic Audit:
CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTATIONS
Each team will present a summary of its project work during one of the last two class sessions. Teams are encouraged to use audio-visual, and other graphic aids to enliven their presentations. Tables, graphs, and figures should be used for concise presentation of comparative data. Guest speakers from the companies with which teams have worked will be encouraged to participate. Presentations are not expected to exceed 45 minutes; however, the addition of a guest speaker could increase the presentation period. Presentations will be scheduled in advance. Presentations will be evaluated by your classmates.
Each student will be evaluated by his or her team members in a confidential report provided to Prof. Nielsen. These evaluations are to be signed and submitted to the professor in a sealed envelope on May 6. (Submissions by e-mail will not be accepted.) Each student will be rated by their peers on the following criteria: a) Amount of work done; b) Intellectual contribution; c) Reliability; and d) Group relations. Each factor for each team member should be considered separately. Then, a numerical evaluation should be assigned based on a scale of 0 to 10 (nil contribution to outstanding) on the basis of your evaluation of each team member. A paragraph or two of explanation for the grade assigned should be submitted for each team member evaluated. A student's failure to submit peer evaluations may delay release of that student's final grade. General guidelines for peer evaluations are provided below.
Four factors should be considered separately for each team member:
1. Amount of work done: interviews, meetings attended, research and analyses, report writing, typing, editing, etc.
2. Intellectual contribution: ideas, provocative suggestions, sage advice, useful devil's advocacy, etc.
3. Reliability: the team member's performance at meeting deadlines, attendance at meetings, delivery of work promised, etc.
4. Group relations: leadership supplied, constructive actions vs. disruptive behavior, assistance provided to teammates, etc.
The following guidelines should apply:
1. Identical evaluations of all team members are unlikely. Please do not avoid the responsibility of this procedure.
2. Very high and very low evaluations should be given extra substantiation in writing.
The degree to which these evaluations will be reflected in the grades assigned by the professor will depend upon the quality of the substantiation evidence.
2. Students should bring their textbooks to all classes.
3. Do not leave assignments in Dr. Nielsen's mailbox. Assignments should be handed in during class directly to Dr. Nielsen.
4. Students are encouraged to keep a copy of all work turned in. You
may wish to have a copy to guide your remarks during class discussions.
Misplaced work or lost work is the responsibility of the student to replace.
" Academic honesty is based on the principle that one's work is one's own. The University of Baltimore Academic Integrity Policy encourages all members of the University to accept responsibility for taking academic honesty seriously be being well-informed, by contributing to a climate in which honesty is valued, and by considering responsible ways to discourage dishonesty in the work of others.
Students. faculty, administrators, and staff shall not condone or tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or falsification, since such activity negatively affects all members of the academic community
INDIVIDUAL PREPARATION FOR CASE DISCUSSIONS
For those cases drawn from you textbook, please consider how you would answer the questions listed below. Items that need to be turned in are in bold:
Case 2: The Wallace Group
Prepare an External Factor Analysis Summary (EFAS) table for The Wallace Group and turn it in.
What is (are) the most important problem(s) facing The Wallace Group?
What recommendations would you, as a consultant, make to Mr. Wallace, and in what order of priorities?
How do you educate a Stage I manager (entrepreneur) to become a Stage II or III professional manager? What impact does this problem have on this case?
How do you handle the transfer pricing problems involved in the backward integration? The acquisition of the plastic company has locked the Electronics Group into using their plastic products at a higher cost.
If Mr. Wallace is found to be one of the major problems, should he be addressed directly or indirectly?
Has The Wallace Group's diversification strategy been effective? Please explain your answer.
Case 5: Arm & Hammer (1998): Poised for Growth
What factors have led to Church & Dwight's long history of slow and stable growth?
What are the major strengths and weaknesses of Church & Dwight?
What is your assessment of the future outlook for Church & Dwight, in terms of the following:
Prepare an External Factor Analysis Summary (EFAS) table for The
Wallace Group and turn it in.
Case 15: Harley-Davidson, Inc.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of Harley-Davidson?
What are the opportunities and threats facing Harley Davidson?
Does Harley- Davidson have core competencies? If so, what are they?
Does Harley-Davidson have any distinctive competencies? If so, what?
What are the pros and cons of Harley-Davidson's large backlog?
What is your assessment of the financial condition of Harley-Davidson? Complete the financial ratio table and turn it in.
Prepare an SFAS Table for Harley-Davidson and turn it in.
Case 9: Cisco Systems
Analyze strategy formulation, implementation, evaluation and control at Cisco Systems, in light of the case and current information.
Does Cisco have one or more core competencies?
Does Cisco have one or more distinctive competencies?
What was the secret of Cisco's success? What went wrong?
What competitive strategy has Cisco used? Is it still appropriate?
Of which industry is Cisco a part?
Who are the primary competitors in this industry?
What are the other current industry forces, such as power of suppliers, etc.?
How has Cisco's industry changed?
To what extent has Cisco achieved corporate entrepreneurship?
What strategic changes would you recommend?
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