Strategy for International Managers

Module description

In this module we explore different aspects of strategy and strategic management within a global context. It is critical for anyone aspiring to manage their own business, become a senior executive or consultant to have a clear understanding of the concepts and ideas needed to effectively craft and execute strategy. We cover classical and current theory but also provide a practical focus with a simulation and a number of international case studies.

Full module specification

Module title:Strategy for International Managers
Module code:BEMM172
Module level:M
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Alex Janes - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:

7.5

Pre-requisites:

None

Co-requisites:

None

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

12

Duration (weeks) - term 2:

0

Duration (weeks) - term 3:

0

Module aims

The aims of this module are to:

•  enable you to explore the role of strategy at different organisational levels

•  enable you to characterise and conceptualise different perspectives of strategy

•  give you practical experience of working on strategic issues in a team using a simulated international business environment

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. diagnose an international organisation’s situation by critically analysing its external and internal environments, taking into account context in the choice of tools and frameworks used
  • 2. apply a range of module theories and frameworks for describing and setting an organisation’s direction
  • 3. evaluate a range of strategic options using objective criteria to support and justify recommended decisions and use these skills in case study discussions and simulations.
  • 4. actively and critically use module concepts to manage the delivery of an organisation’s strategy
  • 5. critically assess a range of strategic theories and models in terms of their validity and usefulness for international managers
  • 6. explain how dynamism and complexity are changing the field of strategy for international managers

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. identify, evaluate and use appropriate theory expounded in learned academic works
  • 8. enhance the conceptual location of international management theory and practice
  • 9. synthesise and construct conceptual frameworks from multiple managerial perspectives
  • 10. reflect on practical case experiences from the international business arena

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 11. explain the difference between complex but tractable problems and truly wicked or soft problems
  • 12. assess solutions to strategic problems in multi-layered as opposed to binary terms
  • 13. demonstrate team working skills
  • 14. reflect on their own and their teams performance in a strategy simulation
  • 15. demonstrate written communications skills

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
231270

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Lectures22Consisting of 2 hour lectures and case classes
Simulation coaching1Each team of 3 or 4 students will be able to meet with the module lead for at least one hour during the course of the simulation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Strategy Simulation Practice roundsThere will be 2 practice decision making rounds during which the teams of students (3 or 4 per team) will need to make strategic decisions within the simulation – this will take about 2 hours per round. Each team will receive a report after each round (within 30 minutes of the decision round closing) which shows their performance relative to the other simulation companies run by their peers. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13Performance comparison with other groups within the cohort and from over 5,000 other global users of the Business Strategy Game (BSG) simulation. Verbal feedback from module team in de-brief session during lecture
Strategy Simulation Decision Round reportsOnce the simulation starts groups will receive a report after each of the rounds and will be able to change their strategy in order to change the performance of their company on 5 metrics – these will then be used to at the end of the final round (8) to calculate the group mark as detailed below.1,3,4,5,6,9, 10,12,13Performance comparison with other groups within the cohort Coaching from module lead

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
50500

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
MCQ – In-class test – open book 245 minutes (20 questions)10, 14The MCQ is part of the BSG simulation and takes questions from its online question bank – the test is taken through the BSG website and correct answers are given as soon as the student finishes the test.
MCQ – In-class test – open book490 minutes (20 questions)10, 13The MCQ is part of the BSG simulation and takes questions from its online question bank – the test is taken through the BSG website and correct answers are given as soon as the student finishes the test.
Simulation company performance 21There will be 8 decision making rounds during which the teams of students (3 or 4 per team) will need to make strategic decisions within the simulation – this will take about 2 hours per round. Each team will receive a report after each round (within 30 minutes of the decision round closing) which shows their performance relative to the other simulation companies run by their peers 1,3,4,5,6,9,10,12,13Company performance is scored on a number of factors – comparison with other groups’ performance in the simulation and how well the teams met the objectives they set themselves – plus two bonus options in each round – the scoring system is transparent and explained via the BSG website – each team will receive a scorecard at the end of the simulation which explains how their final mark has been derived – there will also be verbal feedback to each team from the module team
Peer evaluation 330 minutes14This will be confidential to ensure peers evaluate each other honestly. The module lead will meet with poor performers to discuss their feedback on request.
Individual reflective report on Simulation Experience201,000 words7,8,5,9,10,13,14,15Written feedback to individual from module team via ELE
Case Exam This will be a restricted note exam with annotated case study allowed as materials – plus 6 sides of notes which will be attached to the candidate’s script at the end of the exam. The case study will be released in advance of the examination to allow candidates to prepare.501.5 hours1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,15Generic feedback on cohort strengths and weaknesses and commentary on questions published on ELE after the exam. Individual written or verbal feedback available on request from module team.

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
MCQ+MCQ+Simuation+Peer Evaluation+Reflective ReportReflective Report – 2,000 words 7,8,5,9,10,13,14,15July
Case Exam1.5 hour Case Exam – with alternative case used1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,15August

Re-assessment notes

Due to the group work nature of the simulation assessment it will be impossible to recreate this for an individual student so the re-assessment will be an essay reflecting their learning from the module equivalent to 50% of the marks.

Syllabus plan

Introduction:

  • What is Strategy and why is it important for International Managers?
  • Unifying module framework – the 6Ds of Strategic Management
  • Wicked problems and endless solutions – why strategy requires a different way of thinking.

Diagnosis:

  • Analysing the global macro-environment
  • Assessing global and local industries and competition
  • Evaluating an international organisation’s internal environment
  • Summarising the organisation’s situation – identifying critical issues and assessing their impact.

Direction:

  • Developing the mission, vision, values and strategic objectives for international organisations
  • Managing stakeholders in a globalised context
  • Leadership and culture and their influence on the organisation’s overall direction

Decisions:

  • Deciding where to compete internationally
  • Deciding how to compete
  • Deciding who to work with
  • Evaluating and choosing between different options
  • Decision making processes – from deliberate to emergent strategy

Delivery:

  • Configuring global and international organisations to execute strategy effectively
  • Control systems and measurement of delivery

Dynamism and Disorder:

  • The importance of context in strategic management
  • Coping with different levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in the global environment
  • The rise of high-velocity/hypercompetitive environments

Indicative learning resources - 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 2013) Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, European Edition: London: McGraw-Hill, Irwin.

Supplementary Reading:

De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2014) Strategy: An international perspective, Andover: Cengage

Lasserre, P. (2012) Global Strategic Management, Basingstoke: Palgrave

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?

Yes

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

A range of materials will be posted to the ELE page for the module – links to websites/news stories and other sources of interest to international managers studying strategy. There will also be discussion forums on ELE for the module and also an optional group on LinkedIn

The module will make use of a web-based global strategy simulation BSG in order to give students experience of making strategic decisions for a global enterprise

Origin date

01/11/2015

Last revision date

01/11/15