Managing Competitive Strategy

Module description


During our semester together we will be discussing major issues affecting strategy for 21st century organisations, and debating the pros and cons of applying some of the various approaches that both theorists and practitioners have developed to facilitate evaluating, planning and influencing strategy development and execution.

Additional Information:


You will work with a number of case studies in this module to help you engage with the material and gain an international perspective on strategy. These include a number of international studies, such as Staples case 12, Google case 18 and Microsoft case 20 with Elop’s Nokia Materials, Starbucks case 25 and the ACCA case study 2Tel (2015.) The numbered cases are in our Strategy module’s core text book; Hill, Schilling and Jones (2015, 2017.) Strategic Management: Cengage.

The book is an essential purchase so as to access the readings and the case studies within .


All of the resources needed are available through the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

External Engagement

As in previous years, we will be inviting a guest speaker. An announcement will be made once we have secured one.


Working in groups is valuable experience for your future employment as it enables you to learn how to work in different ways. The ability to use social media is increasingly seen as a key skill by employers; and many are using collaborative tools to develop strategy. Previous students have already found their experience of working with LinkedIn and Twitter to be of value to employers. You will also develop your skills, working as part of a multi-national team of around five members:  report writing, researching competitors, and developing practical problem-solving skills.

Full module specification

Module title:Managing Competitive Strategy
Module code:BEMM068
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Michael Mathews - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • Investigate with criticality the components of strategic management analytical frameworks
  • Explore the role of strategy at different organisational levels in various industries
  • Enable students to characterise and conceptualise different perspectives of strategy
  • Provide students with practical experience of working on strategic issues, within a team.


ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Identify and analyse the role of strategy at multiple organisational levels
  • 2. Understand and evaluate a selection of strategic management models
  • 3. Apply strategic frameworks to a range of organisational contexts
  • 4. Comprehend practical issues associated with the development and execution of strategy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Synthesise conceptual frameworks encompassing multiple perspectives
  • 6. Reflect on practical case experiences using current theory
  • 7. Use appropriate published research findings to support academic arguments

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Carry out independent study/research and case study analysis
  • 9. Reflect on, and amend, personal learning strategies for specific learning tasks
  • 10. Work effectively in a group
  • 11. Use collaborative technology to create a strategic document

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity20Lectures/seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity5Tutorials
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity2Workshops
Guided Independent Study121Reflection, reading and preparation for tutorials, workshops and assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorials and Workshops requiring preparation3 x 1 hour tutorials 2 x 2 hour workshops1,2,3,4,6,8,9Verbal and peer feedback in tutorial/workshop

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group report on case study302,000 words (per group of 5 students)3,4,6,7,8,9, 10,11Comments on paper and group feedback from lecturers
Examination502 hours1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9Written feedback
Individual Assignment201,500 words1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group report on case studyIndividual paper on separate case study (2000 words)3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11Referral/Deferral period
ExaminationExamination (2 hours)1,2,3,5,6,7,9Referral/Deferral period
Individual assignment Individual assignment (1,500 words) 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9 Referral/Deferral period

Syllabus plan

• The strategic management process 
• Analysing a firm’s external environment 
• Analysing a firm’s internal capabilities 
• Competitive Strategy 
• Corporate Strategy 
• Collaborative/network level strategy 
• International Strategy 
• Strategy evaluation 
• Strategy implementation 
• Different perspectives on strategy 
• Strategic Paradoxes

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Core Text for the Module:

Hill, Schilling & Jones (2017) Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach; Theory & Cases , 12 th edition CENGAGE

Supplementary Reading:

Thompson, A.A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J.E., Strickland, A.J. III., Janes, A., and Sutton, C. (February 2013) Crafting and Executing Strategy : The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, European Edition: London: McGraw-Hill, Irwin.

Daft, R. and Benson, A. (2016) Managemen t: Cengage.

De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2016) Strategy: Cengage.

Barney, J.B. and Hesterly, W.S. (2012) Strategic management and Competitive Advantage , Harlow: Pearson Higher Education.

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J.B. (2008) Strategy Safari, London: Financial Times.

Plus a range of articles from:

Strategic Management Journal, McKinsey Quarterly,

Harvard Business Review,

Long Range Planning and other relevant journals


Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date