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Unit Title: Strategic Business Management and Planning

Unit Reference Number: T/602/0128

Guided Learning Hours: 180
Level: Level 7
Number of Credits: 20

Learning Outcome 1
The learner will: Understand the nature, scope and need for strategic business management
and planning in international profit and not-for-profit organisations.

Assessment Criteria
The learner can:

Indicative Content

1.1 Explain the scope,

nature and characteristics
of strategic business
management and planning
in a global environment.

1.1.1 Examine the nature and context of businesses working

in a global environment.
1.1.2 Consider the nature and scope of strategic decisions, in
terms of time frames and level of decision-making.
1.1.3 Explain the characteristics of strategic decisions,
including the aim of achieving competitive advantage, the
effect of strategic decisions on the other organisational levels
and the impact of environmental factors.
1.1.4 Examine Mintzbergs 5 Ps to explain the concept of

1.2 Critically analyse the

need for strategic business
management and planning
in a global environment.

1.2.1 Identify and explain the forces driving the need for
strategic business management in a global environment,
Reduction in barriers to trade and investment;
Market liberalisation;
Economic development and modernisation;
Integration of worldwide financial markets;
Emergence of economic trade blocs;
Advances in technology, and
Convergence of consumer lifestyles and preferences.
1.2.2 Appraise the global business environment and the
nature of global business activities. This will include appraisal
The forms of international trade, such as importing,
exporting, international investment, outsourcing and
direct investment.
The risks involved in global strategies, including
cultural risk, country risk, currency risk and
commercial risk.

1.3 Appraise the

international dimensions of
strategic business

1.3.1 Consider the international dimensions of strategy and

the organisation, and discuss the increasing complexity of
international business strategy.

management and

1.3.2 Discuss the factors of increasing complexity of

international business strategy and planning, including the
impact on functional areas of the business:
Human resource management
Operations and structure
1.3.3 Explain the concept of multi-national corporations and
appraise the difficulties in strategic planning when operating in
multiple international locations.

1.4 Analyse the different

levels of organisational
strategy and their
relationship with tactical
and operational decisionmaking.

1.4.1 Explain the three levels of organisational strategy:

Corporate level strategy
Business level strategy
Functional level strategy

1.5 Explain the distinction

between profit and not for
profit organisations in
terms of strategic business
management and

1.5.1 Examine the nature of not for profit organisations such

as the public sector, government agencies, charities and
nationalised industries.

1.4.2 Discuss the need for corporate and business level

strategies to match appropriate functional level strategies.

1.5.2 Explain the concept of strategic planning in not for profit

organisations and the different influences involved.
1.5.3 Consider the political influences in not for profit
organisations and the nature of the competitive environment
and how these will affect strategic planning.
1.5.4 Appraise the nature and influence of stakeholders in the
strategic planning process of not for profit organisations.
1.5.5 Compare and contrast strategic planning in profit and not
for profit organisations.

Learning Outcome 2
The learner will: Understand a range of classical and contemporary models, concepts and
tools in business strategy and planning.

Assessment Criteria
The learner can:

Indicative Content

2.1 Identify classical and

contemporary models,
concepts and tools in
business strategy and

2.1.1 Explain the following concepts and models:

Logical incrementalism
The learning organisation
Transformational change

critically appraise the use

of these concepts and
models in contemporary

Muddling through
Strategic drift
Intended strategy/realised strategy/imposed
Emergent strategy and deliberate strategy

2.1.2 Evaluate the difference between static, dynamic and

complex business environments.
2.1.3 Critically examine the applicability of the above concepts
and models in these different business environments.

2.2 Distinguish prescriptive

and emergent theories of
corporate strategy and
their relevance to

2.2.1 Consider the nature of the prescriptive theory as a

systematic and deterministic process of strategic planning.
2.2.2 Explain the advantages and disadvantages of a
prescriptive approach to strategic planning.
2.2.3 Consider the nature of the emergent theory as an
incremental and unplanned method of strategic planning.
2.2.4 Explain the advantages and disadvantages of an
emergent approach to strategic planning.
2.2.5 Identify business environments where each approach is

Learning Outcome 3
The learner will: Understand the processes by which organisations identify and develop their
goals and values.

Assessment Criteria
The learner can:

Indicative Content

3.1 Examine the

processes by which
organisations identify and
develop their goals and
values and mission.

3.1.1 Explain the difference between a mission statement,

organisational goals, values and objectives.
3.1.2 Identify who the organisation is there to serve and the
direction and purpose of the organisation.
3.1.3 Examine the nature and purpose of mission statements.

3.2 Appraise the impact of

the conflicting needs,
power and influences of
stakeholders on an
organisations goals.

3.2.1 Explain the nature of stakeholder power and interest.

3.2.2 Undertake a stakeholder mapping process (using the
Mendelow stakeholder mapping matrix).
3.2.3 Identify the challenges and opportunities presented by
stakeholder groups.

3.2.4 Discuss strategies for managing stakeholder conflict


3.3 Examine the influence

of corporate governance
and regulation.

3.3.1 Explain the corporate governance framework.

3.3.2 Examine the importance of separating ownership from
management control.
3.3.3 Identify whom the organisation should serve.

Learning Outcome 4
The learner will: Understand the impact of political, economic, social, technological,
environmental and legal factors on an organisation.

Assessment Criteria
The learner can:

Indicative Content

4.1 Evaluate the impact

and influence of the
external environment on
an organisation and relate
it to its strategy.

4.1.1 Distinguish the macro environment from the micro

4.1.2 Explain the environmental analysis process that takes
place during strategy formulation and as part of a continuous
process of environmental scanning.
4.1.3 Evaluate the macro-economic factors and their impact on
organisations (economic growth rates, inflation rates, interest
rates, exchange rates, employment legislation and taxation

4.2 Critically appraise the

use of techniques such as
and other derivatives.

4.2.1 Explain the component factors of Political, Economic,

Socio-cultural, Technological, Ecological/Environmental and
Legal (PESTEL)
4.2.2 Critically evaluate the practical use of these techniques in
the light of dynamic global business environments.
4.2.3 Identify and explain the advantages and disadvantages to
organisations of undertaking environmental scanning as part of
the strategy formulation process.

4.3 Identify the sensitivities

of the organisation to
environmental change and
appropriate prioritisation of
search mechanisms.

4.3.1 Examine the components of environmental change,

including environmental complexity and environmental
4.3.2 Explain how high environmental uncertainty affects
business strategy.
4.3.3 Examine the importance of environmental scanning and
analysis within an organisation.

4.3.4 Consider the nature and sources of environmental

information, including an analysis of primary and secondary

4.4 Appraise determinants

of national advantage
using suitable techniques
such as Porters Diamond.

4.4.1 Examine why certain countries have so many successful

international businesses and why these firms sustain superior
performance in a global environment.
4.4.2 Examine the four components of Porters Diamond in
order to explain the competitive advantage of nations.
4.4.3 Appraise the role of government in achieving national
competitive advantage.
4.4.4 Explain the concept of clustering.
4.4.5 Discuss the factors which lead to the loss of national
competitive advantage, such as factor deterioration or collapse
of supporting clusters.

Learning Outcome 5
The learner will: Understand the key forces that represent both opportunities and threats to
organisations whether for profit or not for profit.

Assessment Criteria
The learner can:

Indicative Content

5.1 Evaluate the purpose

and attributes of SWOT

5.1.1 Explain the component factors of a SWOT analysis.

5.1.2 Identify the internal and external influences of a SWOT
analysis, in particular the influence of PEST analysis.
5.1.3 Explain the value to an organisation of undertaking a
SWOT analysis, including an explanation of the need to convert
threats (or weaknesses) into an advantage and the need to
match strengths with opportunities.
5.1.4 Examine the organisations approach to removing
weaknesses that leave the organisation open to threat or
cannot be turned into an advantage.
5.1.5 Evaluate the position of the SWOT analysis within the
strategic planning framework, examining the arguments for
putting SWOT analysis at the start of the strategy process.

5.2 Appraise techniques to

identify the sources of
competition to
organisations, such as

5.2.1 Examine the concepts of competition and competitive

5.2.2 Explain the concept of competitive advantage using

Porters Five Forces


Porters Generic Strategies.

5.2.3 Explain the sources of competition in an industry, in
particular using Porters Five Forces model.
5.2.4 Discuss the barriers to entry within an industry.
5.2.5 Explain how the Industry Life Cycle may affect the nature
of competition within an industry.
5.2.6 Identify and examine the macro-economic factors that
may affect the competitive environment.

5.3 Critically evaluate the

turbulence of
environmental change and
the impact on strategic

5.3.1 Discuss the nature of changing competitive environments

and the impact upon competitive advantage.
5.3.2 Critically examine the impact of changes in the macroenvironment such as new technologies, globalisation and
5.3.3 Explain the cycle of competition and hyper competition.
5.3.4 Identify and discuss how organisations are able to create
new competitive advantage by understanding the factors in the
macro-environment and identifying strategic gaps, such as
identification of substitute products, new market segments or
complementary product/service offerings.

Learning Outcome 6
The learner will: Understand the strategy process for an organisation to achieve competitive

Assessment Criteria
The learner can:

Indicative Content

6.1 Identify the capabilities

that allow organisations to
achieve competitive

6.1.1 Consider the concept of strategic capability.

6.1.2 Explain the concept of critical success factors.
6.1.3 Explain the following terms relating to strategic capability:
Threshold resources
Unique resources
Available resources
Threshold competences
Core competences
6.1.4 Consider the importance of knowledge as a key capability
in the modern business environment.

6.2 Critically analyse

means by which an

6.2.1 Explain the use of the value chain in assisting

organisations in identifying those products and services which

organisation positions itself

to outperform its

add value to the business/customer.

6.2.2 Discuss the use of a value system in creating best value
products and services.
6.2.3 Discuss the concept of value for money and the
importance of ensuring cost efficiency.
6.2.4 Discuss the concept of effectiveness in achieving
competitive advantage.
6.2.5 Examine the importance of understanding the
performance standards that need to be achieved to outperform
competitors, using techniques such as benchmarking.

6.3 Identify and evaluate

appropriate strategies for
emerging, maturing and
declining competitive

6.3.1 Explain the Product Life Cycle.

6.3.2 Critically evaluate the application of Porters generic
strategies within the three competitive positions, including
discussion of:
Cost leadership based strategies;
Differentiation based strategies, and
Focus based strategies.
6.3.3 Discuss the use of ProductMarket strategies, in particular
the application of the Ansoff productmarket scope matrix.
6.3.4 Discuss the risks associated with Diversification based
6.3.5 Consider alternative growth strategies, such as:
Internal development;
Joint development strategies, and
Mergers and acquisitions.
6.3.6 Examine the use of international growth strategies, such
as exporting, overseas manufacture, multi- national operations,
global operations.
6.3.7 Evaluate the issues involved in international growth
strategies, such as social responsibility, cross cultural
management, financial control and economic development
6.3.8 Explain the use of the success criteria of Suitability,
Acceptability and Feasibility (SAF Framework, Johnson and

Learning Outcome 7
The learner will: Understand the future challenges affecting strategic business management
and planning.

Assessment Criteria
The learner can:

Indicative Content

7.1 Analyse global influences

and impact on
internationalisation of
strategic business
management and planning.

7.1.1 Consider the dimensions of a global economic

environment, including factors such as:
Changing patterns of global trade, economic
development and modernisation;
Development of regional economic groupings;
International impact on currencies and interest rates;
Impact of the influences of economic bodies such as
EU and G8, and
Convergence of buyer life styles and preferences.
7.1.2 Explanation of factors driving a new global economy,
such as:
Adoption of free trade and transition to market based
The creation of common regulations via supra
national organisations, such as EU and NAFTA and
the integration of world financial markets, and
Technological developments.
7.1.3 Analyse the consequences of market globalisation,
Societal consequences, such as the effect on national
cultures, environmental impacts and the loss of jobs,
Organisational consequences, such as new business
opportunities, risks of foreign competition, supplier
and customer sourcing and internationalisation of the
value chain.

7.2 Identify environmental

issues impacting upon
strategy in the 21st century,
for example global warming,
scarce commodities,
emerging economies (BRIC).

7.2.1 Consider organisations impact on the global

environment and how this may affect overall business
7.2.2 Examine the impact of businesses on the environment,
in particular the impact of emerging economies such as China
and India.
7.2.3 Consider the corporate social responsibility of
organisations in protecting the environment.

7.3 Critically evaluate the

effect of these future
challenges on strategic
business management and

7.3.1 Discuss the effect of globalisation on strategic

management and planning.
7.3.2 Discuss the effect on strategic business management of
the globalisation of business, including discussion of:
Impact of global competition and the need to

7.4 Appreciate the impact of

the increasingly competitive
global environment and the
need for innovation,
intrapreneurship and
entrepreneurship in

reassess competitive strategies;

Organisation and structure of businesses;
Changing managerial roles in global organisations;
Impact on growth opportunities and development
Impact on core competences and critical success
factors, and
Impact on the organisations value chain.

7.4.1 Explain the need for innovation in reaction to the

changing global environment.
7.4.2 Examine the difference between intrapreneurship and
7.4.3 Examine how these alternative approaches may help
organisations to compete globally.

Assessment method: written examination (unless otherwise stated).
Written examinations are of three hours duration.
All learning outcomes will be assessed.

Recommended Reading:
Please refer to the Tuition Resources section of the Members Area of the ABE website
(www.abeuk.com) for the recommended reading for this subject.