This capstone course focuses on the strategic management process. This covers all aspects of strategy, including charting a company’s direction from its vision, mission and business objectives, through the process of evaluation of the company’s external environment, assessing its internal strengths and competences, and determining the general strategic options available to the company to achieve these objectives. The course covers the evaluation of the global business environment, selection of strategic alternatives, formulation and implementation of the strategic plan, and analysis of firm performance. The course provides a strong emphasis on the implementation of the strategy, including building a competent and competitive organization, managing internal operations, developing a strong corporate or company culture and dealing with ethical issues. The course aims to introduce students to the basics of how business organizations in different industries are managed and position themselves in the business environment, with a special focus on the role played by a firm’s strategy. The course aims to develop students’ analytical skills in assessing company strategies, teamwork, as well as oral and written communication and presentation skills.



Strategic management is concerned with how a firm sets its direction, chooses its business activities, and establishes and defends its position in a competitive market. Lectures will introduce students to concepts and tools that will help them to develop an understanding of how strategies are formed and managed, and how competitive advantage might be created and sustained. The program of lectures will include several case studies, which will illustrate the strategy development and execution process in a variety of industries both locally and worldwide, and will allow students to examine the required management processes from planning to execution, providing an opportunity to identify key success factors in strategy formulation and the building of sustainable competitive advantage. Students will be encouraged to critically reflect on issues including the concept of sustainable competitive advantage and what this means in practice and how competitive advantage can be developed and sustained.

The course emphasizes the need for long-term planning, building valuable and sustainable and dynamic competences and positioning to set a company apart from the competition, and appropriate strategic moves to consolidate and build on competitive advantages, such as entering new markets, building alliances and diversification into complementary business. The inclusion of contemporary ethical issues, such as reputation and corporate social responsibility are designed to encourage students to formulate and argue their own views on all aspects of strategy. Throughout the course students will have the opportunity to apply the abstract strategy concepts into real-life conditions, and make their own recommendations for strategies of their selected case studies and project companies.
Credits: 5
Lecture Hours: 45

Self-Study Hours:

  • Reading: 80 (Book, Notes)      
  • Review: 60 (15 Case studies, Strategy concepts)
  • Assignment: 40 (Field research, Company interviews, Analysis)

Total Study Hours: 255



This is a final year course, so students will be expected to be capable of preparing and presenting high quality assignments in English, and have a good understanding of complementary subjects including economics, leadership, marketing, law and business ethics. Therefore, before studying this class, students shall have passed 2 out of the following 3 courses: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Finance 1.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

1  Knowledge

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Analyze PK1, PK2, PK4 CK1 Analyze the components of the strategy development process.
Evaluate PK1, PK2, PK4 CK2 Evaluate how a firm sets its direction, chooses its business activities, creates strategies and defends its position in a competitive market.

2  Cognitive Skills

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Evaluate PC5 CC1 Evaluate the processes through which firms organize their business strategy efforts.
Analyze PC5 CC2 Prioritize the key decisions in strategy formulation and execution
Evaluate PC5 CC3 Account for complexity and evaluate the need for trade-offs in business world problems.

3  Communication, Information Technology, and Numerical Skills

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Evaluate PCIT4 CCIT1 Evaluate cases of different strategic approaches in the light of external environment and competitive strengths.
Create PCIT4 CCIT2 Create a workable idea for a new business based on all the main components of strategy.

4   Interpersonal Skills and Responsibilities

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Evaluate PIP1, PIP2, PIP3 CIP1 Work effectively individually and in teams to develop and present feasible strategies.


The course targets the 51 lessons in the study plan below. Each lesson is 1.5 class hours each; there are a total of 75 class hours. The study plan below describes the learning outcome for each lesson, described in terms of what the student should be able to do at the end of the lesson. Readings should be done by students as preparation before the start of each class. Implementation of this study plan may vary somewhat depending on the progress and needs of students.

No Lesson Learning Outcomes Teaching and Learning Activities, Assessment
1 General introduction and Method of Study Determine the purpose and rationale of strategy  (CK1) Lecture Group discussion on the purpose of strategy and use of theory and case studies Reading: Chapter 1
2 What is Strategy and Why Is It Important? Assess the term ‘The quest for Competitive Advantage’ and what it means in practice (CK2) Lecture Group discussion Reading: Chapter 1 (Pages 4-6)
3 Introductory Case Study: Apple Inc. Exemplifying a Successful Strategy  Evaluate the underlying strategies of Apple Inc. key success factors (CCIT1) Presentation of Case Study Class discussion on potential strategies for coffee shops Reading: Chapter 1 (Page 7 Apple Inc. Case Study)
4 Internationalization versus localization Assess the different strategic moves by Starbucks (CC1) Group discussion: Coffee Shops (Starbucks and Brown (Cambodia) Reading: Chapter 1
5 Strategy and the quest for competitive advantage Determine how to become a strategic thinker (CK3) Lecture Group discussion Reading: Chapter 1 (Pages 4-9)
6 A Company’s Strategy and its Business Model Evaluate two business models in terms of their simplicity and effectiveness (CC3) Evaluate different business models of Radio. Lecture Group discussion Reading: Chapter 1 (Pages 9-16), Page 13 Pandora, SiriusXM, and Over-the-Air Broadcast Radio: Three Contrasting Business Model
7 QUIZ 1: (Chapter 1) (CK2) Lecture Group discussion on Quiz 1 Results Reading: Chapter 1
8 Charting a Company’s Direction Develop a Vision, Mission, Objectives, and Strategy: The Five Stages of Crafting a Strategy (CCIT2) Lecture Group discussion and group presentation on Vision statements Reading: Chapter 2 (Pages 20-22)
9 Mission and Vision Statements:  Examples and Cases Create and present a good vision and mission statement, and evaluate vision and mission statements of companies (CCIT1) Demonstration of good and bad vision and mission statements Group discussion on how to develop good vision and mission statements Reading: Chapter 2 (Pages 23-27)
10 Developing Mission and Vision Statements Prepare and present in groups your company vision and mission statement (CCIT2) Group exercise on completing and using vision statements and discussion on how these affect the company’ operations Reading: Chapter 2 (Pages 24-29)
11 Setting Objectives and Performance Indicators Assess the role of targeted objectives in strategy making and implementation (CC1) Lecture Group discussion to assess the nature and role of setting targeted objectives Reading: Chapter 2 (Pages 30-33)
12 Case Study – Setting Objectives:  Examples of Company Objective Apply the concept of setting objectives to real life case studies (CC2)
  • Presentation of Case Study
  • Group discussion on how setting objectives is fundamental to the organisation

Reading: Chapter 2 (Page 27 Patagonia Case Study)

13 Preparation for Quiz 2: Crafting and Executing strategy (up to the role of the CEO) (CK2) Lecture Group discussion on quiz questions Reading: Chapter 2 (Pages 34-39)
14 Executing and Evaluation the Strategy Case Study: Rosetta Mission Apply the ‘objective setting’ to major international projects and evaluate how this aided the success of the mission (CC2) Presentation of Case Study Group discussion Reading: Chapter 2 (Pages 39-42)
15 Corporate Governance:  The Roles and Responsibilities of Boards of Directors. Case Study: The Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal. Describe the background to the diesel emissions scandal and determine the corporate governance issues that caused it (CK1) Lecture on Case Study Group discussion on Corporate Governance issues Reading: Chapter 2 (Pages 40-42), Page 43 Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal Case Study
16 Quiz 2: (Chapter 2) (CK2) Evaluating a Company’s External Environment: The strategically relevant factors in the company’s macro environment (CC1) Lecture on the external environment Group discussion on the factors that relate to the assessment of the external environment to strategy Reading: Chapter 3 Pages 48-52
17 Assessing the Company’s Industry and Competitive Environment (PESTEL)  (CIP1) Lecture and presentation of the PESTEL framework Group discussion on the future of the education system using the PESTEL framework Reading: Chapter 3 (Pages 49-52 Table 3.1 Page 52)
18 The Five Forces Model Assess the role of each of the five forces on determining the external environment that the firm is facing (CC1) Lecture on the 5-Forces Model Group discussion on the relevance and limitations of the 5-Forces Reading: Chapter 3 (Pages 53-69)
19 Complementors & the Value Net Industry Dynamics and the Forces Driving ChangeDetermine the value chain for the written example and evaluate its role in strategy making (CC3) Lecture on the Value Net Group discussion on the relevance of ‘complementors’ Reading: Chapter 3 (Page 69-74)
20 Competitor Analysis Strategic Group AnalysisPerform a competitor analysis for one selected industry (CC2) Lecture on strategic group analysis Group discussion on competitor analysis Reading: Chapter 3 (Pages 74-79)
21 Positioning Your Company Determine and Evaluate the Key Success Factors Essential to Surviving in the Industry Quiz 3: (Chapter 3) (CK1) Lecture Group discussion on positioning your company to exploit the changing external environment Reading: Chapter 3 (Pages 79-81)
22 Evaluating a Company’s Resources, Capabilities, and Competitiveness:  Assess how well is the company’s strategy working? (CK1) Lecture on evaluating a company’s resources Group discussion Reading: Chapter 4 (Pages 87-95)
23 Evaluating a Company’s Resources: Exercise Determine what are the company’s most important resources? SWOT Analysis (CCIT1) Group discussion and presentation on a case study of a company’s resources Reading: Chapter 4 (Pages 91-102)
24 How does a company’s Value Chain activities impact its cost structure and the Customer Value Proposition? Determine the CVP for the given company business model and assess its value above the product price (CC1) Lecture on the Value Chain Group discussion Reading: Chapter 4 (Pages 102-112)
25 Company Assessment: Is the Company relatively stronger or weaker than its rivals? Evaluate the relative strength of a company compared to its rivals in the industry (CK3) Lecture on company assessment Group discussion on case study Reading: Chapter 4 (Pages 112-117)
26 Quiz 4: (Chapter 4) (CC1) Group discussion on Quiz 4 results Reading: Chapter 4: Pages 86-117
27 Midterm Exam Review (CK1) Lecture Group discussion on mid-term topics Reading: Chapters 1 to 4
28 Midterm Exam Review (CK1) Lecture Group discussion on mid-term topics Reading: Chapters 1 to 4
  Midterm Exams  (September 7 – September 12) (CK2) Lecture Group discussion Reading: Chapters 1 to 4:
29 Chapter 5: The Five Generic Competitive Strategies: Overview Evaluate each of the five generic strategies in terms of industry attractiveness (CC4) Lecture on the five generic strategies Group discussion Reading: Chapter 5
30 Strategic Choice: Low cost, differentiation and best cost provider strategies Describe and assess Vanguard’s Path to Becoming the Low-Cost Provider  (CC1) Group exercise: teams to present the arguments for low cost, differentiation and best-cost provider strategies Reading: Chapter 5 (Pages 123-130 Page 127: Vanguard Case Study
31 Understanding Current Strategic Direction using 5 Generic Strategies Model Evaluate the most appropriate strategy for given strategic intent (CCIT1) Quiz 5: (Chapter 5) (CK1) Lecture to summaries the consequences of choosing each of these modes Group discussion on the issues of strategic choice Reading: Chapter 5: Pages 132-148
32 Strengthening a Company’s Competitive Position: Strategic Moves Choose between acquisition and alliance and when these are appropriate strategic moves (CC2) Lecture on Strategic Moves Group discussion Reading: Chapter 6 (Pages 153-157)
33 Defensive Strategies to protect market position – Case Study: Tinder Swipes Right for First-Mover Success Assess Tinder Swipes Right for First-Mover Success (CC3) Presentation of case study Group discussion Reading: Chapter 6 (Pages 153-158 Page 161: Tinder Case Study)
34 Horizontal and Vertical Integration, outsourcing and strategic alliances Determine when vertical and horizontal integration are appropriate strategic moves (CC3) Lecture on horizontal and vertical integration Group discussion Read: Chapter 6 (Pages 162-178 Page 166: Walmart’s Expansion into E-Commerce via Horizontal Acquisition Strategy)
35 Quiz 6: Chapter 6 (CK1) Lecture Group discussion on Quiz results Reading: Chapters 6:
36 Strategies for Competing in International Markets; Strategic options Distinguish between the available strategic moves for expanding to international markets and determine when these are most appropriate  (CK3) Lecture on entering international markets Group discussion Reading: Chapter 7 (Pages 183-192)
37 International Strategy – the Three Main Approaches  Case Study: Page 192: Assess the Walgreens-Boots Alliance Inc. Alliance Followed by Merger Case Study: Assess the value of the Four Seasons Hotel Strategy: Local Character: Global Service (CK1) Presentation on case study Group discussion Reading: Chapter 7 (Pages 188-201 Case Study: Page 196: Walgreens-Boots Alliance) Case Study: Page 202 (Four Seasons Hotel: Local Character: Global Service)
38 Corporate Strategy: Diversification and the Multibusiness Company Determine when diversification is an appropriate strategic move (CC2) Quiz 7: Chapter 7 (CK1) Lecture on corporate strategy Group discussion Reading: Chapter 8 (Pages 219-255)
39 Building Shareholder Value: The Case for Diversification Evaluate the effect on shareholder value Case Study: Restructuring for Better Performance at Hewlett-Packard (CC3) Lecture on shareholder value Group discussion Reading: Chapter 8 (Page 255: Case Study: Hewlett-Packard)
40 Quiz 8: Chapter 8 (CK1) Group discussion on quiz results Reading: Chapter 8
41 Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environment and Strategy Case Study: Evaluate Unilever’s Focus on Sustainability and its value to the company (CK3) Lecture on CSR Group discussion on CSR Ethical Issues Reading: Chapter 9 (Pages 261-282) Case Study: Page 282 (Unilever’s Focus on Sustainability)
42 Assignment Review Class (CCIT1) Assignment presentations Group discussion Reading: (Chapter 9)
43 Building an Organization Capable of Good Strategy Execution Case Study: Which Value Chain Activities does Apple Outsource, and Why? Assess whether this is an appropriate strategic move (CK2) Quiz 9: Chapter 9 (CK1) Group discussion on strategy implementation issues (using Apple Case study) Reading: Chapter 10 (Pages 291-317) Case Study: Page 306 (Which Value Chain Activities does Apple Outsource, and Why?)
44 Managing Internal Operations: Actions That Promote Strategy Execution Case Study: Charleston Area Health Medical Center’s Six Sigma Program Evaluate and assess the role that good operations management makes to implementing strategy (CC1) Quiz 10: Chapter 10 (CK1) Lecture on managing internal operations Group discussion on the Charleston Area Health Medical Center Case Study Reading: Chapter 11 (Pages 323-342)
45 Assignment Review (CCIP1) Quiz 11: Chapter 11 (CK1) Assignment presentations Group discussion
46 Corporate Culture and Leadership: Keys to Good Strategy Execution Assess the role that good corporate culture has on the overall performance and strategy execution and implementation (CC2) Lecture on corporate culture Group discussion on developing a good corporate culture Reading: Chapter 12 (Pages 347 – 367)
47 Assignment Presentation Class (CCIT2) Quiz 12: Chapter 12 (CK1) Assignment Presentations Group discussion
48 Assignment Presentation Class (CCIT2) Assignment presentations Group discussion
49 Final Exam Review (CCIT1) Lecture and review of topics Group discussion on course and exam questions
50 Final Exam Review (CCIT1) Lecture and review of topics Group discussion on course and exam questions
Total Hours: 75


The teaching methodology will aim at promoting critical thinking among the students and stimulating student participation during the classes. The students’ knowledge will be periodically reviewed by class presentations and quizzes.


Grades will be determined based on a grading score, calculated using the following assessments and score allocations:

Assessment Weight of each assessment Learning Outcome Assessed
Participation 20% CK1, CK2, CC1, CC2, CIP1 PC5, PC5
In-class tests 20% CK1, CK2, CC1 PK2, PC5
Assignments 20% CIP1, CCIT1, CCIT2 PIP1, PIP3, PIP2, PCIT4
Midterm exam 20% CK1, CK2, CC1, CC2, CC3 PK1, PK2, PK4, PC5
Final exam 20% CK1, CK2, CC1, CC2, CC3 PK1, PK2, PK4, PC5
Total grading score 100%  

There is one assignment during this course:

Business Model

Work Group: Group
Output format: Report & Presentation
Language: English




Student teams with 2 members will work on a “Business Model” as if you are entrepreneurs. Team will identify issues/needs in the society and come up with business ideas with potential solutions. Team will design the business model canvas and then test the business model assumptions with customers and key partners and then make the necessary changes. You may need to revise your canvas multiple times in order to get your expectations. Then you will need to conduct various competitor analysis and propose strategies to start the business. Teams are also required to create Presentation Slides to show the Business Model & Canvases, Problems / Obstacles, Evidences, Analysis, and Strategies.



  1. Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2021). Crafting and executing strategy (23rd ed.). McGraw-Hill.


  1. Harvard Business Review (2011). HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy.
  2. Michael E. Porter, Competitive Strategy, Free Press, New York, 1980
  3. The Strategy Book (2nd Edition): Max McKeown, Pearson 2016 (ISBN: 978-1-292-08440-4 (print), 978-1-292-08443-5 (PDF), 978-1-292-08442-8 (etext) 978-1-292-08441-1 (epub)