Current courses:

Mgmt 465
International Management

Mgmt 780
International Management

Mgmt 475
Business Policy




MGMT 475 Section 101
Mondays, 5:30 - 8:00 pm
University of Baltimore 
Merrick School of Business 
Spring 2002
Professor: Christine Nielsen, Professor of International Business 
Director of Global Business Studies and the 
Northrop Grumman International Scholar
Office: Thumel Business Center, Room 552
Office Hours: Mondays 4:00 - 5:30 pm 
Following class, or by appointment 
Phone (410) 837-4992 
E-mail: cnielsen@ubmail.ubalt.edu
Websites At University of Baltimore

Students must be seniors in the final semester before graduation and must have successfully completed the Upper Division Core.

Required Text

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:

  1. To create an awareness of the importance of strategic management as a cornerstone of success in today’s global environment.
  2. To develop the ability to describe, evaluate, and recommend business strategies.

  3. Purpose and Objectives (Continued)

  4. To relate the functional areas of business to the needs of the organization as a whole.
  5. To enhance analytical and problem-solving abilities in an unstructured and uncertain environment typical of the working world.
  6. To enhance strategic decision-making capabilities, at both individual and group levels.
  7. To foster written and oral professional communication skills.
  8. To develop a deeper understanding of management as a profession and the impact of personal goals, values, ethics, and attitudes on business behavior.
Method of Instruction

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 management performance. 
Participation in Class and Case Discussions 

Mid-Term Examination

Final Examination

Peer Evaluations 


April 1
May 13

May 6

Strategic Management Research Project 
Strategic Management Research Presentation
April 29 
April 29 or May 6

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. 


Participation in Class and Case Discussions 25%
Mid-Term Exam 20%
Final Exam 20%
Strategic Management Team Research Project
Strategic Management Paper (20%) 
Class Presentation (5%)
Peer Evaluation on Research Project Contributions 10%



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 contribute to the discussion by raising points that improve the level of understanding of the situation being analyzed 

- 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...) 

    • Each student will analyze his or her own approach based on a comparison of the approaches presented by his or her classmates




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: 

  1. Current Situation
  2. Corporate Governance
  3. External Environment (Both Societal and Industry Analysis)
  4. Internal Environment
  5. Analysis of Strategic Factors
  6. Alternatives and Recommendations
  7. Implementation
  8. Evaluation and Control
Each team will have the opportunity to work with a "mentor" from a Maryland firm who will be available to answer questions, and to provide information and/or interviews. In some cases, due to the nature of the project requested by the mentor, the outline of the report will vary from the strategic audit outline provided above. The chosen firm can be large or small, and information compiled can be from both primary and secondary sources. The report should illustrate applications of some of the major tools demonstrated during the semester, such as the EFAS, IFAS, SFAS Tables, Porter's Industry Analysis, and the Strategic Audit. This research paper has a maximum length of 15 pages, but appendices, tables, and figures can be added as appendices. The text should be single-spaced, 10-12 characters per inch, with one-inch margins.  Be sure to number pages. References must be cited in the paper using footnotes or endnotes. A bibliography should be included. Website references are valuable, but the reference list should not be exclusively comprised of websites. Interviews should be cited, and included in the bibliography.


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. 


1. The MGMT 475 course schedule is subject to change based on the availability of guest speakers and other factors. Prof. Nielsen will communicate any changes during class time, or through e-mail to you. Please check for such messages regularly. 

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…

  1. Responsibilities of Students
Students have the responsibility to encourage and support an atmosphere of academic honesty. To encourage honest and reasonable use of sources, students are expected to utilize appropriate methods of documentation for written word. Students are to recognize that faculty considering written materials will assume such utilization. Students are to do their won work and to make all reasonable efforts to prevent the occurrence of academic dishonesty. They are to set an example for other students be refraining from acts of cheating, plagiarism, or other violations of the Academic Integrity Policy. They are to refrain from aiding or abetting other students in any attempts to violate the Academic Integrity Policy. When acts of academic dishonesty occur, students are to consider means to limit such behavior."

Course Schedule
Date   Assignments Due   Topics
Jan 28
Introductions and Course Overview

The Tower Exercise

Feb 4 • Read Chapts. 1 & 14, and Appendices 14.A, B, C Library Session: How to make best use of reference materials for your Strategic Management Research Report- including on-line sources

***Alert! Alert!***

Meet at 5:30 pm in Langsdale Library, Room 200- Please be on time!

Feb 11 • Read Chapt. 10, just section 10.7, pages 251-259, "Using the Strategic Audit to Evaluate Corporate Performance"

• Read Chapt. 2

• Read one or more articles about Enron- (A total of at least 5 pages)- Bring articles to class. Be prepared to discuss and turn in.

Introduction to the Strategic Audit

How to organize your team's Strategic Management Research Report

Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility

Discussion of the Enron Fiasco

(Note: There is no Enron Case in our textbook. We will use current articles for our discussion.)


Financial Ratios

Feb 18 • Read Chapt. 3

• Read the Strategic Practice Exercise, p. 78-79

• Read "Black & Decker Confronts Japanese Competition At Home and Abroad" (Case and tools in MGMT 475 Course Study Package)

Environmental Scanning and Industry Analysis

Porter's "Forces Driving Industry Competition"

Black and Decker Case Discussion and Industry Matrix exercise


Industry Matrix 

Porter's Industry Analysis

Feb 25 • Read and prepare answers to questions on p.10 of this syllabus for Case #2 class discussion: "The Wallace Group" (Change date of case for your decision-making purposes to Sept. 12, 2001.) Environmental Scanning and Industry Analysis (Continued)

The Wallace Group Case Discussion

Tool (In course study package): 

EFAS Table

March 4 • Read Chapt. 4 

• Read and prepare answers to questions on p. 10 of this syllabus for Case #5 class discussion: "Arm & Hammer (1998): Poised for Growth?"

Internal Scanning: Organizational Analysis

Arm & Hammer Case Discussion

Tools (In course study package):

Financial Ratio Table for Arm & Hammer 

IFAS Table

March 11 • Read Chapt. 5

• Read and prepare answers to questions on p. 11 of this syllabus for Case #15 class discussion: "Harley-Davidson, Inc. (1998): The 95th Anniversary"

Strategy Formulation: Situation Analysis & Business Strategy

Porter's Generic Competitive Strategies

Harley-Davidson Case Discussion

Introduction to Tools (In course study package):

Financial Ratio Table for Harley-Davidson 

SFAS Table

TOWS Matrix

BCG Growth-Share Matrix limitations

March 18 • Read Chapts. 6 & 7

• Prepare your role for the Harley-Davidson Board meeting (Roles to be assigned in class.)

Strategy Formulation (Continued): 

• Corporate Strategy

• Functional Strategy

Applying Tools: SFAS Table and the TOWS matrix

March 25 • Enjoy Spring Break! But don't forget your team projects!


April 1 • Prepare for Mid-Term Exam Mid-Term Exam


April 8 • Read Chapts. 8 & 9

• Read one or more articles about one successful business leader of interest to you. (At least 5 pages)- Bring articles to class. Be prepared to discuss and turn in.

Strategy Implementation: Organizing for Action 

Leadership in Strategic Management

Strategy Implementation: Staffing & Directing

April 15 • Read Chapts.10 and 11

• Read and prepare answers to questions on p. 11 of this syllabus for Case #9 class discussion: "Cisco Systems, Inc.

Compare Cisco in 1998 to Cisco today.

• Read one or more articles about Cisco describing its performance in 2001. (At least 5 pages)- Bring articles to class. Be prepared to discuss and turn in.

Evaluation and Control

Strategic Issues in Managing Technology and Innovation

Cisco Systems Case Discussion 

1998 to present: What went wrong?

April 22 • Read Chapts. 11 and 12

• Read one or more articles about one successful on-line business that you have identifed. (At least 5 pages)- Bring articles to class. Be prepared to discuss in relation to chapters 11 and 12, and turn in articles.

Strategic Issues in Entrepreneurial Ventures and Small Businesses
April 29 • Strategic Management Research Papers Due Strategic Management Research Presentations begin
May 6 • Peer Evaluations Due Strategic Management Research Presentations end
May 13 • Prepare for Final Exam Final Exam



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:

  • Pricing and profitability
  • Specialty Products Division
  • Vulnerability
What is your assessment of the financial condition of Church & Dwight? Complete the financial ratio table for Church & Dwight and turn it in.

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?

University of Baltimore
Merrick School of Business
1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-5779

1 (410) 837-4200