Managing Competitive Strategy

Module description


During our semester together we will be discussing major issues affecting strategy for 21st century organisations. We will be examining the principles of strategy implementation and management and the different approaches to strategy adopted by organisations. A major focus of the module will be in analysing case studies using some of the various approaches that both theorists and practitioners have developed to facilitate the evaluation of how organisations develop and execute functional, business and corporate strategy.

Additional Information:


Never before has the impact of global social and environmental influences on the operation of organisations been so apparent.  You will work with a range of business and organisational case studies in this module to help you engage with the principals of organisational strategy in gaining an insight into international perspectives on strategy implementation.

Thompson, A.A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J.E., Strickland, A.J. III., Janes, A., and Sutton, C. (February 2017) Crafting andExecuting Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, European Edition: London: McGraw-Hill, Irwin.

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:

  • Critically analyse the various components of strategic management
  • 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 strategy using a selection of strategic management models and methods
  • 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 Activity2Presentation workshops
Guided Independent Study123Reflection, 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 study302000 words (per group of 5 students)3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11Comments on paper and group feedback from lecturers
Individual assignment201500 words1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9Written feedback
Examination502 hours1,2,3,5,7,8,9Written 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
Individual AssignmentIndividual Assignment (1500 words)1,2,3,5,6,7,9Referral/Deferral period
Examination Examination (2 hours)1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9Referral/Deferral period

Syllabus plan

  •        The strategic management process
  •        Analysing a firm’s external environment
  •        Analysing a firm’s internal capabilities
  •        Competitive Strategy
  •        Examine functional, business and corporate strategies
  •        Collaborative/network level strategy
  •        International Strategy
  •        Strategy implementation
  •        Strategy evaluation
  •        Different perspectives on strategy

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Core Text for the Module:

Thompson, A.A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J.E., Strickland, A.J. III., Janes, A., and Sutton, C. (February 2017) Crafting andExecuting Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, European Edition: London: McGraw-Hill, Irwin.

Supplementary Reading:

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

Daft, R. and Benson, A. (2016) Management: 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,

Web-based and electronic resources:


Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date