M&IS 44285 Spring 2006 Smas
INTEGRATED BUSINESS POLICY AND STRATEGY
CALL NUMBER 14010
PROFESSOR: JIM SMAS
OFFICE: BSA A415
CLASS MEETING TIME: MONDAY 6:15 - 8:55 PM
ROOM: BSA 208
OFFICE HOURS: MW 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Unlike other business courses that concentrate narrowly on a particular function or piece of the business—accounting, finance, marketing, production, human resources, or information systems, strategic management is a big picture course. It cuts across the whole spectrum of business and management. The center of attention is the total enterprise–-the industry and competitive environment in which it operates, its long-term direction and strategy, its resources and competitive capabilities, and its prospects for success.
Throughout the course, the spotlight will be trained on the foremost issue in running a business enterprise: “What must managers do, and do well, to make the company a winner in the game of business?” The answer that emerges, and which becomes the theme of the course, is that good strategy-making and good strategy-execution are the key ingredients of company success and the most reliable signs of good management. The mission of the course is to explore why good strategic management leads to good business performance, to present the basic concepts and tools of strategic analysis, and to drill you in the methods of crafting a well-conceived strategy and executing it competently.
You’ll be called on to probe, question, and evaluate all aspects of a company’s external and internal situation. You’ll grapple with sizing up a company’s standing in the marketplace and its ability to go head-to-head with rivals, learn to tell the difference between winning strategies and mediocre strategies, and become more skilled in spotting ways to improve a company’s strategy or its execution.
In the midst of all this, another purpose is accomplished: to help you 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 you’ll 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.
The next few weeks will be exciting, fun, challenging, and filled with learning opportunities. No matter what your major is, the content of this course has all the ingredients to be the best course you’ve taken—best in the sense of learning a lot about business, holding your interest from beginning to end, and enhancing your powers of business judgment. As you tackle the subject matter, ponder Ralph Waldo Emerson’s observation, “Commerce is a game of skill which many people play, but which few play well.” The overriding intent of the course is to help you become a savvier player and better prepare you for a successful business career. We sincerely hope this course will prove to be instrumental in making you “competitively superior”, successful in your career, and much wiser about the secrets of first-rate management.
REQUIRED TEXTS AND MATERIALS
· Kent State University, MIS 44285, Selected Chapters and Cases from Wheelen and Hunger, Strategic Management and Business Policy, 9e, Instructor Jim Smas. Prentice Hall, 2006
o ISBN 0-536-13705-6 (Gold and Red covered Paperback)
· Management Simulations, Inc., The Capstone Business Simulation, version 2005. I will hand this out on the first day of class.
· Readings from the Harvard Business Review: These will be on electronic reserve through the library. You can download and print them at your leisure. I have referenced these articles in the course schedule.
· Strategic Planning, a Practical Guide fo Competitive Success, Stanley C. Abraham, Southwestern, 2006.
o ISBN Book + CD 0-324-23255-1
· To 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..
· To build your skills in conducting strategic analysis in a variety of industries and competitive situations and, especially, to provide you with a stronger understanding of the competitive challenges of a global market environment.
· To give you hands-on experience in crafting business strategy, reasoning carefully about strategic options, using what-if analysis to evaluate action alternatives, and making sound strategic decisions.
· To acquaint you with the managerial tasks associated with implementing and executing company strategies, drill you in the range of actions managers can take to promote competent strategy execution, and give you some confidence in being able to function effectively as part of a company’s strategy-implementing team.
· To integrate the knowledge gained in earlier core courses in the business school curriculum, show you how the various pieces of the business puzzle fit together, and demonstrate why the different parts of a business need to be managed in strategic harmony for the organization to operate in winning fashion.
· To develop your powers of managerial judgment, help you learn how to assess business risk, and improve your ability to make sound decisions and achieve effective outcomes.
· To help you become more proficient in using personal computers to do managerial analysis and managerial work.
· To make you more conscious about the importance of exemplary ethical principles, sound personal and company values, and socially responsible management practices.
· To help you if you so choose, to develop the ability to write a business plan suitable for submission to funding agencies such as the Small Business Association and Venture Capital Firms or even, perish the thought, Banks.
GRADING FOR CLASS
I will use plus / minus grading this semester. Thus the grading for the course is as follows:
Based on Percentage Points Scored
92.5 – 100 % POINTS A
89.1 – 92.4 A –
86.0 – 89.0 B+
82.5 – 85.9 B
79.1 – 82.4 B-
76.0 – 79.0 C+
72.5 – 75.9 C
69.1 – 72.4 C-
According to new University Guidelines the grades are converted to your grade point average by the following rules:
A = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = 2.0
C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3
D = 1.0.
F = 0.0
GRADING PLAN / PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS
There are 1000 available points for the semester broken down as folows:
Exams 300 points
Performance on simulation: 300 points
1. Actual perfomance of team in simulation (200 pts.)
a. The winning team from each planet is awarded the
Full 100 points.
o The winning team from each planet is awarded the full 200 points. The remaining teams will be awarded points per the following schedule: A = 190; A- = 180; B+ = 175; B = 170; B- = 160; C+ = 156; C = 150; C - = 140; D = 130; F = 100
2. Business plan
a. Situation Analysis 10 points
b. Business Plan Part A 10 points
c. Business Plan Part B 30 points
3. Peer Review of ind. team members 50 pts
4. Bonus Points will be awarded to best team in the planet. They will receive 50 bonus points.
Written Case 150 points
Final Project: Startup Business Plan 150 points
Class Participation ( as a team during in class case discusion) 100 points
Total Points Available 1000 Points
THE APPROACH TO TEACHING/LEARNING
1. Lectures by the instructor .
2. Practicing the tasks of managerial analysis and decision-making of in-class via use of actual case studies—analysis/discussion by whole class (students do most of the talking)
3. Practicing the task of managing via the management simulation Out-of-class exercise. Teams of students must run their own company in a team-meetings, vigorously competitive industry environment (grade based on results achieved and degree of company success).
5. Writing Strategic and Start Up Business Plans
THE CAPSTONE SIMULATION
- The focus of the first ten weeks of this course is on managing a “real “company that is competing in a “real” industry. You will be part of a management team, which will be in charge of a specific company. Your team will be constantly analyzing the external, competitive environment, monitoring internal factors and making decisions for your company. You will compete against 3 – 6 teams in a world industry the winning team on a planet 200 points for team standing. The teams will be drawn by lot.
- You will do two practice rounds after mastering the Internet web site for Capstone and the relevant software. It will take some time for your team to ramp up and be comfortable with the inputting of decisions and uploading to the web site. All calculations of spreadsheets and financial ratios are done by Capstone and can be downloaded after each round for further analysis. After the practice round, you will then do 8 rounds of decisions, which will represent one year per round. Capstone will determine which team did the best against various criteria and rank the teams accordingly. All judging will be done by Capstone, not the professor. Your points earned will be determined by your place in your planet at the end of the simulation
You will receive points also for your situation analysis, business plan, and final recap of simulation.
You must register with the Capstone Website and be a registered member of your team in order to obtain a grade in the simulation.
- Management teams will consist of 5 -6 students. You should try to obtain some degree of diversity among skills, like having computer, finance, marketing, and operation management skills available to the team.
- Each team member must log onto the website as a team member. The fee for the simulation per person is $39.95. Each team member is expected to contribute his/her fair share of work. At the end of the simulation, a peer review will be taken in complete confidence to assure that all players contribute equally.
- Company decisions must be uploaded to the www.capsim.com web site no later than 12 Noon on each Friday of the simulation. Results should be available by that evening. The dates of the various rounds are listed below:
- Practice round 1deadline: Feb. 3
- Practice round 2 deadline: Feb. 10
- First round deadline: Feb 17
- Second round deadline: Feb. 24
- Third round deadline: Mar. 3
- Fourth round deadline: Mar. 10
- Strategic Plan for Team Mar. 24
- Fifth round deadline: Apr. 7
- Sixth round deadline: Apr. 14
- Seventh round deadline: Apr. 21
- Eighth round deadline: Apr. 28
- The web site also offers the opportunity for teams to meet and discuss their pending decisions. There are numerous tutorials and help is available from Capstone help line 877-477-8787.During normal business hours.
Note: due dates for these assignments will vary according to sections, and the student should refer to the Detailed Schedule of Class Content for due dates of the following assignments.
- Initial Situation Analysis Each team will prepare a concise report on the status of their company at the start of the simulation. This report will clearly detail the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT.) There is a chapter in the team member guide on the situation analysis. This report should be limited to four typed pages of text with as many charts as you deem appropriate at the end of the report.
- Business Plan: Part A. Each team will prepare a report detailing the mission statement of the company, the objectives and business strategy they plan to use to attain these objectives. These reports should be limited to a maximum of three typed pages or less. Examples of such reports will be provided for your examination.
- Business Plan: Part B Each team will prepare a report detailing, round by round, what happened. This report should explain (concisely) what the team planned to accomplish in the round and compare this to what actually happened. This report should end with a brief discussion of the important successes and failures, which occurred during the Team’s tenure as managers of the company. This report should be typed and no more than 5 pages of text with as many charts or exhibits as you deem necessary at the end of the report.
POLICIES REGARDING CLASS ATTENDANCE, PARTICIPATION IN CLASS DISCUSSIONS OF ASSIGNED CASES, AND COMPLETION OF ASSIGNED CASES.
Attendance at all class sessions is expected, but it is required on those days an assigned case is discussed in class. Absence from class on case discussion days is a serious matter and should be discussed with your instructor, since roll is taken on case discussion days and more than one absence will adversely affect your grade in the course.
Due to the fact that participation in class discussion of cases counts as a factor in determining your overall grade in the course, each TEAM MUST contribute significantly to in-class analysis and discussion of the cases. Each student is expected to be an active participant in case discussions and to offer meaningful analysis and convincing arguments for the position you stake out. Your grade on class participation is something to be earned by contributing your assessments and judgments to the discussion. Merely coming to class and listening to the discussion of assigned cases is not sufficient; attendance is not participation. You should, therefore, make a conscientious effort to be sufficiently prepared to make intelligent, timely comments regarding the managerial issues raised in the cases. This entails reading the assigned cases, completing the strategic audit form and answering case questions where available.
Note: if you are absent during the case discussion, you will not receive the team points earned by your teammates. If you refuse to cooperate with your team in their preparation for cases or projects or written cases, they have the right to eliminate your position on the team. I will respect the decision of the team member’s majority vote on this issue and you will have to complete the course on your own.
Because of the large number of students in most classes, team grades will be assigned for participation and all team members will get the same grade for participation. Thus you should do your best to help your team score big.
Note: Most cases require some financial analysis. Each team must prepare a summary of the financial results for each case, which will be part of the participation grade. I will explain more about this as we get into case work. You simply cannot get a good picture of the company under scrutiny if the financial analysis is missing.
There will be three semester exams, which will be of the multiple-choice type with perhaps a single essay question, or two. The first exam will cover the material in Chapters 1-4 and the Capstone Materials. The second exam will cover the material from Chapters 5 – 7 and chapter 12 on the case method, and all other material covered in this period. Exam three will cover Chapter 8 – 11. Students are held accountable for all material in the chapters cited regardless if they are covered in lecture. This includes any experiential exercise materials and all assigned readings from the Harvard Business Review.
PREPARATION OF WRITTEN CASE ASSIGNMENT
The written case assignment is to be prepared on Team Basis. You should use the Strategic Audit as a template for writing the case analysis. The written case will be given to in class.
Some guidelines for the written case are:
Cases turned in after the due date are eligible for a grade no higher than a C (and that only if the paper is otherwise an A or B+ paper). No late papers will be accepted if submitted more than 2 class days past the scheduled due date (except by prearranged consent of the instructor).
All written cases are to be typed (1.0 spaced) and should incorporate correct form, spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and communication skills.
Papers which, in the opinion of the instructor, employ disproportionately poor grammar and poor quality written communication skills will be assigned a grade that is a full one-letter lower than would otherwise be assigned.
The topic for the written case is the American Airlines case in the book.
Doing a Business Plan for a Start-Up Company
This is a special project that requires a lot of work to do properly. This business plan should be of such a quality as to qualify for a loan with the SBA or a Venture Capitalist or a bank. You should use the information you obtained from the Capstone Simulation and break off as a start up company in the same industry as a competitor with your old company and their competitors. If you have an idea for a business and want to get a head start on the planning stage, this is a project for you. This can be done as a team or as an individual project.
The software for the business planning is included with your text.
The Following Policies Apply to All Students in this Course
A. Students attending the course who do not have the proper prerequisite risk being deregistered from the class.
B. Students have responsibility to ensure they are properly enrolled in classes. You are advised to review your official class schedule (using Web for Students) during the first two weeks of the semester to ensure you are properly enrolled in this class and section. Should you find an error in your class schedule, you have until [date will be provided by the Undergraduate Office in advance] to correct the error with your advising office. If registration errors are not corrected by this date and you continue to attend and participate in classes for which you are not officially enrolled, you are advised now that you will not receive a grade at the conclusion of the semester for any class in which you are not properly registered.
C. Academic honesty: Cheating means to misrepresent the source, nature, or other conditions of your academic work (e.g., tests, papers, projects, assignments) so as to get undeserved credit. The use of the intellectual property of others without giving them appropriate credit is a serious academic offense. It is the University's policy that cheating or plagiarism result in receiving a failing grade (0 points) for the work or course. Repeat offenses may result in dismissal from the University.
D. For Fall and Spring semesters, the course withdrawal deadline is always the Saturday of the 10th week of the semester. For Intersession, the course withdrawal deadline is always the Saturday of the second week (of three total). For Summer I and III, the course withdrawal deadline is usually the Saturday of the second week (of five total). For Summer II 2006, the course withdrawal deadline is usually the Saturday of the fourth week (of eight total).
E. Students with disabilities: In accordance with University policy, if you have a documented disability and require accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester or when given an assignment for which an accommodation is required. Students with disabilities must verify their eligibility through the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) in the Michael Schwartz Service Center (672-3391).