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Course Syllabus

Course Information
Course Number/Section BA4305-002
Course Title Strategic Management/Honors

Term Fall 2006

Days & Times MW 11-12:15

Professor Contact Information

Professor Marilyn R. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Office Phone 972-883-2742
Email Address mkaplan@utdallas.edu
Office Location SOM4.216
Office Hours Mondays 10-11, Wednesdays 10-11 & 6-7
Other Information Please email through WebCT

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions

Co-requisite: BA 4371, Prerequisites: BA 3341, BA 3351, BA 3352, BA 3361 and BA 3365.

Course Description
This is a capstone-level course requiring integration of all fields of business. Students will draw
on their broadened awareness of various environmental influences (social and political) to solve
business problems. Management alternatives will be examined with an ethical perspective
relating policy trends to the strategic planning mode.

The Strategic Management course has been designated a capstone course in business at the
University of Texas at Dallas. The purpose of a capstone course is to integrate the learning
achieved in individual business courses taken to earn a business degree. The knowledge acquired
in finance, accounting, operations, MIS, marketing, and organizational behavior classes will be
utilized to study the strategic management of the firm as well as the responsibilities of the general
manager. Group and individual assignments will be graded on content and written and oral
presentation skills. Students will participate in a simulation that requires taking into account
multiple decision-making factors while balancing all sectors of the firm’s environment.

This is an extremely intense course, which requires a substantial time commitment. The
university has mandated as part of this course a requirement of at least 15 double spaces pages of
writing per individual student that will be evaluated on grammar, punctuation, and writing style.
A writing tutor will assess the written assignments, provide detailed feedback, and determine
whether a revision is necessary. Because of this requirement, please submit 2 copies of all written

A writing tutor will grade your written assignments on a scale of 1-10. Any assignments receiving
grades of 6 or below must be rewritten, and will be assessed again. Be aware that your average
writing grade will be part of the calculation for your final course grade.

Course Syllabus Page 1

Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes
1. Students will be able to complete an external and internal analysis of a firm.
2. Students will be able to identify the strategic problems of a firm.
3. Students will be able to develop solutions to a firm’s strategic issues.
4. Students will be able to integrate skills acquired in finance, accounting, marketing, and
MIS courses to create a successful generic strategy.
5. Students will be able to practice and apply different approaches to and modes of written
exposition as appropriate to strategic management.
6. Students will be able to write using effective technical requirements including
organization, mechanics, and thesis development.
7. Students will develop sensitivity to written language by being able to employ and apply
effective and appropriate rhetorical devices directed at a business audience.

Required Textbooks and Materials

Required Texts
Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage
Barney & Hesterly, 2006, Pearson Prentice-Hall

Gopinath & Siciliano!, 2005 Thomson

Business Week Magazine

Additional readings as assigned

Required Materials
Required Simulation:
Capstone Foundation

Suggested Course Materials

Suggested Readings/Texts
Business Periodicals

Course Syllabus Page 2

Assignments & Academic Calendar
Topics, Reading Assignments, Due Dates, Exam Dates
Week Topic B&H G&S Capstone
8/21 Intro Registration
Solo Rehearsal
8/28 Game Practice 1 Groups formed/Library orientation

9/6 Strat Mgmt/Mission 1 3 Practice #1

9/11 External Environment 2 5&6 Practice #2

9/18 Internal Environment 3 7&9 Round #1

9/25 Cost Leadership 4 Round #2

10/2 Differentiation 5 Round #3

10/9 Focus 8 Round #4

10/16 Industry Analysis Game analysis

10/23 Vertical Integration 6 11 Round #5

10/30 Diversification 7 Round #6

11/6 Structure & Control 8 14 & 15 Round #7

11/13 Alliances 9 10 Round #8

11/20 M&A 10 18

11/27 Game Debrief

Course Syllabus Page 3

Grading Policy

Group Assignments
Capstone 25%
Presentation 20%
Individual Assignments
Firm Strategic Analysis 30%
Exercises, Quizzes, and Participation 25%

A+: 97 and up A: 94-96 A-: 90-93

B+: 87-89 B: 84-86 B-: 80-83
C+: 77-79 C: 74-76 C-: 70-73
D+: 67-69 D: 64-66 D-: 60-63
F Below 60%

Group Assignments

Capstone Simulation

The Capstone simulation will be conducted with students organized into groups that will
represent separate firms within an industry. Every firm begins from the same starting point, but
will compete based on various decisions made within your group. We will begin with some
practice rounds first against the computer, then against the other groups to learn to play the game,
and hopefully identify some fatal strategies. After that point, the simulation results count toward
your final grade. As the simulation continues, each group will keep a record of decisions made,
and the specific strategic reasons for those decisions. Simulations are fun, but take the
competition seriously – there are winners and losers in this game!

When the simulation ends, each group will prepare a final report (to be approximately 10 double-
spaced, typed pages) that outlines actions taken throughout the life of the simulation. The report
should include:
1. The firm’s mission statement.
2. Original strategic plan.
3. An environmental analysis – compare the status at the beginning and the end of the
4. An internal analysis of strengths and weaknesses – compare the position of the firm at the
beginning and the end of the semester.
5. Deviations/alterations to the strategic plan throughout the simulation.
6. A listing and description of all decisions made, including assumptions made and
justifications for the decisions.
7. Evaluation of the firm’s successes and failures. What decisions were correct? What
should have been done differently? What strategies should be implemented for the future
success of the firm?

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Characteristic Assessed -lent Good Fair Missing

Mission Statement 10 8 6 0

External Analysis
Stakeholder Analysis 10 8 6 0
Competitive Analysis 10 8 6 0

Internal Analysis
Value Chain Analysis 10 8 6 0
Financial Analysis 10 8 6 0

Generic Strategy
Generic strategy fit 10 8 6 0
Explanation of variance from strategy 10 8 6 0

Culture 5 4 32 0

Leadership 5 4 3 0

Implementation 10 8 6 0

Paper Format & Presentation 10 8 6 0

Writing Style/Technical Quality

Each firm group will then make a final presentation to the class regarding their final firm report.
Assume that you are top management making this presentation to the board of directors at the
annual shareholders meeting. Be able to defend your decisions and assumptions.
Finally, you will individually and confidentially grade each member of your team on participation
and level of contributions.
Grading for the simulation will be as follows:
15% Final report
5% Individual participation in the simulation (From the peer evaluations)
5% Simulation results

Course Syllabus Page 5

Group Presentations

For one class meeting each week, a group will run the class. These class meetings should NOT be
the usual power point presentation, with each member speaking. They should be dynamic, fun,
and engaging. You will be required to generate participation among your fellow students – this
can be in the form of a game show (Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? for example), role
plays, field trips etc. Be creative. We have all heard many power point presentations, therefore,
do something that is different, gets the point across, and includes everyone.

Individual Assignments

Exercises, Quizzes and Participation

You will be completing and submitting several exercises in the Strategize! text. Most of these will
be completed in class. In addition, we will have some random quizzes. These will be short answer
style. The class participation component means that you must come to class prepared to discuss
and participate.

Course Syllabus Page 6

Individual Firm Strategic Analysis

Choose a firm from the Dallas Morning News Top 200 for your analysis. These firms are
headquartered in the Dallas area and there is quite a bit of information available in the newspaper.
The paper will consist of 5 sections, (minimum 3 pages each section, exclusive of tables &
graphs) to be submitted by the deadlines listed below. This project will require library database
research, research on news affecting the firm, and possibly visits, phone calls, and written
communication to the firm.

Turn in 2 copies of each paper section. One copy will be graded for grammar, style, punctuation,
etc, using the following rubric:

Criteria 0 1 2 Total
Grammar Several grammar One or two errors No mistakes
Spelling Multiple spelling One or two errors No spelling errors
Word Choice Below average word Good word choices Excellent word
choices choices
Organization and Poor organization Good organization Very well organized
Citation of Sources Missing citations Minor errors in Correct citation of
citations sources
Total Points

Learning Goal: Students will develop competency in written communications. Each student will
complete a minimum of 15 pages of double-spaced written assignments in this course. The
assignments will be assessed using the rubric above as follows:
1. A paper scoring a zero in any of the five criteria must be rewritten.
2. For all papers totaling 6 or under, the paper must be rewritten.
3. For all papers totaling 5 or under, the student must make an appointment with the
writing tutor.
4. Papers scoring 7 and above may be rewritten to improve the grade.
5. Rewrites must be stapled to the original paper and submitted no later than the
following week.

The second copies will be graded for content as you submit them. Those grades will be
conditional. At the end of the semester, you will submit all 5 papers bound as a complete firm
analysis and append an introduction and conclusion. At this point, all writing errors will have
been corrected, and you may address deficiencies highlighted in the initial section submission.

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Section 1

Due 9/20

External analysis of the firm.

Discuss the external environment of the firm including the impact of the stakeholders.
Discuss the competitive environment of the firm in detail.

Section 2

Due 10/4

Complete a value chain analysis of the firm including a comprehensive financial analysis and
identification of competitive advantages.

Section 3

Due 10/18

Identify the generic strategy of the firm and evaluate the fit with the competitive environment and
competitive advantages.

Section 4

Due 11/1

Discuss and evaluate other strategies the firm is pursuing, such as diversification, international
operations, or alliances.

Section 5

Due 11/15

Describe the structure and control systems in use by the firm and evaluate the fit with
implementing the generic strategy. This means identifying strategic problems.

Complete Analysis

Due 11/27

Submit the following:

• Correct and emend your 5 sections
• Add an introduction
• Add a conclusion including recommendations for the firm’s strategic plan.

Course Syllabus Page 8

Characteristic Assessed -lent Good Fair Missing

External Analysis
External Environment & Stakeholder Analysis 10 8 6 0
Competitive Analysis 10 8 6 0

Internal Analysis
Value Chain Analysis 10 8 6 0
Financial Analysis 10 8 6 0
Mission Statement Analysis 10 8 6 0

Generic Strategy
Generic strategy fit 10 8 6 0
Explanation of variance from strategy 10 8 6 0

Other Strategic Options 5 4 3 0

International Business

Implementation 5 4 3 0
Control Systems

Strategic Recommendations 10 8 6 0

Paper Format & Presentation 10 8 6 0

Writing Style/Technical Quality

Course Syllabus Page 9

Course Policies
Make-up exams
There are no make up quizzes
Extra Credit
Late Work
Late assignments will not be accepted

Class Attendance
You are required to attend class. This course is your course – your input will determine your
outcomes. Therefore, exclusive of the participation grade, you are allowed 2 excused absences.
After that, each absence results in a reduction of 5 points from your total grade.

Classroom Citizenship
Respect your fellow students – turn off cell phones, no talking amongst yourselves, try to be on
time. It is easiest to contact me outside of class via e-mail. If necessary, we can make
appointments if before class or after class meetings are not sufficient. Please be sure that I have a
way to contact you (e-mail address, phone number). In the past I have had reasons to contact
students (for example, I have received papers missing pages). Unclaimed papers will be retained
for one year.

Group Rules

All groups have hiring and firing capabilities. Individuals have the ability to resign a group.
However, every student must belong to a group. If you have conflicts with your group, you may
resign – but you must interview and find a position with another group. Conversely, groups may
discharge members, but the students fired from a group must find another group. I have found this
method greatly reduces social loafing. You will be evaluated by your peers – no slackers
allowed! At the end of the semester, each student will rate the performance of their fellow team
members. This rating will be used to determine for individual student grades for group

Field Trip Policies / Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities

You may find it necessary to visit the firm of your choice for your paper. Those visits are to be
individually scheduled by you.

Student groups may choose a field trip for their group presentations – please discuss with me.

Student Conduct & Discipline

The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and
regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility
of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and
regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student
conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A to Z Guide, which is
provided to all registered students each academic year.

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of
recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the

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Rules and Regulations, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, Part 1,
Chapter VI, Section 3, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the
university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations
are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are
available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-

A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of
citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the
Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to
discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or
off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.

Academic Integrity

The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty.
Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work
done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high
standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.

Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related
to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s
own work or material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty
involves one of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying
academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary

Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from
any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on
plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the resources of
turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.

Email Use

The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication
between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises
some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange.
The university encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a
student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from
students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the
university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individual
corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each
student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university
personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method
for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.

Withdrawal from Class

The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level
courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog.
Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle

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withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any
student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final
grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled.

Student Grievance Procedures

Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and
Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other

fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a
serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or
committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”).
Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and
evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be
submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If
the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student
may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the
School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate
or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic
Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the
academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.

Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of
Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and

Incomplete Grade Policy

As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably
missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An
incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the
subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the
incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is
changed automatically to a grade of F.

Disability Services

The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational

opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in
room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to
6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:

The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22
PO Box 830688
Richardson, Texas 75083-0688
(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)

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Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable
adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. For example,
it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals
(in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind. Occasionally an assignment
requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation
for a student who is hearing impaired). Classes enrolled students with mobility
impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities. The college or
university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or
mobility assistance.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an
accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty
members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations.
Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or
during office hours.

Religious Holy Days

The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required
activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose
places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas
Code Annotated.

The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible
regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused,
will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time
after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one
week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or
assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the
exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that
exam or assignment.

If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose
of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the
student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or
examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief
executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or
designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student
and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.

Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities

Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law
and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities.
Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the website address
given below. Additional information is available from the office of the school dean.
(http://www.utdallas.edu/Business Affairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm)

These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.

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