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BUS 445 Strategic Management

University of Rhode Island

College of Management
Instructor's Name:
Office Hours:

11-12:15 (Ballantine 112) and 2-3:15 (Ballantine 113)

Doug Creed, Ph.D.
Ballantine 311
Monday, 2-3:30 and by appointment

Are good strategy-making and good strategy-execution the key ingredients of company success? Most
business people seem to agree, so the mission of this course is to explore the basic concepts and tools of
strategic analysis, and to drill you in the methods of crafting a well-conceived strategy and executing it
Courses in strategic management are meant to help you get a better handle on the big picture by looking
at an enterprise in its entirety including the industry and competitive environment in which it
operate, its long-term direction and strategy, its resources and competitive capabilities, and its
prospects for success.
Youll be called on to:

1. evaluate all aspects of a companys external and internal situation;

2. size up a companys standing in the marketplace, its sources of competitive advantage (or of
disadvantage), and the implications for its ability to compete with rivals or cooperate with allies;
3. learn to tell the difference between winning, mediocre, and poor strategies; and
4. become more skilled in spotting ways to improve a companys strategy or its execution.
In the midst of all this, there is another purpose: helping you to apply and synthesize what you have
learned in prior business courses. Dealing with the grand sweep of how to manage all the pieces of a
business makes strategic management an integrative, capstone course in which you reach back to use
concepts and techniques covered in previous courses. For perhaps the first time, youll see how the
various pieces of the business puzzle fit together and why the different parts of a business need to be
managed in strategic harmony for the organization to operate in winning fashion.
Putting it all together can be exciting, fun, and challenging.
The reward is that you will become a savvier player in the world of commerce and will be better
prepared for a successful business career.
1. You will develop your capacity to think strategically about a company, its present business
position, its long-term direction, its resources and competitive capabilities, the caliber of its
strategy, and its opportunities for gaining sustainable competitive advantage.

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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2. You will be become adept at conducting complex strategic analyses in a variety of industries and
competitive situations, crafting business strategy, reasoning carefully about strategic options,
using what-if analysis to evaluate action alternatives, and making sound strategic decisions.
3. You will develop a stronger understanding of the competitive challenges of a global market
4. You will recognize the managerial tasks associated with implementing and executing company
strategies. We will explore the range of actions managers can take to promote competent strategy
execution. You will develop greater confidence in your ability to function effectively as part of a
companys strategy-implementing team.
5. You will integrate and use knowledge gained in earlier core courses in the business school
curriculum, learning how the business puzzle fits together.
6. You will see why the different parts of a business need to be managed in strategic harmony for the
organization to operate in winning fashion.
7. You will become better at communicating your recommendations, the reasoning behind your
strategic analyses in a managerial memo.
8. You will examine the linkages between strategizing, corporate performance, and larger issues
facing the humanity such as environmental degradation, climate change, income inequality,
poverty alleviation, and sustainable development.
1. Thompson, Gamble & Strickland. 2004. Strategy: Core Concept, Analytical Tools, and Readings.
New York: McGraw Hill Irwin. ISBN 0-07-291830-6
2. Munter, Mary. 1999. Guide to Managerial Communication. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 5th edition (or later if there is one).
3. Hart, S. 2005. Capitalism at the Crossroads: The Unlimited Business Opportunities in Solving
the Worlds Most Difficult Problems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School Publishing.
4. Case Reader available at Harvard Business Online. Iinformation on downloading appears at the
end of the hard copy syllabus and at this link.

5. Framework for case analysis available at:



Any student with a documented disability is welcome to contact me as early in the semester as
possible so that we may arrange reasonable accommodations. As part of this process, please be
in touch with Disability Services for Students office at 330 Memorial Union or at 874-2098.

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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Your course grade will be based on the following components and percentage allocations:
Midterm exam
Memo #1
Memo #2
Memo #3
Learning Portfolio (study questions and quizzes)
Participation in class discussion of cases



This course combines mini-lectures, small group exercises, and case discussions.
More than 3 absences will result in student receiving at best 10/20 points for participation. Six absences
will result in the loss of all 20 points for participation.
Participation in class discussion of concepts and cases counts as a factor in determining your overall
grade in the course. You should, therefore, make a conscientious effort to make it to class and to be
sufficiently prepared to make intelligent, timely comments regarding the managerial issues raised in the
cases. While your grade on class participation will be based on your contribution to the discussion and
not simply on attendance, repeated absences will necessarily have an impact on your participation grade.
More than three absences will result in students receiving at best 10/20 points for participation,
regardless of the reasons. Athletes who expected more than 3 absences should see me at the beginning of
the semester.
Case-driven courses rely on students coming prepared to discuss the issues of a case. To prepare for
a case discussion, follow the framework presented at:
At the beginning of the semester, you will receive a file folder for accumulating study questions and
quizzes in a portfolio. Study questions will be distributed for each assignment and case. Students should
bring brief written answers to the questions to class. Answers should be legible and comprehensible
comprised of complete, grammatically -correct sentences. They should be detailed enough that they will
help you recall important aspects of your analysis so you are better prepared to contribute to case
Assume that quizzes will happen every week, but probably no more than once per week. There are no
make-ups for quizzes. You will be asked to assign your own provisional grade on both quizzes and study
questions. All study questions and quizzes will be graded Poor (no credit), Fair (no credit), Good (credit),
or Excellent (credit). You will keep the study questions and quizzes until the end of each class and may
make as many annotations as you like, if how you would answer the questions changes during the class.
You may then assign an updated grade. I will collect quizzes in order to initial and date them, but will
then return them.

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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After they have been returned, all quizzes and study questions will be accumulated in a learning portfolio.
On an individual basis, you may continue to annotate the quizzes on an additional sheet and alter your
proposed grade until a scheduled portfolio review by the professor (three times during the semester). The
number of points earned will be finalized at these reviews.
Students should work independently on the written case assignments. The content of your written case
should reflect your thoughts and analysis rather than the work of others.
The framework for case analysis at http://www.management.umb.edu/mba/mba_framework.php also
contains several options for writing about your case analysis. Each assignment will specify which option
to use.
Remember, in general, a written case report requires that students go through the entire process of
identifying (or diagnosing), evaluating, and recommending. In writing-up the report, however,
students will need to focus on what they judge to be the most important problems and issues raised
in the case in order to stay within the page limit.
The study questions provided can serve as a foundation for a report. A written report is NOT simple a set
of answers to the study questions.
These analyses should be prepared as succinct reports to management rather than as a student
commentary directed to the instructor. The maximum length is 2-3 single-spaced typed pages (font 12)
of text, plus exhibits such as tables and/or graphs. In short, it is important that students assume the
posture of a professional manager writing to an audience of other practicing managers, keeping the
analysis action-oriented through focusing on what to do and why.
The criteria for grading written case presentations include:
1. Identification of key problems/strategic issues.
2. Use of appropriate analytical tools techniques, including the use of charts and tables where
appropriate. You are expected to demonstrate that you can use the tools and techniques of strategic
analysis presented in the chapters. Both breadth and depth of analysis will be evaluated.
3. Presenting realistic, workable, well-supported recommendations for action.
4. Use of good communication skillsparticularly those covered in the Munter book on managerial
communication. Failure to use good grammar, spelling, and other written communication skills will
result in a full one-letter grade reduction.
5. Evidence of adequate preparation, pride of workmanship, and display of professional attitude and
Written case assignments are due on the day the case is scheduled for class discussion (see the Schedule
of Class Activities) and should be turned in to your instructor at the end of the class period. All written
case assignments are to be prepared individually; group work is out of bounds.
Unless otherwise noted, no late papers on an assigned case will be accepted after discussion of the
case in class. In such circumstances, students may be able to arrange memos on alternative cases.
To summarize, written cases should be:
No longer than 2-3 single spaced, typed pages, plus exhibits.

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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Clearly written in a memo form, with correct spelling, grammar, and sentence structure and
with headings and subheadings that make it easy for the reader to identify your main


Written case assignments are to be the work of individual students. If you have any questions about what
constitutes plagiarism and what are a professors explicit duties relative to student cheating, please read
sections 8.27.10 8.27.20 of the URI Academic Regulations at:


The work in this course is complex and intensive. To do the best you can, it is a good idea to visit at the
Academic Enhancement Center (AEC) in Roosevelt Hall. The AEC offers a comfortable environment in
which to study alone or together, with or without a tutor. AEC tutors are your peers. They have taken
your courses and can answer questions, clarify concepts, check your understanding, and help you to
study. You can make an appointment or walk in anytime during office hours -- Monday through Thursday
from 9 am. to 9 pm, Friday from 9 am to 1 pm, and Sunday from 4 pm. to 8 pm. For a complete schedule
-- including when tutors are available specifically for this class -- go to www.uri.edu/aec, call (401) 8742367, or stop by the fourth floor in Roosevelt Hall.

For this capstone course, the time requirements are fairly significant:

Expect to spend 1 to 3 hours preparing a case for class discussion. Trying to wing it is illadvised!

Expect to spend 8 to 15 hours (this varies according to your own personal efficiency and skills)
doing the written case.

Expect to spend 2 to 4 hours reading and mastering each of the chapters of text.

Expect to spend 3-5 hours preparing for each of the midterm and more than that for the final

It all adds up to a bunch of hours (probably more than for some other courses).
But dont let the hours/time requirements intimidate you. All of the assignments that comprise the course
aim at (a) improving your grasp of important tools and concepts, (b) enhancing your ability to use and
apply them correctly, and (c) sharpening your business decision-making judgment. The course has been
deliberately designed to push you to do your best under pressure and to be very real-world in terms of
what you learn and what you can take with you of practical value as you launch your business career. In a
very real way, the entire course is your final exam for business school and for being cleared to become
a licensed practitioner of business.

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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Semester Course Outline




Welcome, introductions, orientation and course preview

Framework for case analysis


Lecture/discussion of Chapters 1
Required readings: Chapter 1, TGS, with study questions
Framework for case analysis http://www.management.umb.edu/mba/mba_framework.php
Case: Ice-Fili


Lecture/discussion on the application of key concepts on Chapter 2

Required readings: Chapters 2, TGS, with study questions
Case: Ice-Fili


Lecture/discussion on the application of key concepts in Chapter 3

Required readings: Chapters 3, TGS, with study questions
Case: Ice-Fili


Memo 1 due at the third floor reception area by 4:00 Thursday.

Assume the role of a senior member of the strategic planning group at Ice-Fili and write a memo,
based in part on option D for writing up a case analysis at
NOTE: Your memo should depart from option D in that it should reflect the insights you
gained from studying Munter, especially in the areas of message strategy (chap. 1) and macro
writing issues (document design (e.g., headings, white space, margins), showing connections,
and effective paragraphs and sections (chap. 3)
Please review ahead of time the score sheet that will be used to grade the memo .
Your memo may present your use of particular analytical tools, if appropriate, but should present
your conclusions regarding:
1) the companys external environment & how it is evolving;
2) the potential sources of competitive advantage in the Russian ice cream market;
3) Ice-Filis position relative to its key competitors
4) the 3-5 most important implications for its strategic options
5) the best strategy for Ice-Fili to adopt.


Lecture/discussion on writing a business memo

Required readings:
Munter, chapter 1-2, with study questions


Lecture/discussion on writing a business memo

Required readings: Munter, chapter 3-4, with study questions

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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Lecture/discussion of TGS chapter 4

Required readings: Chapter TGS 4, pages 109-133, with study questions
Case: Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in the 21st Century


Lecture/discussion of TGS chapter 4, pages 133-159

Required readings: TGS Chapter 4, pages 133-159, with study questions
Case: Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in the 21st Century

10/10 Review session for midterm (1)

Advanced essay questions for review before this meeting
10/12 Midterm 1: TGS, Chapters 1-4 and Munter, chapters 1-4, with questions on the Ice-Fili and
Cola Wars cases
DUE: Learning Portfolio for review by the professor.
10/17 Lecture/discussion of TGS Chapter 5
Required readings: TGS Chapter 5, with study questions
Case: Silvio Napoli at Schindler India (a)

10/19 Lecture/discussion of TGS Chapter 6

Required readings: TGS Chapter 6, with study questions, with study questions
10/24 Application of key concepts from chapter 6 to: Silvio Napoli at Schindler India (a)
Required readings: Reread Silvio Napoli to answer new study questions
10/26 Lecture/discussion on TGS Chapter 8, pages 274-292
Required readings: TGS Chapter 8, pages 274-292
10/31 Application of key concepts from chapter 8 to Silvio Napoli, with study questions
Due: Memo 2 on whether Schindler India should consider any drastic change in strategic

Lecture/discussion of effective implementation

Required readings:
Having Trouble with your Strategy? Then Map It, with study questions
Linking the Balanced Scorecard to Strategy


Strategy, measurement, and culture

Require readings: OReilly (1989) Corporations, Culture, and Commitment: Motivation and
Social Control in Organizations (in the reader), with study questions, with study questions
Case: Boston Lyric Opera, with study questions


Review session for midterm (2)


Midterm 2 TGS, Chapters 5, 6, 8 OReilly with questions on Silvio Napoli and Boston Lyric

DUE: Learning Portfolio for review by the professor.


Sustainability and strategy

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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Required reading: Chapter 1 & 2 (Hart), with study questions

explore and become familiar with GE Eco-imagination; visit

Sustainability and strategy

Required reading: Chapter 3 & 4 (Hart), with study questions
Revisit GE Eco-imagination related websites




Sustainability and strategy

Required readings: Chapter 5 (Hart), with study questions
Case: Voxiva (TBD)


Sustainability and strategy

Required readings: Chapter 6 (Hart), with study questions
Case: Voxiva (TBD)


Sustainability and strategy

Required readings: Chapter 7, 8 (Hart), with study questions
Case: Unilever in India
DUE: Learning Portfolio for review by the professor.


Sustainability and strategy

Required readings: Chapter 9 (Hart), with study questions
Case: Unilever in India
Due: Memo 3 on your analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of GEs emergent green
strategy using concepts introduced in Harts book. We will work out individualized
refinements of this assignment during the period of 11/10-12/1. I will accept assignments
until 12/11 at 2:00 pm.

Doug Creed
MGT 410, Fall 2005

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