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Syllabus for MGMT 6359 - 23208

MGMT 6359 - 23208 Spring 2014

Course Number MGMT 6359 - 23208
Course Title Seminar in Strategic Management
Location Online
Prerequisites Completion of all Strategic MBA Core Courses; MGMT 6354 may be taken concurrently
Instructor Jifu Wang Ph. D.
Office Brazos Hall 324 (Sugar Land)
Office Hours Mon 9AM- 11:30AM Sugar Land; or by appointment
Phone 832-842-3041
Fax 281-275-3056

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. 

MGT 6359 is an integrative course that synthesizes and applies cross-functional approaches learned in prior MBA core courses to organizational issues. The course will help students create value for organizations by applying knowledge and skills developed in other MBA core courses along with strategic concepts, theories, and frameworks to formulate and implement strategies that will set the general direction of an organization and critically affect its success. One task is developing an understanding of a company's current position and its historical development. A second task is generating and evaluating strategic alternatives and selecting from them. A third task is coordinating all the operational and functional components of the organization, such as integrating production, marketing, financial and behavioral theories and practices within a framework of complex organization. Thus, a basic understanding of the MBA core courses is necessary. We will use readings, cases, and a proficiency project to enhance our understanding of these top management tasks. Our primary mission, therefore, is to help you develop ways of thinking and learning that will make you a more effective manager and leader throughout your career. This requires that you learn how to perceive and respond to changes in business environments, assess and marshal organizational capabilities, and make insightful decisions and recommendations.

Textbook Information

Arthur Thompson, A J Strickland III, John Gamble, Crafting & Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, 19th ed., Arthur Thompson, A J Strickland III, John Gamble, ISBN 9780078029509(Required)You are responsible of purchasing the textbook at an earlier date and no excuse will be accepted for extension of assignments for textbook reasons. Other course materials will be available in Electronic Reserve at the UHV library.

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.

Required Course Materials

Videos and reading materials will be available at UHV Library Reserve for Jifu Wang

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:

Midterm Individual Project15 %
CAPSIM Simulation Performance15 %
Chapter Quiz15 %
DB Discussions15 %
Team Term Project20 %
MBA Conference Presentation17 %
Simulation Quiz3 %
Academic Integrity and Honesty

Midterm Individual Project

Midterm Exam will be an individual case analysis, which is to provide you an opportunity to perform a strategic situation analysis (both internal and external) and to identify strategic issues. Each student will develop a formal written analysis using the outline and guideline that will be provided. The format is based on the premise that you are a consultant to the firm and have been asked to develop a strategic plan. You will need to begin with analysis (not description) on the external situation analysis and conclude with the most pressing strategic issues/challenges (driving forces and industry key success factors). The next section will provide an in-depth analysis of the firms competitive position (Capabilities and resources). In the third section of Strategic Fit Analysis or SWOT, you will identify major strategic issues facing the organization supported by the results of your analysis. This case is to be more than a superficial analysis of the assigned firm. You are expected to utilize all of your knowledge, skills, abilities, and creativity that you have accumulated in the MBA program to formulate a workable strategy. Detailed requirements and aids will be provided: Project Outline, Project Instructions, and Grading Rubrics. You are required to get familiar with the materials.

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.

Chapter Quiz

Textbook Chapter Quizzes There will be a quiz for the chapter each week that you need to do individually to help you to digest the textbook chapters. Since the overriding purpose is to provide a driving force for you to read and digest the chapters in our textbook, you have two chances to work on these quizzes (exercises, to be exact). In other words, if you are not satisfied with your quiz performance for the first time, read the text again, and redo the quiz to get your maximized credit. You will have the higher grade of the two. You can find the quizzes in your Learn 9 online system.

DB Discussions

The development of verbal skills is given a high priority in this course. Every student is expected to take an active part in Discussion Board (DB) activities several times each week. In addition, you are required to attend web conferences when they are scheduled or to review their content within seven days. As a student, your responsibilities are not only learning but also contributing. I expect you to read all the postings each week to learn from others and share your thoughts and insights with your classmates for the topics given every week. I will keep a record each week of your frequency of posting as well as quality in DB participation as we progress during the semester. You are required to participate in every topic of the week and will have no credit if you fail to post anything for any given topic of the week. Food for DB discussions will come from videos (Harvard Business School professors lectures) and readings (journal articles and book chapters). The reading materials are selected from the world famous journals such as Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, and California Management Review etc. for your digest. You need to develop a habit of reading these journals on a regular basis for food of your thoughts and ideas for innovation for your future business careers.

Team Term Project

The major project for you and your teammates will be the continuation of the individual project for a complete strategic plan for the selected 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 and discussions 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. Detailed requirements and aids will be provided: Project Outline, Project Instructions, and Grading Rubrics. You are required to get familiar with the materials.

MBA Conference Presentation

Each group (3 to 4 people) will be required to present the strategic plan of the business simulation in the Business School Case Conference. The presentation will be graded according to the presentation grading rubrics. According to the school policy, the oral presentation is mandatory for all team members and there will be no exceptions. You need to get special permission from Associate Dean, Jeff Blodgett, at if you cannot make it for the presentation and special arrangements will be needed. A particularly effective way to wind up students Business Strategy Simulation experience and reinforce the learning that has taken place is to have the co-managers of each company prepare a presentation to their Board of Directors.

Simulation Quiz

There will be a quiz for the business simulation to help you to digest the business simulation. You need to do the quiz by yourself. You can find more information concerning the quiz at Capstone Simulation website at Please observe the deadline.


The peer evaluations provide confidential feedback from your team members on your performance. It is expected that everyone 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 lack of effort. 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 of teamwork. You can find the peer evaluation at the Capstone Simulation website at

Academic Integrity and Honesty

I take academic integrity and honesty very seriously. Any educational experience relies on a fundamental trust between the student and the university. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the academic honesty and integrity policy of the university. Your midterm individual projects and term team project will be checked with TurnItIn tool for plagiarism. Proper citation and references are absolutely needed. Papers showing duplication of 20% or more are subject to a grade of F. When in doubt, ask me or seek the advice of the academic support center.

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).