M & IS 44285 SECTION 020





Course Syllabus


My office is on 4th floor of the Business Building in the new wing of the building, BSA A421, phone 330 672-1150. E-mail may be sent to me at jweinrot@bsa3.kent.edu. Our class meets in BSA 208 four days a week -- Monday thru Thursday, from 12:00 to 1:15 p.m. My office hours are Monday thru Thursday 10:40 to 11:40 A.M. The required text for the course is Thompson and Strickland, Strategic Management, Thirteenth Edition, available at the university bookstore and DuBois. You are not required to purchase the on-line extras that the publisher advertises.


M & IS 44285 is the required "capstone" course for all students graduating with a BBA from the College of Business Administration at Kent State University. As such it is intended to provide opportunities for students close to graduation to integrate the knowledge of their four years in our program into an overview of how to manage an organization so that the organization maximizes its performance in a competitive marketplace.


1. Registration. You must be officially registered and paid up for tuition on the registrar's records to receive a grade for any course on your transcript. Students who are not duly registered in any course by the registrar's deadline will be automatically deregistered and will not receive an official grade until the problem is corrected. For any questions, see the Undergraduate Programs Office in BSA 107.   June 16 is last day to avoid late penalties for tuition payment.

2. Last day to withdraw from an individual course in Summer II 2004 without penalty is July 19.

3. Disabilities. Any student with a disability as recognized by the university office of Student Disability Services is entitled to have special needs provided for. Please notify me immediately if this applies.

4. Grade grievance. If you believe that you have been graded unfairly in any course, there is an official university policy with specific procedures to be followed. The first step is always to talk with your instructor about the problem. Otherwise the various university officials will send you back to follow this first step. Note that the office of the University Ombudsman, Greg Jarvie, provides advice for you in these matters.

5. Cheating. Cheating includes copying another student's work as your own or allowing someone else to do this, and turning in material that you have copied from a source other than your own words without acknowledging this by quotation marks and a citation of the source. Penalties provided by university policy for this infraction can be a failing grade for the assignment, a failing grade for the course, and disciplinary action.

6. Missed class and/or assignments. You are expected to attend all sessions of this class. If you miss a quiz, you will not be allowed to make up that quiz unless you have an appropriate excuse, including the unfortunate events of illness documented by a doctor's written statement, death in the immediate family, or other events of similarly serious nature as determined by the instructor. Note that you are allowed to drop one of your seven quiz grades so this amounts to one allowed unexcused quiz missed. In keeping with the length of an eight week course, team written assignments will have the grade dropped by ten points for each day late,  excluding weekends.


Student teams will be formed on our first day of class, based on the students' academic majors or minors -- Accounting, Business Management, Computer Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Operations Management. To have teams of proper size we will merge some of these categories.  Some work will be done in teams or on a team basis throughout the course, but all grades received will be for individual work.


The following grading scale will be used:

90 and above = A

80 and above = B

70 and above = C

60 and above = D

below 60 = F

Rounding will be up for decimal values at or above 0.5 and down from decimal values below 0.5. If the class average for any quiz is below 75, everyone's grade will receive extra points to bring the class average to 75. No curve adjustments will be made for the distribution of final grades.

Your grade consists of 100 points, as follows:

·        Seven quizzes @ 8 points -- lowest grade or missed grade dropped …………….48 points

·        Two team progress reports @ 10 points …………………………………………..20 points

·        Two team presentations of a case @ 16 points ……………………………………32 points

·        Your grade for your team progress reports and your team presentations is for what is turned in under your name and what you present personally.




Your textbook is subtitled Concepts and Cases. Each of the chapters in the book presents concepts -- leading ideas, principles, procedures -- for the management of an organization. The second half of the textbook presents rich, detailed accounts of various cases involving real world organizations. In this class we will study some of this generous supply of learning material in seven units. Each unit will involve a textbook chapter (concepts) and a textbook case. From the start the chapter material will provide you with insights and ideas for dealing with the related case, and this will increase for you as we progress through more material.

The following structure will apply to each of our units.

Day 1

·        Teams meet in class with the instructor to work on in-class presentations.

Day 2

·        Powerpoint review of the chapter

·         Each team will be asked study questions and in turn ask questions and provide information and comments on the concepts of the chapter from the perspective of their management function (accounting, etc.). In our small summer class, every member of the class will contribute individually to this discussion.

Day 3

·        Each team will be asked study questions on the assigned case, perhaps specifically from the perspective of their management function. Study questions will be provided in links to the dates in the course schedule in this online syllabus.

Day 4

·        Students will complete an essay quiz on the concepts of the Day 2 chapter and FACTS from the Day 3 case -- a test of how carefully you have read the material. Questions on the quizzes may require you to focus on your team's management perspective. ALL QUIZ QUESTIONS WILL BE ESSAY, AND SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND ESPECIALLY COMPLETENESS OF SENTENCES AND CONNECTIONS BETWEEN IDEAS WILL COUNT.

·          Brief review of the quiz before class concludes for the day.






During the last week of class, each team will do two in-person presentations, analyzing a case from the textbook and giving their recommendations for a competitive strategy. Two specific cases will be picked by the class, from any of the cases in the textbook not already assigned for study. Each team will give a presentation on BOTH of these two cases. The analysis to be followed will use as many of the concepts from the chapters we have read and as many techniques we practiced for the cases reviewed in class as fit into a coherent and convincing presentation. Presentations will be done using powerpoint slides. Teams are responsible for their own powerpoint work, but may ask the instructor for help if needed.


Each member of the team is responsible for her or his own part of the powerpoint presentation and the analysis that goes into that part of the presentation. Each team member will give the talk related to his or her part of the presentation.  Each team member is graded individually on his or her work in the presentation.  HOWEVER, all members’ grades will be affected not only by their individ

ual work but by how well the entire presentation hangs together as a team effort.


Finally, your separate team presentations on the same case are NOT in competition with one another.  Rather, they are complementary.    In other words, the team that is focused, by virtue of its members’ academic majors, on, for example, accounting, finance, and economics, will present a different perspective from that of the team that is focused on management, marketing, and information systems.    Cross-departmental collaboration is a big plus in today’s firm.  In a similar way, your separate team presentations should present to upper management a variety of contributions to the firm’s ultimate STRATEGIC decision process.   The conclusions of your presentations on the same case may well be quite different based on this functional difference.


Presentations will be graded based on the following criteria:


1.      Clear identification and examination of a central strategic question for the firm .

2.       Presentation and cost-benefit evaluation of alternative solutions as to the firm’s future strategic agenda and demonstration of superiority of the preferred solution.

3.       Coverage of relevant issues about the firm in particular and its industry in general.

4.       Demonstration of how the data you present impacts the firm's strategic situation

5.       Demonstration of the data's importance to the firm's strategic agenda.

6.       Details and currency with respect to the data presented.

7.       In-depth use of the major concepts of strategic analysis – mission & vision, forces of competition, SWOT, value chain, competitive analysis, competitive strategy.

8.       Graphic quality of presentation, including grammar and spelling.

9.        Focus on the management perspectives for your particular team.

10.    Clarity of ideas presented.


These case analyses will be presented using power point slides and oral presentation.   They are not submitted in writing.   However, your progress reports, discussed in the next section, ARE to be submitted on disk.






At the assigned dates each team will turn in Progress Report # 1 and Progress Report # 2. These are to be turned in on disk as Word files.   Both reports will have as their heading the team's management function, names of the team members, and the case being analyzed. Progress Report #1 is on the first case to be presented and Progress Report # 2 is on the second case to be presented. Each individual team member's part of the report is to be identified under her/his name.


Your team’s progress report is a preliminary edition of your actual in-class presentation.   Its early due date is designed to help you to be ready with competent and detailed results at the in-class presentation.  It also gives the instructor the opportunity to give you early criticisms of your eventual in-class presentation so that you can correct shortcomings in time.    So, to the best of your abilities, put everything in your progress report that you intend to include in your in-class presentation.


  For each section of your presentation, the person responsible for that section writes that part of the Progress Report and is individually graded on it.  Also, while the final in-class presentations are power point slides only, the progress reports will be shared with the other teams by being placed on the course web-site.







Special Monday dates:

June 14 – intro to the course, identify teams, conflict resolution inventory

June 21 – first team meetings, class picks the cases for the in-class presentations

July 5 – holiday, no class



Day & content

Day & content

Day & content

1 – The five tasks of executive mgmt.

Tuesday, June 15

Chapter One -- the Strategic Management Process

(Power Point Slides)

Wednesday, June 16

Case # 1 – Andrea Jung and the makeover of Avon Products

Thursday, June 17


2- from mission to stratetic vision

Tuesday, June 22

Chapter Two -- Establishing Company Direction

(Power Point Slides)

Wednesday, June 23

Case # 2 – the solar feeder

Thursday, June 24


3 – the forces of competition

Tuesday, June 29

Chapter 3 questions

Chapter Three -- Industry and Competitive Analysis

(Power Point Slides)

Wednesday, June 30

Case # 3 – World Wrestling Federation

Thursday, July 1

Notes for class on

case # 3 2004



4 – SWOT, value chains, &



Tuesday, July 6

Chapter Four -- Evaluating Company Resources & Competitive Capabilities

(Power Point Slides)

Wednesday, July 7

Case # 6 – Dakota Growers Pasta

Thursday, July 8

July 8 EBayProgressReport

Southwest Progress Report



5 – strategies of competition

Tuesday, July 13

Chapter Five --Strategy and Competitive Advantage –study questions

(Power Point Slides)

Wednesday, July 14

Case # 10

Kentucky Fried Chicken and the global fast food industry

Study questions on KFC

Thursday, July 15


6 –


Tuesday, July 20

Chapter Seven -- Business Models & Strategies for the Internet Economy

(Power Point Slides)

Wednesday, July 21

Case # 20

Fedex corp

Structural transformation through



Thursday, July 22



Southwest Progress Report

Ebay Progress Report

7 – staffing & development

July 26th - grades

Tuesday, July 27

Chapter Eleven -- Building Resource Strengths & Organizational Capabilities

(Power Point Slides)

Wednesday, July 28

Case # 19

Nucor Corp in 2001 –

Growth in the troubled steel industry


Thursday, July 29


8 – teams present in class