Accredited by AACSB International





Spring, 2004


Section 032, TR 3:30-4:45 p.m., FH 2407       (Office Time:  2:30-3:30 on class days and by appointment.)


Catalog description:


Capstone course using top management perspective to develop comprehensive, integrative analysis of organizations and environments as basis for development, implementation, evaluation, control of overall strategy.


Prerequisite:   Completion of BSBA core requirements or concurrent enrollment in final core requirements and consent of instructor.



















Dr. Joseph F. Michlitsch

Box 1100, Founders Hall - 2125

Department of Management and Marketing

Southern Illinois University

Edwardsville, IL  62026-1100

voice:     618-650-2708            

fax:        618-650-2709            




1.    Thompson, A. & Strickland, A. (2003).  Strategic Management:  Concepts and Cases, 13th ed., Boston, MA:  McGraw-Hill/Irwin.


2.    Thompson, A. & Stappenbeck, G.  (2002).  The Business Strategy Game:  A Global Industry Simulation, 7th ed.  (Version 7.20) Boston:  McGraw-Hill/Irwin.


3.    Some articles and/or cases may be handed out or put on reserve in the library.  See the schedule.




This is a comprehensive and integrative course.  We will learn how to “pull together” all of your past learning through the concept of overall strategy.  In doing so, we will take the role of top management whose primary concern is the overall and long run success of the organization.  Since the job of top management necessarily cuts across all functional areas, we will learn to coordinate all of the areas into an overall successful strategy.


In addition to reinforcing and integrating previous coursework in a managerial setting, a primary objective of this course is to improve analytical thinking and the use of analytical tools.  We will use articles, cases, text, videos, classroom discussions and lectures to learn:

·        how to systematically analyze the competitive structure of industries,

·        how to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of an organization,

·        how to assess and choose the “best”, or at least “better,” strategies,

·        how to integrate the functional area decisions into the overall, long-term strategy.

·        how to plan for the implementation of the strategy.


All of the above leads to the overall objective of this course.  That is to prepare you for the transition to the business world.




2 Midterm exams.  Exams consist of essay type and/or multiple choice questions covering all topics read or discussed, including the cases, up to the date of the exam.  They will be designed to be completed in approximately one hour.  Essay type questions can be answered in about one half page.  Details, including examples of questions, will be discussed in class.


Individual written report.  There will be one individual, analytical, short written report.  The assignment will require analysis of particular issues in a case.  The specific assignment will be given separately.      


Participation.  This course simulates taking the role of a member of a top management team.  As such, it requires participation and “thinking on one’s feet.”  Much of class time will be devoted to discussion of cases and related material representing a managerial situation.  Consequently, it is essential for you to have read and analyzed each day’s material before coming to class.  Bring your notes, especially for each case that is discussed.  I will expect and encourage active participation from everyone in class discussions.  Be prepared for me calling on you at random. 


While attendance can be considered a form of participation, it will not earn credit in this class.  The practical reason for that is that attendance alone at a management meeting where discussion is expected would not be considered acceptable.  However, attendance at such management meetings is essentially “mandatory.”  Likewise, the participation grade presumes attendance at all class/management meetings.  You cannot participate in discussions and decisions if you are not at the (management) meetings. 


Having brought up attendance, here is my “attendance policy.”  Missing class is never “OK” with me, or “excused” by me.  It is neither my prerogative nor my responsibility to decide whether or not you should come to class.  That is your decision.  (You do not need to call me and tell me that you’re not coming to class.)  You will be held accountable for the consequences.  The same applies to me.  You, and I, can be certain that the Dean of the School will not “excuse” me if I simply decide to not show up for class of for a meeting.  If you have a true emergency and/or a longer-term illness, then please call me or contact me as soon as you can.  I will discuss an appropriate solution with you in those situations.   


To grade participation, I will focus on the quality of your participation in class.  Of course, the quality is related, at least to some extent, to quantity but quantity by itself is irrelevant or even negative.  If quality is not there, then quantity helps point that out.  A few things to consider: 


·     A main reason for participation is to help to understand concepts and tools so that they can be applied properly.  Therefore, please keep comments and questions focused on the topic under discussion.  If you have a comment that relates to a point other than the one being discussed, please wait for the proper time.  A comment not related is distracting rather than helpful.  Please do not just say something in order to “get some points.”  If your comment does not help understand the point under discussion or is distracting, then it is not a valuable contribution.  Rather, it scores negative points.

·     If someone simply repeats what someone else (another student, the authors, the professor, etc.) has already said, that does not add to understanding.  Quality is zero.

·     Please do not ask questions or make comments that clearly show that you have not read the syllabus, book, case, and/or articles.  Of course, if there is something in these things that you would like clarified and/or have a question about, please ask.  This second type of question or comment does show that you have read the material at least once.

·     What about the “dumb” question or if I am “wrong?”  Any question or comment that helps understanding is not dumb.  If someone says something that is “wrong” and it helps understanding, that question or comment is valuable. 

·     Oral participation helps you to improve your analytical skills.  You can develop organizing and communicating ideas to a group, a skill that is necessary in your managerial career. 

·     A general guideline:  One good quality participation per class session would earn a grade of C.   And, yes, there is plenty of time for everyone to speak at least once per class session.  There is actually plenty of time for each person to make three, or more, good contributions each class session.


Some participation will take the form of ad-hoc groups for in-class presentations and discussions of cases.  This will provide opportunities for team-work development skills and for improved case analysis through exchange and critique of ideas.


Assignments for preparation by in-class groups will vary.  An example:  Teams will be given thirty minutes to prepare an analysis of some issue from one of the cases assigned for discussion.  Then, a volunteer from each team will present the conclusions in 1-2 minutes. 


Simulation.  Teams of three to five people will manage a computer-simulated company.  You and your co-managers will be managing an entire company.  This is the “next best thing” to managing a real company in order to apply all that you have learned.  Detailed instructions are in the manual and handouts and will be discussed in class.


Team members will evaluate contribution to your simulation team.  The evaluation form, which is attached to this syllabus in the schedule section, explains what is measured and how that evaluation affects your simulation and strategic plan grades. 


Use the skills you have learned in other classes to make your team perform well.  If you have interaction problems, please try to work them out.  In more serious cases, talk to me.  I will try to help.  To encourage your successful interaction with team members, I allow the option of “firing” a team/company member from the strategic plan if that person is not working out and is not trying.  In that case, the fired manager must write the strategic plan alone.


Company memos.  Your team will submit three memos based on your company.  Memos will be 1-2 pages and deal with an aspect of the industry or your company.  Specific assignments are attached in “memo” as listed in the schedule.  Together, memos are 13.5% (equal to the other major projects) of your grade.


Strategic plan.  At the end of the semester, you will present a written strategic plan to the Board of Directors of your company in the business simulation.  (The final exam time will be used to discuss the overall industry situation and your strategic plan with the Board.  This is an informal discussion, not a formal presentation.)  The strategic plan includes reasoning for your strategy, explanation of your company’s performance, and a plan for the future.  This must be based soundly on a thorough analysis of the industry and external environment and the strengths and weaknesses of your company.  Analysis means that you must clearly explain and demonstrate the interactions, influences, and consequences of factors in the external environment and explain and demonstrate the consequences of your strategy and tactics.  The Board of Directors must be convinced that you understand the industry and external environment of your company and that you understand how and why your strategy, operations, and tactics are, or are not, leading to success. 


The written plan should be about 10-15 pages, not counting attachments.  Use 12-point type and at least 1-inch margins.  I prefer that you double-space for ease in reading.  If you single-space, then please don’t go over 10 pages.  For the oral discussion during the final exam time, bring your best two graphs as overhead slides to help in making clear, supported points.  While you are accustomed to PowerPoint Presentations, simple overhead slides, or even just writing on the chalkboard, works better for this discussion since it is quite informal.


Use this format for the strategic plan:


·        Title page:  Name of your company, a title such as “Strategic Plan” or similar title, your individual names.  Please make this a real strategic plan.  While it is not required and will not affect the grade, some appropriate art and/or a binder might be nice. 


·        Executive summary – 1 page.  Remember, this is not an introduction to your report.  It is a complete summary of your paper.  The reader must understand all of the points in your paper from this executive summary.  (You may single-space this page.)


·        Introduction:  (Start this on a new page after the executive summary.) 

First paragraph:  A true introduction to your paper.  Tell the reader what s/he will find in your paper.


Second paragraph:  A very brief description of your strategy, the success of it, and the reasons for the success.  Mention your product, the overall strategy, and the main components of the strategy (functional strategies).  This should lead directly to the next section, in which you explain the important factors in the industry, and their interactions and consequences. 


·        External analysis, probably including these sections:


Competition (strategic group map, strengths/weaknesses, strategies of each)

Economy (exchange rates, etc.)



·        Internal analysis, including (strategy in each area, strengths/competencies, weaknesses):



Human Resources


Strategy (overall – how/why it is/isn’t working)


·        The plan:

Plan for next year (Be very specific.  How much are you going to produce?  What is the price?  How much will be shipped to each area, etc.?)

Plan for about next two years.


·        Appendix:  Graphs to back up analysis.  Present them in order.  Cite every one.  Label them properly.


ETS Major Field Test.  Each student enrolled in Management 441 is required to complete the Major Field Test as part of overall university assessment.  The intent of this test is to assess the degree to which your business education has helped you to develop the managerial knowledge and skills that you will need to be successful in your career.  Since the intent of the Major Field Test is basically the same as the intent of this course, it has been incorporated into Mgmt. 441. 


The Major Field Test will be scheduled on campus at three different times, probably on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  The actual dates and times will be determined soon.  (You would select one of the times.)  I will give you one class meeting off to compensate for this time.


You will receive feedback on your management-related knowledge after the test is scored.  Your performance on this test will count for 5% of your grade in this course.  Your grade on this test will be based on your overall performance, measured in percentiles.  (0 to 33rd. percentile = C, 34th. to 66th. percentile = B, 67th. to 100th. percentile = A)     


Since the Major Field Test is a required project for seniors, you will not receive a course grade for Mgmt. 441 if you do not complete it.  For more information, contact Dr. Timothy Schoenecker, Associate Dean, (He is coordinating the project.) or me.          


Summary of graded works and their respective weights:


Graded Project      Weight    Max Points            Graded Project             Weight    Max Points

Mid-term #1          13.57%          135.7             Simulation                     13.57%          135.7

Individual report    13.57%          135.7             Company memos          13.57%          135.7

Mid-term #2          13.57%          135.7             Strategic plan         13.57%          135.7

Participation          13.57%          135.7             Major Field Test             5%                50


I will keep track of scores with percentages as listed in the table below.  If you prefer to use the “points” method, refer to the third column, “Points.”  So, if you get a score of A- on exam #1, the percentage score is 92, the number of points is 125 (See the column headed “exam” under “Points” below.)  Since all graded work except the major field test are 13.57% of the total grade, this column works for all those projects. 


For the major field test, go to “Test” under “Points.”  An A on the field test is 48 points, a B is 43 points, etc.




















































































The grade cut-offs for each grade are: Grade            Percentage score          Points

A                    90-100                         900-1000

B                    80-89                           800-899

C                    70-79                           700-799

D                    60-69                           600-699

E                    Below 60                      Below 600



Since the case method involves student-centered learning, my role is to facilitate that process.  I will present theory that is relevant to the case analysis when appropriate and will attempt to broaden and deepen understanding on related issues.  I may summarize at various points, especially at the end of presentations and discussions in order to emphasize different ways to approach the case analysis.  My job also consists of asking questions and requiring that your conclusions be explained and defended. 


Grades are based upon the degree to which the main issues have been identified and explained in a case/question, the reasonableness and depth of analysis, and the support for conclusions.  The quality of writing and oral work is an integral part of these assignments since points and arguments must flow and be supported throughout the paper or argument.


As a general rule, I will not accept assignments late, including taking exams.  If you have an emergency or very important travel, please let me know as soon as possible.  We will work something out, especially when there is an exam or paper due.  If a make-up exam or assignment is allowed, it probably will be altered in some way in order to be fair to everyone.  Make-up exams may consist of all essay questions.


Fatal errors.  As you know, the School of Business has a “fatal error policy.”  It is intended to encourage you to use professional standards in your work.  Fatal errors are defined as:

·        each different word misspelled

·        each sentence fragment

·        each run-on sentence or comma splice

·        each mistake in capitalization

·        each serious error in verb tense or subject and verb agreement

·        lack of conformity with assignment format

·        each serious error in punctuation which obscures meaning

·        each improper citation, or lack of citation where one is needed


More than three errors per page, or ten throughout the paper, are unacceptable.  If these errors are found, I will stop reading the paper and return it to you without a grade.  You must correct the errors and return the paper at the next class session.  The returned paper will be graded and reduced one letter grade.  A paper that still has fatal errors after it is returned and re-submitted can receive a grade no higher than D.  The same standards apply to the strategic plan.  However, since there is no time for re-writing the strategic plan, a paper exceeding the error limits will be reduced by one letter grade.




·     For each day when there is a “case discussion,” be ready to participate in oral discussion. 

·     “Notes” (4th. column) refers to PowerPoint and Word Files attached to this syllabus on my homepage.






Jan 13

Course content, requirements.  What is strategic management? 


Chapter 1.  (A “chapter” assignment always refers to the main textbook.)





Jan 15


Vision, mission.

Chapter 2. 

“Service with a smile,” St. Louis Commerce, March, 1999.  “On a mission,” Gallup Management Journal, Winter, 2000.






Jan 20

Overall strategic management.

Robin Hood case discussion.


Case #25.  All cases are in the textbook.



Jan 22

External analysis, industry and competitive situation.

Competitive dynamics in the industry, industry life cycle.


Chapter 3 plus pp. 331-334.




Jan 27

External analysis continued.

Wine Ind. case discussion.



Chapter 3.

Case #11.







Jan 29

Analyzing the company’s strengths and weaknesses.


Chapter 4.




Feb 3

Strengths and weaknesses, continued.



Implementation of strategy.

 “I built this company,…,Fortune, April 30, 2001, 94-102.

Luv, Coleen,” BizEd, March/April, 2003, 18-23.

Chapters 11, 12, 13.  “Turning goals into results:  The power of catalytic mechanisms,” Harvard Bus. Review, July-August., 1999, 71-82. 









Feb 5

Robert Mondavi case discussion.


Case #12.


Feb 10

Implementation of strategy.





Southwest Airlines case discussion.


 “High-performing, loyal employees:  The real way to implement strategy,” Strategy & Leadership, Nov./Dec., 2000, 28-33.

Case #28.



Feb 12

Mid-term Exam #1




Feb 17

Business level strategy.


Chapters 5 & 8.



Feb 19

Gordon Bethune case discussion.


Case #19.




Feb 24

Nucor case discussion.


Case #29.

Individual report due.  Assignment coming.



Feb 26


Corporate level strategy.

Chapters 9 & 10. Also refer to mergers and acquisitions and vertical integration in chapter 5.



Mar 2

PepsiCo case discussion.


Case #23.


Mar 4

Global strategy.


Chapter 6.



Mar 16

West Indies Yacht Club case discussion.


Case #31.



Mar 18

Simulation workshop; prepare for first decision.


Simulation manual.



Mar 23

Managing your company.


Year 11 decisions due.


Mar 25

Mid-term Exam #2




Mar 30

Managing your company.

Year 12 decisions due. 



Apr 1

Managing your company.

Year 13 decisions due.  Company memo #1 is due.



Apr 6

Managing your company.


Year 14 decisions due



Apr 8

Managing your company.


Is there a separate “e-commerce industry?”


Year 15 decisions due.


Chapter 7.



Apr 13

Managing your company.


Year 16 decisions due.  Company memo #2 is due.



Apr 15

Compensation time for the assessment center.


No decisions due.




Apr 20

Managing your company.

Year 17 decisions due.  Company memo #3 is due.




Apr 22

Managing your company.

Year 18 decisions due.



Apr 27

Managing your company.

Year 19 decisions due. 



Apr 29

Managing your company.

Year 20 decisions due.



May 3

Final exam/strategic plan due.

2:00-3:40 p.m.