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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Postgraduate Course: Strategic Management (MBA) (BUST11213)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is concerned with the strategic management process. Rarely is the formulation of strategy straightforward. Corporate complexity and market uncertainty often result in messy and sometimes political processes. Consequently, many of the concepts, frameworks and tools that we use often appear very straightforward in theory, but can be difficult to apply in practice. This is because at its heart strategy is a social process, which can be difficult to quantify or to analyse objectively. But, ultimately, it is these social processes that underpin economic performance.

This course is designed to both introduce strategic management to MBA students, and to begin integrating knowledge from your previous learning and experience to identify and address strategic concerns of firms. The first four days is structured around eight overlapping and interweaving key themes. They include strategic leadership, the context of strategic management and society, competitive analysis, strategy in the multi-business firm, disruptive innovation, transformation and renewal and strategic resilience. Each theme is based around a case. For each theme there will be a one hour case discussion, 30-minute lecture on theory, followed by 60 minutes of group discussion and analysis of the case in syndicate groups, and finally, 45 minutes of a case de-brief and Q&A. The first four days is designed to encourage students to reflect on their own experiences and to share them with the rest of the class. The fifth day of the module will comprise of group presentations of a case that has been developed over the module.

Course description Introduction to the module

Case Discussion: Google Inc.
Lecture 1: Strategic Purpose, Mission, Vision, Values
Syndicate Groups: Application of theory to case
Case De-brief

Case Discussion: Apple Inc.
Lecture 2: Competitive Analysis
Syndicate Groups: Application of theory to case
Case De-brief

Case Discussion: Global Climate change and BP
Lecture 3: Strategic Context: Business and Society
Syndicate Groups: Application of theory to case
Case De-brief

Case Discussion: The Walt Disney Company: the Entertainment King
Lecture 4: Strategy in Multi-business firms
Syndicate Groups: Application of theory to case
Case De-Brief
Guest Lecture: tba

Case Discussion: Tata Nano - the people's car
Lecture 5: Disruptive Strategy
Syndicate Groups: Application of theory to case

Case Application: Cirque du Soleil
Case De-brief

Case Discussion: Globalization at Komatsu
Lecture 6: Strategic change and transformation

Syndicate Groups: Application of theory to case
Case Application: Anne Mulcahy: Leading Xerox through the perfect storm
Case De-Brief


Live Case Study
Participation Assessment

Guest Lecture: tba

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding:

o The complexity of strategic management in firms;

o A knowledge of key concepts associated with strategic management process;

o Different perspectives for managing strategically;

o The current issues being faced by strategic managers.

Cognitive Skills:

o The ability to manage and synthesise relevant information about firms in a clear, sound and explicit way;

o Broad, integrative thinking;

o The ability to use management concepts to produce persuasive conclusions about real firms

o Ability to apply theories and models to new environments and contexts

- Ability to evaluate and critique business theories and models

Subject Specific Skills:

o Ability to analyse complex business situations

o Skills of argument development and persuasion

o Group working and presentation skills

- The ability to communicate analyses and conclusions clearly and persuasively

By the end of the course students will have learned

o Useful approaches of strategic analysis, and their limitations

o Knowledge of strategy alternatives for firms in different contexts

- Different perspectives for managing strategically
Reading List
Primary Text

Leavy, B. and McKiernan, P. 2009. Strategic Leadership: Governance & Renewal. Palgrave

Secondary Texts

Ackermann, F. and Eden, C. 2011. Making Strategy. Sage

Grant, R. 2010. Contemporary Strategy Analysis. Wiley

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. (2008). The Strategy Safari. NY: Free Press.

Lecture 1: Strategic Purpose, Mission, Vision, Values
Reading: L&M: 1-67

Lecture 2: Competitive Analysis
Reading: L&M:125-149

Lecture 3: Strategic Context: Business and Society
Reading: L&M: 69-124

Lecture 4: Strategy in Multi-business firms
Reading: L&M: 167-202

Lecture 5: Disruptive Strategy
Reading: 149-166, 203-241

Lecture 6: Strategic change and transformation
Reading: L&M: 243-285

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMBA StratMngmnt
Course organiserDr Robert Mackay
Course secretaryMiss Kate Ainsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 3854
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