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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Corporate Strategy (MSc) (CMSE11097)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits15
Home subject areaCommon Courses (Management School) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionCorporate Strategy is an integrating module; it is concerned with the totality of what a trading business or other organisation is trying to achieve. In other words it assesses a wide variety of environmental and organisational aspects which, when considered overall, help us to understand why some organisations thrive and similar organisations may struggle. These aspects will be relevant whether the organisations are trying to sell clothes world-wide or provide health care in a geographically defined community. The aim of the Corporate Strategy course is to help students examine the corporate strategic possibilities of an enterprise and also to encourage them to integrate what they have learnt from other courses and elective choices.

The questions we ask in strategy [whether in an assessment or in real life] may appear simple, but the answers can be very complex. $What business are we in?& is a classic strategy question that examiners ask of students, consultants ask of companies, and boards of directors should ask themselves all the time.

There may not be a right answer, and if there is we may not necessarily have that answer. By the end of this course students should be developing insights into the strategy of organisations which will impress not only us as teachers but people running organisations.

The overall objectives of our strategy course are therefore:

- to integrate the functional courses which form the rest of the MSC programme
- to emphasise the generalist nature of management work
- to examine the role of top management in setting the direction of enterprise
- to examine and to be able to apply techniques of strategic analysis
- to be aware of competing arguments behind a number of strategic approaches
- to gain an understanding of processes of strategy formulation and implementation

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Classes have been defined for this Course
First Class First class information not currently available
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Corporate Strategy2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. By the end of the course students will have learned:
& The need for a holistic approach to the analysis of strategy.
& Analytical approaches to strategy consistent with this holistic approach to organisations.

Knowledge and Understanding:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
& Knowledge of strategic planning techniques, and tools for strategic analysis.
& An understanding of the application of these techniques in business contexts.
& An appreciation of the main drivers of strategic change in an organisation.
& Knowledge of approaches to the implementation of strategic change processes.
& At the corporate level they will have particular knowledge of diversification, acquisitions, and the management of a group handling a variety of business units.
& They will be familiar with many examples of successful and less successful strategies.
& They will have extensive knowledge of industry cases, and major types of strategic decisions.

Cognitive Skills:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
& Take a holistic approach to the application of analytical templates and other techniques.
& Analyse cases which approximates closely to the rapid analysis of business situations.
& Rapidly structure ideas and presentations.
& Sift material quickly and efficiently, and to structure it into a coherent argument
& Research material related to companies and business contexts under pressure of tight deadlines.

2. & Students will learn from each other in group presentations and in preparing for these.
& In interactive plenary sessions they will learn from each other and from the teachers input.
Assessment Information
The course is assessed in two ways:
& 20% group presentation
& 80% case study examination
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1 16/1 Concept of Strategy. Generic Strategies & Market Share
Effects Presentation support.
Week 2 23/1 Resources & Capabilities: Value chain. Presentation by Ryanair Groups 1&2.
Week 3 30/1 Case: Ryanair. Presentation support.
Week 4 6/2 Networks, Innovation. Industry and Competitor Analysis. Presentations by Rivalry in Video Games Groups 3, 4 & 5.
Week 5 13/2 Rivalry in Video Games. Presentation support.
Week 7 27/2 International and Global Strategies. Presentation by Zara Groups 6 & 7.
Week 8 5/3 Zara: A Cut Apart from the Competition.
Week 9 12/3 Mergers, Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances. Presentation by DaimlerChrysler Groups 8.
Week 10 19/3 DaimlerChrysler Presentation by Renault-Nissan Groups 9 & 10
Week 11 26/3 The Renault-Nissan Alliance in 2008. Exam revision tips.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Grant, R. (2010, 7th Edition). Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Oxford: Blackwell.

This is the standard textbook for the Corporate Strategy course. It is succinct, though nice and readable. The text covers the basics systematically and your knowledge of topics covered in Semester 2 will be tested in the examination. There is also a more expensive, Text and Cases version well worth considering as the cases are excellent and worth referring to.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Chris Carr
Tel: (0131 6)50 6307
Course secretaryMiss Ashley Harper
Tel: (0131 6)51 3758
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