Syllabus for BUS-421
Strategic Management 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:
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College'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 & Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, 19/e.
Business Policy is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include an overview, learning 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, Strategic Management requires you to participate in eleven (11) 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 (7) 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.
Case Study Assignment Evaluation Rubric
You are required to take a proctored midterm examination.
For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). 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 (5) essay questions. It is closed-book and covers all reading and assignments from Modules 1-4.
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 Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.
Statement about Cheating
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. See the Final Project area of the course Web site for further details.
For your report, you will identify key issues in an assigned case, research the company featured in that case, analyze and evaluate the issues involved, and recommend an action plan to management.
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.
Final Project Evaluation Rubric
You are required as part of this course to complete in Module 7 an assessment designed to test your overall proficiency in in performing college level work. The proficiency assessment counts for 5 percent of your overall grade for the course.
This test is a standardized assessment tool that will provide the College with important data to assess the College's overall quality and effectiveness in meeting the 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 proficiency assessment is administered in an unproctored, online format. The confidentiality of your responses and scores will be protected.
Consult the course Calendar for the due dates for taking this test.
In order for you to take this assessment you must have access to a computer that meets certain requirements. For details about these requirements and the assessment in general, go to the Proficiency Assessment area of the course.
To access the test, your computer must meet the following requirements:
Windows 98, XP, NT, 2000, Vista
Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater
1024 x 768 pixels
*A dial-up connection will support the test but you will require more time to download than with high-speed.
To receive credit for completing the test:
Your mentor will verify your participation and will give you credit for it.
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 nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
Consider the following study tips for success:
Students at Thomas Edison State College 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.
Thomas Edison State College 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 College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.
Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. 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
First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:
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