Syllabus for BUS-421
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION CAPSTONE
Business Administration Capstone is a senior-level capstone course that focuses on the development and implementation of strategy as a means to success in business. This course integrates concepts and applications from various functional areas of business. Relying heavily on case studies, the focus is on how managers engage in strategic thinking, planning, analysis, and execution to gain a sustained competitive advantage in the market place.
Being the capstone course in the undergraduate business program, this course requires knowledge of accounting, finance, marketing, economics, and management. Thus, the following courses or their equivalents should be successfully completed before this course is taken:
FIN-301: Principles of Finance
MAN-301: Principles of Management
MAR-301: Introduction to Marketing
ACC-101 and ACC-102: Principles of Financial and Managerial Accounting
ECO-111 and ECO-112: Macroeconomics and Microeconomics
After completing this course, you should be able to:
CO1 Explain the importance of vision, mission, objectives in crafting a company strategy and its
relationship to the company’s business model.
CO2 Integrate strategic management concepts, theories, and techniques as well as internal and
external environmental elements in formulation of a comprehensive strategy.
CO3 Compare and contrast alternative competitive strategies and behaviors and international
aspects if appropriate.
CO4 Incorporate exemplary ethical principles, and socially responsible management values in the
CO5 Explain the key elements necessary to successfully execute a strategic plan.
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
The text is supplemented by online premium content— including narrated slides and videos, which, along with chapter tests, are also available for iPod download—which can be purchased at:
Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage, Concepts and Cases, 19/e.
Business Administration Capstone is a three-credit, online course consisting of eight modules. Modules include an overview, objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete case study assignments, take a proctored online midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.
In addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum in Module 1, Business Administration Capstone requires you to participate in eleven graded discussion forums (one each in Modules 2, 4, and 5, and two each in Modules 2, 6, 7, and 8).
Communication and collaboration among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.
You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, concepts, and practices as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.
Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.
You are required to complete seven case study assignments. The case study assignments draw on cases from the textbook and typically involve thoughtful, well-developed responses to case analysis questions. These assignments allow you to apply the strategic concepts and practices studied in the text and to sharpen your analytical, evaluative, and overall case analysis skills in preparation for the final project—a written case analysis report.
Prepare your case study assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.
Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.
When satisfied that your assignment represents your best work, submit it to your mentor.
For a list of key concepts that may appear on your exam(s), refer to the study guide(s) available in the Examinations section of the course Web site.
You are required to take a proctored midterm examination.
For the midterm, you are required to use the University's Online Proctor Service. Please refer to the Examinations and Proctors section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.
The midterm is two hours long and consists of five essay questions. It is closed-book and covers all reading and assignments from Modules 1 through 4.
In studying for the exam, be sure to review all core concepts and to reread the key points at the end of each chapter in the textbook. For practice, also consider taking each chapter's self-scoring, multiple-choice practice test.
Online exams are administered through the course website. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.
You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:
If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.
You are required to prepare a final project and submit it at the end of the semester. Your final project will be in the form of an analytical report produced with the intention of making a recommendation to the CEO of a company.
The final project draws on concepts and knowledge gained from the entire course. To allow yourself sufficient time to complete an exemplary report, consider beginning the project soon after the start of Module 7. See the Final Project area of the course website for further details.
You are required to submit the final project in this course to turnitin.com, an academic plagiarism prevention site, prior to submitting the project within your course space. You will receive immediate written feedback from Turnitin regarding writing style as well as a plagiarism gauge with tips for proper citations. You then have the opportunity to edit your assignment with this feedback in mind and resubmit it to Turnitin for additional checking. Once you are satisfied with the project, you are required to submit the Turnitin feedback (also known as the originality report) for the final version along with the project itself within the course space.
Read carefully the information found at the following link, as it will provide instructions for this requirement:
Turnitin FAQ Web Page
The course ID and password that you will need in order to create an account may be found at the following link: Course ID and Password by Semester. Look within Step 1, locating your course ID and password by semester.
This information can also be found within Using Turnitin for Assignments. You can locate this document in the topic list area of your course space.
Students please note: You have the option of submitting any of your assignments to turnitin.com. Submit any additional assignments through the slots with the optional label. However, submitting other assignments is NOT a requirement and you should not submit originality reports for these assignments to your mentor.
This course requires that you complete an assessment called the ETS® Proficiency Profile. This test, offered through Educational Testing Service (ETS), measures general academic knowledge and skills in the core areas of reading, mathematics, writing, and critical thinking. It is a widely accepted standardized assessment tool that will provide the University with important data to assess its overall quality and effectiveness in meeting the general education needs of our students. It serves as a valuable tool in helping us measure progress in achieving established learning goals and evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.
The ETS Proficiency Profile is administered in a non-proctored, online format. It should take you no longer than 45 minutes to complete. The confidentiality of your responses and scores will be protected. Your individual score will not be recorded, but you will receive a certain percentage of your overall grade (see Syllabus for details) for completing the assessment. Consult the course Calendar for the due dates for taking this test.
Please use the following link that explains the steps involved in taking the exam, including the system checks that must be completed prior to taking the exam: ETS Proficiency Exam Instructions. Please read all instructions prior to taking the exam and allow extra time to complete the system checks.
To receive credit for completing the ETS Proficiency Profile, post a comment about the test and your experience taking it to the ETS Proficiency Profile discussion forum. In your posting, indicate the date on which you took and completed the test. For students taking a Guided Study version of the course, you may be asked to submit this information as an assignment instead of posting it to a discussion forum. Your mentor will verify your participation and will give you credit for it. Upon completing the test, you will receive a confirmation email from ETS. Retain this email for your records as verification that you completed the test.
As part of your enrollment in a School of Business and Management degree program, it is required that you take a comprehensive exam to assess your foundational knowledge as well as to evaluate your achievement of the learning outcomes associated with the program of study. The primary purpose of this exam is to allow Thomas Edison State University to assess the quality of our academic programs so that we may continue to provide the best educational experience for our learners.
You will take this exam twice over the course of obtaining your degree: once in a course at the beginning of the program and once in a course at the end. The first (inbound) exam assesses your pre-program foundational knowledge; the second (outbound) exam assesses your knowledge after having completed the courses in the program. There is no need to prepare for the exam.
Please note that you will take the exam only once in any particular course.
The exam will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete. You will not receive a grade on the exam, nor will your performance on the exam raise or lower your course grade. However, taking the exam and posting the exam completion certificate in this course is required, and you will not receive a passing grade in the course unless you have posted the completion certificate.
Documents containing information about the exam and instructions for registering for and taking it are linked in Module 1 of the course.
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
Consider the following study tips for success:
Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.
Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at www.tesu.edu.
Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.
If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Originality Report Checking at Turnitin
Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.
If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.
If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.
Possible sanctions include:
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