Strategy - BUSI97229
Managing uncertainty and coping with complexity and ambiguity are essential skills of the strategic manager. The relative clarity and certainty of functional management may, as von Clausewitz observed, be intellectually appealing. However, when managers make the transition to become general managers and strategic leaders , it is imperative that they emotively embrace uncertainty. They cannot be apprehensive about the unknown or hesitant in the face of unproven opportunity. Seizing the initiative and exploring the indeterminate are core to the success of modern strategists. In addition, to be effective, strategic managers and leaders must understand the factors responsible for their firm’s past performance and be able to identify those activities or changes (inside or outside the enterprise) that are most likely to help or hurt future performance.
Strategic management therefore deals with those decisions that determine future directions of the organization and effective implementation of the directions chosen. It addresses the objectives and purpose, organizational structure, resources and capabilities and strategic positioning of the firm to create, capture, and sustain competitive advantage. Strategic management is concerned with managing the competitive position and long-term development of the business or corporate enterprise in order to ensure its survival and success. In this module, we introduce a wide variety of strategy frameworks and tools in order to help you develop the skills and mindset needed to be a successful manager with overall responsibility for the performance of a company, or a business unit within a company. This module aims to develop your understanding and know-how in strategic planning, analysis, formulation and implementation at both a business unit and corporate level. The goal is to increase your effectiveness in thinking and acting strategically. In addition to a focus on strategy process and scenario planning techniques, the module will emphasize two key components of strategic analysis: first, analysis of the external environment, concentrating on industry, competitors and market positioning; and second, analysis of the enterprise’s resources, capabilities and competencies, both internally and within a value chain. We will also consider strategic choices and methods and assess the interplay between strategy, organisation and performance. We use cases and readings to explore a wide range of strategic challenges and problems, focusing particularly on the sources of competitive advantage and the interaction between industry structure and organizational capabilities.
This module is distinctive in emphasizing the perspective of the general manager in ensuring the firm’s success. The general manager’s role is unique in that he or she must be attuned to both the external (market) and internal (organizational) forces that shape firm performance. For this reason, general managers must have an understanding not only of economic, social and political processes and dynamics outside the firm but also of managerial and cultural processes and environments inside the firm. In this module we examine how firms gain and maintain a competitive advantage. To be successful, the firm’s strategy must permeate all departments and functional areas. As such, this module integrates knowledge and skills gained from your studies in the functional areas of business (e.g., marketing, organizational behavior, finance, accounting and so on). In drawing on these tools, we explicitly apply a general management point of view – analyzing decisions and strategies in light of the total unit or enterprise. We will spend a fair amount of time on corporate strategy – how do firms create value with multiple business units.
Aims & Objectives
This module deals with the craft of strategy; that is, how to identify and choose a superior competitive position, how to analyze a strategic situation, and how to create the organizational context to make the chosen strategy work. As such, the objectives are twofold: first, to explore conceptual frameworks and models that will assist you to analyze competitive situations and strategic dilemmas and gain insight into strategic management; and second, to help you acquire practical, applied knowledge and skills in dealing with strategic issues.
Throughout the module, we try to move beyond the necessary conceptual models and analytical techniques and provide you with a hands-on experience. First, our objective is to help you assess and successfully analyze an ill-structured competitive situation, selecting and then effectively using the appropriate tools and frameworks. Second, we explicitly ask the question “and what do you do, at the end of the day?” Teaching materials deal with real life experiences and simulate situations where the student is the central actor confronting a strategic dilemma, faced with the task of providing a judgment call on an important strategic question.
In particular, you will develop your approach and skills at:
- Understanding how firms gain and sustain competitive advantage
- Analyzing strategic business situations and formulating strategy
- Implementing strategy and organizing the firm for strategic success
Success will depend not only on the soundness of a strategy, but also on its effective implementation through appropriate choices. We are concerned with strategic decisions, and with both the content of those decisions and the processes by which general managers position the businesses and allocate resources in the face of both uncertainty and competition. The module introduces and employs various tools, concepts, and analytical frameworks that enhance our ability to define and analyze strategic problems and to identify sources of competitive advantage from an industry, business and corporate-level perspective.
“Returning home after his first Strategic Management class, Eric immediately started viewing things from a different perspective”
Leading Change and Transformation - BUSI97010
Leading change has become unavoidable for managers in today’s fast-paced, intensely-competitive environment. In fact, it has become even more pressing in light of major economic, political and social changes globally. One way or another, these macro-level changes impinge upon organizations making it impossible for them to stand still. One of the most compelling question facing managers today is: How can we be change-ready? Despite an abundance of change management models coming out of scholarly and practitioner research, leading organizational change continues to be a puzzle for leaders and many find it just plain difficult! It is frustrating for those who initiate change and try to manage the process but equally overwhelming and anxiety-ridden for those on the receiving end. Even more challenging is the fact that managing change in organizations is often no longer about planned, large-scale change, but more often about emergent change. Rather than infrequent planned change, organisations need to be prepared to change continuously.
In this module, we develop our understanding of different aspects of leading change and transformation by addressing the following questions: What sorts of pressures for change do contemporary organizations face? Why is change unavoidable? What about the timing, scope and pace of change? How does the process evolve and is there any best way of effecting change? And, the most challenging question: How can leaders implement change successfully?
Leaders often find change frustrating due to the length of time it takes for change to happen, resistance they encounter, how to communicate information about change, and how to best manage unexpected reactions. Change is therefore as much about leadership as it is about understanding how organizations change. We draw upon different frameworks and models from existing empirical research in leading organizational change to understand what factors have been found to facilitate successful change and what are some of the pitfalls. We apply these frameworks and ideas to real organizational change scenarios through the use of case studies in class, a simulation exercise, DVDs and, most importantly, to your own experiences of organizational change.
Leading and Executing Strategic Change - BUSI97003
Change has become unavoidable for organizations in today’s fast-paced, intensely competitive environment. In fact, it has become even more pressing and a necessity in light of major economic, political and social changes sweeping globally. One way or another, these macro-level changes impinge upon organizations making it impossible for them to stand still. Understandably leading a transformation successfully has become a litmus test of good leadership. The most compelling question facing organizations today is: How can we be change ready? Despite an abundance of change management models coming out of scholarly and practitioner research, leading and navigating organizational change continues to be a puzzle and just plain difficult! It is frustrating for those who initiate change and try to manage the process but equally overwhelming and anxiety-ridden for those at the receiving end. Even more challenging is the fact that change in organizations is no longer about episodic transformations. The biggest challenge for leadership teams is to help an organization change continuously.
In this module, we develop our understanding of different aspects of change by addressing the following questions: What pressures do contemporary organizations face to change? Why is change unavoidable? What about the timing, scope and pace of change? What is the content of change? How does the process evolve and is there any best way of changing? The most challenging question is: How can leaders and their teams implement change effectively? Issues that frustrate leaders and their teams most concern how long it takes for change to happen, the resistance they encounter, how to communicate information about change and manage unexpected reactions. We draw upon different frameworks and models from existing empirical research in organizational change to understand what factors have been found to facilitate successful change and what are some of the pitfalls. We apply these frameworks and ideas to real organizational change scenarios through the use of case studies in class, role plays, a simulation exercise, DVDs and, most importantly, to your own experiences of organizational change.
Thursday 2pm to 6pm
Friday 9am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 6pm
Sunday 9am to 1pm
Strategy - BUSI97759