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Small-group Seminar Arrangements Essay

Sign up sheets for seminar groups will be displayed on Moodle giving details of the time, date and location of seminars. Please sign up for a seminar slot for each round of seminars. You will be notified in lectures of the preparation required for seminars.

Full details of coursework or other non-exam assessment

One 3,000 word (excluding references) case study (100%). Answers will be assessed for both their theoretical and empirical contributions. Coursework on this module will be marked in accordance with the undergraduate classification marking guide as included in your Business School Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Do not select one of the case organisations we study during the module as specified in Lecture 1 ‘Introduction’ handout.

Choose an organisation in which you are interested. Write a 3000 word essay in which you use strategic management frameworks to: Outline the organisation’s current strategy and sources of competitive advantage or disadvantage (Based on resources and capabilities, core competencies, core rigidities or dynamic capabilities). Analyse and evaluate either a recent period of change or a period of international expansion. The analysis of strategic change should cover the context, content and process of change and evaluate the results The analysis of a period internationalisation should cover the motivation to internationalise, the reasons for selecting the target country/region, the selected internationalisation strategy and the results. Comment on the leadership of the organisation during this period and the organisational issues which the leader needed to address.

Please note that 3,000 words (excluding references) with a 10% plus or minus tolerance will be permitted. All words including those in tables and figures are included within this word count. Essays which exceed this word count will normally be treated as having a major error (as defined in the Business School’s Undergraduate Marking Guide) and hence will be limited to a maximum of 59%.

Any coursework that is not appropriately referenced in Harvard Style (as explained in your UG Student Handbook) in the text where required and with a single and matching alphabetical list of Harvard Style references under the heading of references at the end of your coursework will be deemed to have a major error.

Deadline Date for Submission of Coursework

Essays should be submitted in to the Undergraduate Reception A1, North Building or via the Post Box in the Undergraduate Reception by 2pm on Tuesday 13 May 2014. Normal penalties will apply for late submission. Two copies of your essay must be handed in.

Five marks will be deducted for each working day (or part thereof) if coursework is submitted after the official deadline date without an extension having been obtained. Except in exceptional circumstances, late submission penalties will apply automatically unless a claim for extenuating circumstances is made within five calendar days following an assessment deadline. If you need a deadline extension, contact the Business School Student Support Officer (Teresa Bee, Room A7b Business School North Building) before the deadline date. Teresa will provide you with an Extension of Deadline for the Submission of Coursework form. This form must be signed by Teresa and attached to your coursework when it is submitted. Extensions will only be given in exceptional circumstances such as illness (which needs verifying evidence from a doctor) and in the case of significant personal/family problems. Short-term illness (less than 7 days) is not normally regarded as an extenuating circumstance for coursework. Late penalties will not be implemented if a claim for extenuating circumstances is retrospectively approved.

Module Aims

To examine the process of strategic management and the management factors that influence effective strategy implementation.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
This module develops a knowledge and understanding of:

International issues in business and management

The development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services.

The development of appropriate business policies and strategies to meet stakeholder needs within a changing environment.

Intellectual skills
This module develops:

The cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis, including the ability to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, to detect false logic or reasoning, to identify implicit values, and to define terms adequately and to generalise appropriately.

Effective qualitative problem solving and decision making skills.

The ability to create, evaluate and access a range of options, together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of business and other situations.

Professional practical skills
This module develops:

Qualitative skills including the ability to work with case studies.

The ability to apply business models to business problems and phenomena.

Effective performance within a team environment, including leadership, team building, influencing and project management skills.

Transferable (key) skills
This module develops:

Effective oral and written communication skills in a range of traditional and electronic media.

Effective self-management in terms of time, planning and behaviour, motivation, self-starting, individual initiative and enterprise.

Learning to learn and developing an appetite for reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning.

This Module Outline should be read in conjunction with your Student Handbook.

Past/Sample Examination Paper

Not applicable as there is no exam assessment for this module.

Module Details on Moodle

The web address for Moodle is moodle.nottingham.ac.uk. Moodle contains the definitive module specification (including all assessment details), past exam papers, and assessment feedback and review pages. You can see information on previous student performance and SEM feedback on the module. For most modules, Moodle also contains online tutorial sign-up lists, module forums, module news and announcements, and a module home page that provides access to online materials such as electronic copies of lecture handouts.

Feedback on Teaching

The School operates a system of formal teaching appraisal (termed SET/SEM). You will be asked to complete a short on-line questionnaire relating to the teaching on this module. Your co-operation would be very much appreciated, as we value feedback to maintain the quality of our programmes. SET/SEM is completed online using Moodle.


If you would like a hard copy of this or other documents in an alternative format, or have other concerns around issues of accessibility please contact the Module Convenor or Teresa Bee (the School’s Disability Liaison Officer).

Reading List and references

Recommended reading for specific topics is provided within this document.

You may find the following book, on which the module was originally based helpful: it is also the source of most of the illustrative case studies we will be using.

Dobson, P., Starkey, K. & Richards, J. (2004) Strategic Management: Issues and Cases, Blackwell (DSR) (Available from the library as an eBook library resource. Please contact the library for further details).

Additional reading:
The following journals are recommended:
California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Long Range Planning, MIT Sloan Management Review, Strategic Management Journal.
The Financial Times, Business Week, The Economist, Fortune, Management Today and the business sections of the good quality newspapers are also good sources of information.

For further sources of company information for coursework please consult the library.


Topic 1 Strategy and Organisation
Lecture 1: Understanding organisations using the McKinsey 7S model

Module introduction
Shared Values


Dobson, Starkey & Richards (DSR) Ch. 5

Drucker, P. F. (1994) The theory of the business. Harvard Business Review, 72(5), 95-104. Goold, M., & Campbell, A. (2002) Do you have a well-designed organization?. Harvard Business Review, 80(3) 17-124. Hambrick, D. C., & Fredrickson, J. W. (2001) Are you sure you have a strategy? The Academy of Management Executive, 15(4), 48-59. Mintzberg, H. (1980) Structure in 5’s: A Synthesis of the Research on Organization Design. Management science, 26(3), 322-341. Porter, M. E. (1996) What is strategy? Harvard Business Review November-December 61-68. Waterman Jr, R. H., Peters, T. J., & Phillips, J. R. (1980) Structure is not organization. Business Horizons, 23(3), 14-26.

Illustrative case: Home Depot in the midst of transformation

Lecture 2: Towards a theory of high performance and the halo effect In search of excellence
Built to Last
The Halo Effect
From Good to Great


Dobson, Starkey & Richards (DSR) Ch. 5

Collins, J. (2001) Good to Great Fast Company http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/good-to-great.html Collins, J. C., & Porras, J. I. (1996) Building your company’s vision. Harvard business review, 74(5), 66-77 Eisenhardt, K. M., & Sull, D. N. (2001) Strategy as simple rules. Harvard Business Review, 79(1), 106-119. Hamel, G., & Valikangas, L. (2003). The quest for resilience. Harvard Business Review, 81(9), 52-65. Kirby, J. (2005). Toward a theory of high performance. Harvard Business Review, 83(7), 30. Peters, T. (2001) Tom Peters’s true confessions. Fast Company, 78-93. http://www.fastcompany.com/44077/tom-peterss-true-confessions Rosenzweig, P. (2007) Misunderstanding the nature of company performance: the Halo Effect and other business delusions. California Management Review Summer 49 Issue 4 p 6-20

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