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Syllabus for MGMT 6359 - 22596

MGMT 6359 - 22596 Spring 2014

Course Number MGMT 6359 - 22596
Course Title Seminar in Strategic Management
Location Sugar Land
Prerequisites Completion of all Strategic MBA Core Courses; MGMT 6354 may be taken concurrently
Instructor Ronald James Salazar
Office Brazos Hall 347 (Sugar Land)
Office Hours By appointment
Phone 832-842-2954
Faculty Homepage/URL\salazarr

Prerequisite Policy

Prerequisites for a course exist because the School of Business Administration faculty have determined that the knowledge, skills, and/or exposure students receive through the prerequisites is critical to their success in the course and their ability to contribute to their fellow students' learning experience. In addition, taking your core courses and concentration or elective courses in a prescribed sequence prepares you to integrate the knowledge and skills you are acquiring properly. Students bear the responsibility for verifying that they have the appropriate prerequisites for their courses. Students who enroll in a course without completing the prerequisites risk being dropped from the class at any time during the semester should their lack of prerequisites come to light. In addition, students who enroll without the prerequisites and as a result find themselves at a disadvantage in meeting course objectives will have no redress with the instructor.

Course Description

Using cases and recent articles, this course focuses on value creation through strategic formulation and implementation. 

Textbook Information

Business Simulation at, Management Simulations, Inc. 2013., (Required)Register for Industry C62272

Harvard Business School Publishing Coursepack , HBSP, (Required)Coursepack link: Cut and paste the link above to access the coursepack

Information on Buying Textbooks

The Victoria College Bookstore carries textbooks for all UHV SBA courses.

Students may use the publishing information posted above to order their textbooks from their favorite book vendor. However, before doing so you should find out what your vendor's anticipated shipping time is, and what their return policy is. Also, you should not write in or remove shrinkwrap from any textbook or materials you purchase from any vendor until the first class day in the event that:

  • the vendor supplies you with the wrong edition of your text,
  • the course instructor is forced to make a late change to the required textbooks,
  • you are forced to make a last-minute change to your schedule due to missing prerequisites, or
  • your course is canceled due to low enrollment.

In addition, be aware that, on occasion, certain outside vendors may substitute an international version of a textbook for the version you have requested without notice. International versions of textbooks may be quite different from the editions we require.

Course Relationship to Program Mission

The mission of the UHV MBA program is to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage organizations in a dynamic environment by offering an integrated curriculum that blends theoretical concepts with practical applications. Specifically, the MBA program seeks to develop in each graduate the capacity to:

  • understand and adapt to the changing business, political and social environments;
  • evaluate and respond to emerging threats and opportunities;
  • interact with and effectively lead diverse groups;
  • analyze and evaluate business operations and processes; and
  • synthesize and apply cross-functional approaches to organizational issues.

AACSB Accreditation Standards

The School of Business Administration is accredited by AACSB International, the hallmark of excellence in management education. AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. AACSB International accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in management education. AACSB International accreditation adds value to your degree. The AACSB International accreditation standards require you to:

  • Operate with integrity in your dealings with faculty and other students.
  • Engage the learning materials with appropriate attention and dedication. (This standard recognizes the role students play in the creation of high-quality education. You cannot be passive, nor can your participation be superficial.)
  • Maintain your engagement when challenged by difficult learning activities.
  • Contribute to the learning of others. (Regardless of the delivery mode of the program, students should have opportunities to work together on some learning tasks. Students need to acknowledge their responsibilities to their fellow students by actively participating in group learning experiences.)
  • Perform to standards set by faculty.

Course Evaluation Process

Grading Scale:

Your letter grade is determined using the grade distribution that follows. You can calculate your percentage grade at any time in the semester by dividing the points you have accrued by the total points available up to that point. This percentage is then matched to a letter grade.

A 90% or higher
B 80 to 89%
C 70 to 79%
D 60 to 69%
F Less than 60%

Course Assessments:

Participation15 %
Comp-XM and AACSB Assessment25 %
Team Term Project20 %
Peer Evaluations10 %
CAPSIM Simulation Performance15 %
Team Presentation15 %


This course is well suited to a highly interactive course environment. Your active participation in class is expected. You WILL be called upon in class. For this class, participation is more than attendance. If you attend each class and arrive on time you will only receive a passing grade. To receive a higher grade, you must contribute to the class discussions. You are to challenge yourself, your classmates and your instructor in a constructive fashion so that we all develop a deeper understanding of the management-related issues discussed in class. For each case, you are to be intimately familiar with the details of the case. It will be assumed that you have completed a thorough analysis of the facts of the case and have identified the key problems and potential solutions that exist. While students will be called on at random to answer specific questions related to the assigned case, students are also expected to voluntarily contribute their assessments of case issues. Class participation grading will be based on a combination of your quality and quantity of contribution. I am most interested in insightful comments. I encourage you to present alternative viable interpretations of the material we are discussing. If you have not been able to prepare a particular case or reading, please let me know prior to class. While this will count against your class participation grade, it will not impact your grade as much as being unprepared when called upon. Class participation assesses learning objectives 1 through 4.

Comp-XM and AACSB Assessment

This course component consists of two parts. The first is Comp-XM Competency Exam is built around a simulation similar to Capstone. It is an examination tool for assessing business acumen and analysis skills in individuals, and providing data to support assurance of learning goals in business education programs. In Comp-XM each student is promoted to CEO and given a company to run in an industry with a similar interface, but different parameters to Capstone. Competitors are managed by the computer. As students run their companies, their board of directors presents them with a set of questions after each round. The questions are drawn from all business domains, from accounting to marketing to strategy. The assessment measures how well students meet AACSB assurance of learning targets for the school. The second part is an assessment of student performance for AACSB accreditation. This assessment requires you to perform a strategic situation analysis. Please start your individual assessment early (that is, during the first month of the semester). It is important to start early and work continuously. Doing research, analysis and writing up your findings is time consuming. Your assessment should be your own analysis and interpretation of all the background research you perform and of the various factors and issues you encounter. You are expected to develop an in-depth case analysis using the tools, theories, and ideas presented in this class, the core MBA classes, and your electives. You will be referring to various resources as you write your project but with a VERY few exceptions, each sentence you write for this project must be crafted by you. You may include some descriptions/quotes but all such quotes must be followed by your interpretation/analysis. Specific instructions are given in class. This set of assignments is intended to permit students to comprehend (review) and apply the basic concepts of strategic management learned in other MBA core courses to the strategic management framework consistent with learning objective 4.

Team Term Project

Team Term Project The major project for you and your teammates will be a strategic plan for the simulated firm. To accomplish this, your team will take the situation analyses of your firm and distill your findings in order to form statements that define the issues that are the most critical for the firm. You will then make a comprehensive list of recommendations with goals and objectives that your team believes would be essential in addressing those issues in the next three years. You must demonstrate that you have chosen a suitable area and have framed the issue in terms that matter in a significant way to the success of the firm. This is an opportunity for students to evaluate business cases, and present reports that are well-researched, well organized, concise, logical and objective to increase oral and written communication and presentation skills consistent with learning objective 3.

Peer Evaluations

The peer evaluations provide confidential feedback from your team members on your performance. It is expected that everyone will contribute equally to the project efforts. However, if a group member does not pull his or her weight, his or her overall score will reflect this. Because teamwork is important, there is a mandatory peer evaluation of "teamwork." If peer evaluations demonstrate that your work was not up to par, it will have a significant negative impact on your grade. No one will receive credit for teamwork unless he or she submits the peer evaluation of teamwork. You can find the peer evaluation at the Capstone Simulation website at This set of assignments is intended to permit students to evaluate the extent to which classmates have demonstrated their comprehension and application of the basic concepts of strategic management learned in other MBA core courses to the strategic management framework consistent with learning objective 4.

CAPSIM Simulation Performance

Your team will work together to focus on strategy, finance, production, marketing and all the key elements that interact to build a business. You will compete against other teams and be graded based on your team's performance. The simulation permits each student to evaluate, synthesize, and apply cross-functional approaches to strategy formulation and approaches to strategic analysis consistent with learning objectives 1 & 2.

Team Presentation

Each group (no more than 5 people) will be required to present the strategic analysis of its case in the Business School Case Conference. The presentation will be graded according to the presentation grading rubrics. The oral presentation is mandatory for all team members. There will be no exceptions. This is an opportunity for students to evaluate business cases, and present reports that are well-researched, well organized, concise, logical and objective to increase oral and written communication and presentation skills consistent with learning objective 3.

Reading Assessments

Your capacity to contribute to class discussions is directly related to your commitment to completing all reading assignments by the dates listed on the course schedule. Class participation grades will reflect both the quantity and the quality of your participation.

Makeup Exams

Make-up exams will only be given at the discretion of the instructor. Students are strongly cautioned to notify the instructor immediately if legitimate and insurmountable obstacles prevent them from participating in a scheduled exam session.

Late Assignments

The due dates for all assignments will be strictly followed. Late assignments may or may not be accepted at the instructor’s discretion; should the instructor accept a late assignment, he or she may reduce the grade of the assignment the equivalent of one (1) letter grade for each day the assignment is late.

Attendance Policy

According to the UHV Student Handbook, students are expected to be diligent in their studies and regular in class attendance. A student whose absences are determined by the instructor to be excessive shall be dropped prior to the last day to drop a course or withdraw from UHV with a grade of W or F. For students enrolled in online courses, "absence" connotes a failure to engage in class participation activities on a weekly basis. If an unforeseen crisis (including family emergencies, professional obligations, and technical difficulties) prevents you from fulfilling your course obligations, you are responsible for alerting your instructor to the reason for and anticipate duration of your absence.

Teaching and Learning Partnership

Teaching and learning is a partnership between faculty and students. I will fulfill my partnership obligations by serving as advisor, consultant, mentor and purveyor of general comments and clarifications of difficult or confusing concepts. To this end, I will respond to questions within 72 hours.  You will fulfill your partnership obligations by being a fully participative, responsive, helping, and working team member of the class.  You should check your UHV email frequently and respond to faculty in a timely fashion. Good business and professional etiquette is expected. No derogatory comments should be made. You may certainly disagree with others in class discussions, and you may state your disagreement (if you choose to); however, please do so in a polite manner.

Homework, take-home exams, case assignments and bulletin board participation all play an important role in your education in this course. They are an essential part of the learning process in that they require the synthesis and extension of concepts. They also help both the student and the instructor to evaluate one’s progress in mastering the material. Past experience indicates that generally the course material cannot be adequately mastered without active involvement on your part.

Discussion of homework assignments with others who are also struggling with them can be highly beneficial and is encouraged. Most real-life problems are solved through team efforts, and it is important to learn how to solve problems cooperatively. The interaction with others working on the same problem often reveals different approaches to common difficulties.

Academic Honesty

Each student is responsible for maintaining high standards of academic honesty and ethical behavior. In order that each student understands what is (or is not) acceptable behavior, the following guidelines are offered.

  • Discussion of assignments with other students and members of the faculty is both permitted and encouraged as a constructive educational practice.
  • Students are expected to write their exams, quizzes and papers on their own, based on their individual level of progress with the material.
  • Copying of another’s work and representing it as one’s own work is a serious academic offense, and will be treated as such.
  • Students are encouraged to review materials other than those required for the course in preparing assignments, but should always properly cite any sources used in assignment preparation.

UHV’s Student Handbook contains a detailed description of the university’s Academic Honesty Policy. In addition, tutors at the Academic Center (see section below) are available to assist you in providing proper citations for your source materials.

Disabled Student Policy

The University of Houston System complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids for students with a disability. In accordance with Section 504 and ADA guidelines, the University of Houston-Victoria strives to provide reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids to students who request and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring academic adjustments/auxiliary aids, please contact the UHV Office of Disability Services; Cheryl Worley, Manager; 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., University North, Suite 214H, Victoria, TX 77901. Office phone – 361-570-4287; Fax – 361-580-5504; E-mail; Website -

Student Absences on Religious Holidays

Per Texas state law, students will be excused from attending class and other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused on these grounds will be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment within one (1) week of the excused absence.

Sexual Harassment

Students who feel they are the victims of sexual harassment may contact the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at 361-570-4290 and/or the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action at 361-570-4800.

Grievance Procedures

Students who have non-academic grievances or complaints may contact Student Services at 361-485-4409.

Student Success Center Services

The Student Success Center offers writing assistance to all UHV students in the form of paper reviews by peer tutors. Tutors will aid students in looking more critically at their own writing to examine issues such as organization, structure, and development of ideas. To submit a document for online tutoring, or to schedule an appointment for face-to-face tutoring, please visit the Student Success Center online For more information about the Student Success Center and its library of online resources, visit the Center's Web site at or stop by Suite 129 (University West in Victoria).