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American University of Beirut
Suliman S. Olayan School of Business
Course Syllabus
Spring 2014

Course Number:

BUSS 249 Section 8/9

Course Name:

Strategic Management

Credit Hours:


Section Number, Time

TTH 14:00/15:30, OSB 227

Dr. Marina Apaydin


School of Business, 364

01-374-374 Extension: 3721

Office Hours:

TTH: 17:00-18:00 or by EMAIL appointment

Required Materials:

Strategic Management
Rothaermel, McGraw-Hill, 2013

Other: simulation program and as assigned by instructor

Cases on Moodle


ACCT 215, FINA 210, MNGT 215, MKTG 210, BUSS200, BUSS215, INFO 200,
DCSN 200.

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A course that exposes students to the strategic management process of local,
regional and multinational corporations. Emphasis will be placed on identifying the
tools needed for strategic analysis of the firm and the industry and on
comprehending the key strategic issues that managers face in managing

Relationship to

Strategic Management is the senior capstone course for all business administration
majors. What this means is that it is an integrative, big-picture course. In this course,
students acquire the tools to apply business fundamentals knowledge acquired in
previous foundation courses to strategy formulation, implementation, and
evaluation/control approaches. Students are required to use this new knowledge, as
well as knowledge acquired from other functional area courses such as human
resources, marketing, accounting, finance, operations and information technology,
to identify current problems and chart the future direction of different businesses
and industries. In sum, through this course, the student culminates his/her
undergraduate curriculum through the application of core functional foundation
concepts to various business situations.

BBA Program
Learning Goals

This course is a capstone course in other words, it is the course that brings the
entire OSB BBA curriculum together to complete the students undergraduate
business program. To this end most of the BBA program learning goals are
addressed throughout the course as follows:

B-LG1: Professional Business Competence Through this course, students
will be able to apply strategies that will allow a firm to compete successfully
within its environment. In applying these strategies graduates will use
concepts, principles and theories from core business professional knowledge
and competence both from generic and specific business areas in a familiar
situation. Performance will be assessed by the instructor in the capstone
course through case study analysis.
B-LG4 (1): Leadership Through this course, students will be able to
identify and describe elements of leadership critical to strategy
B-LG4 (2): Teamwork In this course, the student will apply teamwork
principles in a team exercise situation.
B-LG5: Communication In this course, the student will demonstrate
effective and efficient communication skills (through reports, papers and
presentations) commensurate with expectations from a senior-level
undergraduate student.
B-LG6: Global Business Environment - In this course, the student will
identify and define key globalization factors and demonstrate their relevance
on business competitiveness.

Specific Learning
Objectives (SLO)
for the Course:
The specific course learning objectives (SLOs) for this course that map to the BBA
program learning goals mentioned above are as follows:

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B-LG1: Professional Business Competence:

1. Define strategy and explain why it is important for competitive success.
2. Identify and explain the key elements of the managerial process of crafting and
executing strategy (i.e. vision, mission, objectives, analysis, formulation,
implementation and monitoring/control).
3. Understand the differences between corporate strategy, business strategy and
functional strategy and explain how each links with the other (the cascading
4. Perform systematic industry analysis using selected strategy frameworks/tools -
apply selected strategy tools (e.g. Macroeconomic Environment, Porters 5-
Force Analysis, Value Net, Key Success Factors) to:
a. Correctly identify the industrys key strategy-shaping business and
economic features,
b. Explain the nature and strength of competitive forces facing the industry,
c. Explain the impact of key driving forces,
d. Identify the industrys key success factors and
e. Make an informed judgment about whether the industry is conducive to
earning attractive profits.
(Assessed Using AoL Rubric)
5. Conduct internal analysis covering resource strengths and cost competitiveness.
Apply selected tools (e.g. Resource-based View of the Firm, Value Chain
Analysis, Weighted Competitive Strength Assessments) to identify and explain
the companys generic competitive approach (differentiation, cost leadership,
focus) and analyze how well the approach is working. In so doing, a student
a. Identify the companys resource strengths and weaknesses, explaining
their impact on capturing industry opportunities and shielding against
b. Analyze the companys cost competitiveness using value chain analysis
and benchmarking, if applicable.
c. Summarize the companys competitive position vis--vis its rivals
(competitive strength assessment).
(Assessed Using AoL Rubric)
6. Use tools in (4) and (5) to identify underlying problems with firm
competitiveness. (Assessed Using AoL Rubric)
7. Understand and explain the key generic competitive strategies.

8. Identify and explain strategy alternatives to address problems in (6), select most
appropriate course of action and explain rationale. (Assessed Using AoL Rubric)
9. Understand and describe key modes/means of business growth to enhance
market position (outsourcing, strategic alliances/partnerships, mergers and
acquisitions, vertical integration, organic growth)
10. Explain how the different types of diversification approaches at the corporate
level can achieve synergies and value that can enhance competitive advantage.
11. Define corporate culture and explain the elements of a strategy-supportive

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corporate culture.
12. Understand how creating a strategy-supportive corporate culture is critical to
successful strategy execution.

B-LG4 (1): Leadership:
13. Identify and describe elements of leadership critical to strategy

B-LG4 (2): Teamwork:
14. Apply effective teamwork principles to a group project situation to
analyze a comprehensive strategic management case. (Assessed Using
AoL Rubric)

B-LG5: Communication:
15. Demonstrate effective and efficient communication skills (through
reports, papers and presentations) commensurate with expectations from
a senior-level undergraduate student. Written and oral deliverables must
contain with proper classifications and structured flow of information.

B-LG6: Global Business Environment:

16. Identify and define key globalization factors that affect business
competitiveness. (Assessed Using AoL Rubric)
17. Understand when to employ locally adaptive vs. global strategies in
international markets.
18. Understand and explain the advantages and disadvantages of strategy
options for entering and competing in foreign markets (i.e. export,
licensing, franchising, strategic alliances/joint ventures, wholly-owned
19. Identify the factors that influence the efficient transfer of company
resource strengths and capabilities across borders.
20. Explain how companies can derive the greatest location advantages in
deciding where to locate certain company operations.


Lecture, class discussion, individual case analysis and group case analysis. All
materials will be posted on Moodle. Students must register on Moodle 2 before
starting the class.
Evaluation and

CAPSIM Simulation
COMP-XM Examination
Midterm Examination 30%
Case analysis 30%
Class contribution - Attendance 10%

Total 100%

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Report (5%) and
Exam (10%)

Midterm (30%)

All BUSS249 students participate in the CAPSTONE simulation. Students will be
grouped in 6 teams. Teams will compete against one another as firms in the
electronic sensor industry. They are expected to enter decisions for each of 8
simulated years (rounds) of performance.

15% Simulation grade is assessed based on the cumulative Balanced Score Card
after 8 rounds (produced by the simulation system at the end of each round).
300 points 50%, 400 points 60%, 500 points 70%
600 points 80%, 700 points 90%, 800 points 100%
Points in the middle will be distributed accordingly
At the end of the simulation a standardized teamwork assessment will be conducted.
Up to 5% (of 15%) may be deducted from an individual student grade in case of
poor teamwork standing as rated by peers.

CAPSIM report (5%) will consist of 3 parts:
Part I: strategy development (2%)
Part II: strategy assessment and correction after 4 rounds (2%)
Part III: final analysis and lessons learnt (1%).

After the simulation is completed, each student will be required to take the COMP-
XM examination (10%). This self-paced exam will be administered in a lab on a
weekend day after the team competition is over. It consists of 5 sets of decisions and
exam questions that are based on 4 simulated years of performance. The student is
asked to run a company individually in a market place against three computer-
managed companies. After each simulated round, the student is given quizzes,
known as Board Queries. Each Board Query can contain up to 5 questions and can
take up to an hour to answer. Each round of simulation takes about one hour to
complete. XM grading is automatic and absolute, e.g. a Balanced Score Card 89
score is equal to 89% grade.

Please Note: Both the simulation and the COMP-XM exam will require a
substantial time commitment outside of class. You will be required to do reading on
your own via the CAPSIM website to familiarize yourselves with the simulation.
The instructional material is very self-explanatory and your instructor is there to
provide high-level guidance only. Do not expect the instructor to give you strategy
hints or to tell you what to do. There is no right strategy formula, only logical
approaches for outmaneuvering your competition based on your understanding of
the different functional areas of a business and how they relate to one another.

Midterm will cover assigned chapters and will be administered on Moodle. It will
consist of MCQs and essays (assessed via rubrics). A syllabus quiz will be
administered during the 2
week with up to 3% grade deduction for poor
performance. There will be no make up for the midterm under no circumstances!

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Case analysis

Case analysis grade will consist of 3 parts:
3% (individual grade) - attendance of case solving workshop which will be
scheduled in the 2 or 3
week of classes and preparation of a Case Preparation Char
12% (team grade) Power Point Presentations of the solutions for standard
assigned cases: 1) Starbucks 2%, 2) an I nternationalization Case 7%, 3) Apple 3%,
5% (individual grade) - I mplementation case
10% (team grade) Term project

Since the richness of the classroom experience for all of us is heavily dependent on
thorough preparation and high quality class contributions, a significant proportion of
your grade will be based on the value of these contributions.

Class contribution is more than the traditional class participation. We evaluate
contributions in an ascending order from good chip shots, to quite substantial
comments, to case cracking contributions. We believe that challenge and debate are
important to learning, and we appreciate the willingness of individuals to engage in
such activities with their classmates and with us. The class contribution grade is
to recognize your contribution to the learning of your classmates. You will need
to contribute voluntarily. At the same time, it is impossible for all students to
participate in each class. In grading class contribution, we will be assessing the
extent to which you have established a meaningful presence in the classroom, over
the course of the semester, by making solid contributions on a regular basis. Class
contribution has aspects of both quantity and quality as explained below.
Pts. Category Components of in-class contribution
3 Excellent

The comment adds substantial value to the discussion.
Demonstrates willingness to take risks in attempting to answer
difficult questions. Breaks new ground and raises the flow of
discussion to a higher level, often by synthesizing material and
applying multiple lenses/techniques.
2 Significant

The comment adds value to the discussion, beyond case facts.
There is evidence of analysis rather than just the expression of
opinion. Comments linked to those of others, facilitating the flow
of the discussion. Demonstrates knowledge of readings and other
relevant course material. Incorporate relevant insights from other
courses or current affairs.
1 Good

The comment advances the flow of the discussion (including
responses to questions from the instructor). Demonstrates clear
grasp of case material. Information presented is relevant to the
-1 Poor

I record class contributions immediately after each class and sum them up at the
end to constitute your total contribution grade. You may check your standing in this
category anytime during the office hours.

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General course outline (detailed schedule will be provided separately)

Weeks Topic Required reading &
Assignments (prior to class)
1 Introduction to the course.
What is Strategy?
Chapter 1- 2
Introduction of CapSim
2 Strategy triangle Ivey handout
Case workshop, Syllabus quiz
3-4 External Assessment
Internal Assessment
Chapter 3-4
Start CapSim practice rounds
5-6 Business level strategy
Competitive advantage
Chapter 5-6 Starbucks case
Start CapSim competition rounds
7-9 Corporate level strategy Chapter 8
8 Midterm
10-11 Leadership Chapter 12 Apple case

12-13 Global strategy Chapter 10
International Business case
14 Emerging strategy Implementation case
15 Term project CapSim Individual Exam
This schedule is tentative and maybe a subject to change.
Decisions for Capstone simulation decisions due date will be assigned by the

Use of

Students will be expected to use MS word, MS excel and MS PowerPoint in
completing their projects. Where a simulation case will be used, students are
expected to have access to and usage of the internet.


Students are expected to complete all work with the highest standard of integrity in
line with AUBs Student Code of Conduct and OSBs Honor Code. Plagiarism,
forgery, cheating or any form of academic misconduct will not be tolerated. Any of
the above may cause a students final course grade to be lowered significantly or the
student may receive a failing grade, depending on the severity of the offence.
Plagiarism is the presentation of the work of another as ones own work.

Course Policies:

Attendance: Attendance will be self-recorded before the class starts and stops
sharply at the beginning of each class. Students missing more than 3 classes will
be penalized via a grade deduction: 1% grade deduction for each class missed
from 5% Attendance Grade. As per AUB policy, students missing more than 6
classes will be dropped without notice. If your absences accumulate after the
drop deadline, you will fail the course. Being late for the class (no matter how
much late) without an advance written notice is considered as missing 0.5 of a
class. Late attendance will be recorded after the class ends. Absences will not be

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recorded only if an official document is presented as a justification.

Turn-it-In: Students must submit all written projects and assignments to on the same day that they submit their work to their instructors. is simply an aid to ensure that a students work is their own.
Further details concerning will be provided in class
Deadlines and Due Dates: These will be strictly enforced. Written assignments
are due at the beginning of class on the due date. Late submissions will
automatically lose one letter grade per day (24 hours). Missing work will be
assigned a grade of zero.
Missing Exams: There will be no make-up exams without medical report
stating students incapability to attend the exam and subject to acceptance by the
instructor and the student services.
Electronic devices (laptops, smart phones, etc): Students will not use or
display their electronic devices in the class. Students using or displaying their
devices will be immediately excused from the class with an absence
Detailed note-taking during class can be distracting for others and
counterproductive to your own learning. I advise you to be selective in taking
notes during class. Instead, it is a good idea to consolidate what you have
learned after the class.
Class discussion: you may and should speak when asked to do so by your
instructor. Chatting with neighbors for whatever reason no matter how valid it
may seem to you, will be counted as a negative participation (see Class
Group work: Individuals must contribute their fair share to any group effort
resulting in a deliverable to the instructor. In addition, everyone in the group will
be held accountable for the quality, originality and proper sourcing of the entire
group product. At the end of the term, each student is required to submit a
team evaluation form to the instructor on all team activities. Your team
performance will affect your CAPSI M and Casework grades.
Feedback: I strongly encourage continuous two-way communication and will
seek your feedback on any issues or concerns you may have and will, in turn,
provide you with mine. You may submit your comments anonymously, in
written form, or personally, during the office hours. Although I dont promise
that all issues will be solved, they will however all be addressed.

Thank you for your cooperation and enjoy the class!