Contemporary Strategy Analysis

 

Instructor:

-Senior Lecturer in Business Strategy.
-Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the UK.
-Track co-Chair of ''Strategy'' for the British Academy of Management.
-Track Chair of ''Complexity and Strategy'' for the International Research Conference “GSOM Emerging Markets Conference-2017”

Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, London

E-mails: i.christodoulou@westminster.ac.uk, christodouloui@yahoo.com (pls use the 2nd/yahoo one)

  • Dr. Aray Yulia, Senior Lecturer, Department of Strategic and International Management, Graduate School of Management

Aray_yulia@gsom.pu.ru

Workload:

6 ECTS,

45 contact hours

Prerequisites:

None

Course Description:

A WARM WELCOME to Contemporary Strategy Analysis.

I would like to wish good luck in your studies and introduce you quickly to our module. First of all, I feel the need to inform you that my major driver behind everything I do is that ''I do care'' since I love our job and have not forgotten what it means to be a student. Our key values in this module are passion for excellence in order to get equipped for the market the best way we can and at the same time from ''ethos'' to become responsible professionals. These are the values that run throughout our module. In the following pages you will find ALL the details for every single aspect of our module thus PLEASE read it carefully point by point.

The course is an critical view to the principal strategic challenges facing managers today. It is designed to develop students’ understanding of what constitutes an effective strategy and how a strategic perspective can guide managerial decisions in various arenas. Our focal topic is the nature and limits of competitive advantage, how to make decisions that create and sustain the advantage over time and how to reconcile organizational resources with external threats and opportunities. Students will learn to use the main techniques of strategic analysis, as well as appreciate the range of their applicability and limitations. Students will not learn best strategy, but how to structure their strategy making capability and how to make informed decisions in the strategic realm.

In this module you will integrate and extend the learning you have achieved from the other modules you have studied on the course and from your experience in business. Our aim is to get you to solve business problems, but not in any narrow sense. For example, you will need to consider the financial arrangements – as well as the limitations of financially based considerations. You will conduct mainstream strategic analyses, and learn to identify the assumptions on which they are based and challenge the breadth of their application. But you will also need to reflect upon the impact of your decisions widely across all aspects of the business, consider the impact of the decisions on the organisation's reputation, its recruitment and retention of key staff, its duties to shareholders, and how different ways of monitoring and controlling the business may advantage some parties and disadvantage others.

The early sessions introduce the main themes and theories that you will be expected to use repeatedly through the semester and enlarge upon as you become familiar with how they work and what limitations they have. After that, classroom discussions will focus on a variety of problems that businesses face, and you will seek out ways of solving those problems, taking multiple perspectives. Some of those sessions will focus mainly on one or two approaches, but we challenge you to consider their wider implications.

We start with issues of start-up / growing businesses and the strains they face, coping with the pace of development and the need to acquire resources in an increasingly competitive markets. Then come the issues of mature businesses, large, complex corporations of international scope, listed on stock exchanges and having to deal with increased regulatory oversight and reporting requirements. Finally we look at businesses in decline and crisis, some facing existential threats, others needing a radical change in direction, with implications for everyone who works in the company, owns shares or has dealings with it.

As a final comment, I would like to invite you, not only to use the books and sources properly, but also to read and analyze critically. Do bring your queries to the class, challenge the lecturers and ask relevant questions. In this way we will make full use of these excellent resources and prepare you even better for your first step in the market. Synergy effects are essential to success. Let’s help each other to create them.
Thank you!

Ioannis

P.s.
Officially what you'll learn (at least):

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Develop a critical understanding of the current major challenges and issues associated with developing and implementing strategies both at business and corporate level.
2. Apply critical reasoning to theories of strategic management, corporate governance and ethics, and incorporate that thinking in analysis of real-life issues
3. Equip students with the tools and mental discipline to analyse complex business environments, identify the threats and opportunities within these environments and to formulate and implement strategies which are consistent with the organisation’s resources and capabilities.

Course Content (Topics and subtopics):

This module develops an understanding of strategic management in different organizational and environmental contexts. It provides theoretical concepts and relevant tools for undertaking strategic analyses, considering strategic choices and making strategic recommendations. Some of the main topics of the course are:

  • Environmental analysis
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Corporate Strategy
  • International Strategy
  • Strategic Change
  • Strategy Development Directions
  • Strategy Development Methods
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Competing in the Edge /Strategy as a Structured Chaos

Course Organization:

Lectures, Debates and Dialogue assisted by Videos and Slides, Quizzes, Lots of business and historic case studies, In-class presentations and competitions between teams.
No computer classes included but there will be a group presentation of max 5 people per group.

Course Reading (the full list):

Core reading:
Grant, R., (2014) Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases, John Wiley & Sons; 9th Edition edition

Supplementary reading:
Dess G., McNamara G., Eisner A, and Lumpkin T., (2011) Strategic Management : Text and Cases, McGraw Hill Editions

Exam format:

On-line -Essay type Questions.
90 minutes

Grading Policy (% or points):

  1. In-Class Test exam (25%)
  2. Group presentation (25%)
  3. Final exam (50%) – All classes included
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