SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS  BA 4305-002

                         MW 8:00-9:15 am              GR 2.302

INSTRUCTOR:   Larry Chasteen                
EMAIL:                [email protected] 
OFFICE:              JO 5.410D
PHONE:               972-883-6359

OFFICE HOURS:   MW 9:30-10:30 a.m.         (Other times by appointment)

WRITING TUTOR    

Christina Mann,  Phone: 972-671-8322, E-mail: [email protected]

To meet the AACSB requirements and to help students improve writing skills, the writing tutor will have the following responsibilities:

  1. Provide feedback for individual writing (at least 15 double-spaced pages).

  2. Hold office hours for one-on-one tutoring sessions.

  3. Provide assessment on students’ writing (including original and revised) outcomes.

  4. Keep record of student writing outcomes.

REQUIRED MATERIALS 

Strategic Management Theory: An Integrated Approach.(5th Edition), Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Authors: Charles W.L. Hill and Gareth R. Jones. (text and cases)

Management Simulations (Smith, D.C.). CAPSTONE: Team Member Guide 2001.1
(Team Member Guide is distributed in class; fee for materials and registration is $39.95 - sign up on website http://www.capsim.com - registration required for passing grade in course)
 

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES 

Just a couple of decades ago, senior managers could plan corporate strategies, implement them over a period of years, and not be overly concerned about having to change them. The 1990s present a different reality, one of rapidly changing markets, globalization, shifting government policies, new technologies and increasingly fickle consumer tastes, all of which make the task of strategic management more difficult and critical over time. This course is about the strategic management process - how strategies are developed and implemented in organizations. It examines senior management’s role in formulating strategy and the role that each of the organization’s managers plays in implementing strategy. 

This course consists of two essential parts – knowing and doing.  The “knowing” part requires you to integrate the knowledge you learned in the various functional areas of business (i.e. marketing, finance, operations, accounting, etc.) and it involves learning concepts and techniques applicable to strategic management. The readings, lectures, and case discussions are designed to help you understand strategic management concepts. 

The “doing” part of the course involves your participation in Capstone, a strategic management simulation. This simulation provides you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in running a business as a member of a senior management team. Management teams are required to evaluate situations and make decisions, evaluate outcomes, and compete with other management teams for resources, opportunities, and markets. Each team will have the opportunity to set corporate strategies, and apply strategic concepts and techniques within a practical decision-making framework. In this way, you have the opportunity to see how a firm’s production, marketing, R&D, and financial operations interact and observe the impact of key decisions on business performance within a competitive market. 

The goal of this course is to increase your awareness of the many internal and external factors that influence strategic decision making in organizations. This course is highly interactive, requiring you to actively participate in discussions. Through case analyses, readings, written assignments, presentations and debates, large and small group discussions, and a simulation exercise, you will broaden your understanding of strategic level decision-making. If you are not already working, you soon will be. You will find many of the concepts and cases in the course highly relevant to the world of business and to the understanding of the organization in which you (will) work. 

The objectives of this course are to: 

Classroom Expectations  

You are expected to attend all classes. Respect your fellow students – turn off cell phones and be on time. It is easiest to contact me outside of class via e-mail. If necessary, we can make appointments if my office hours are not sufficient. Please be sure that I have a way to contact you (e-mail address, phone number). In the past I have needed to contact students since I received papers with missing pages. Unclaimed papers will be kept for one year. Late assignments will not be accepted. 

Group Rules 

All groups have hiring and firing capabilities. Individuals have the ability to resign a group. However, every student must belong to a group. If you have conflicts with your group, you may resign - but you must interview and find a position with another group. Conversely, groups may discharge members, but the students fired from a group must find another group. Consider this when choosing your groups. At the end of the semester, each student will rate the performance of their fellow team members. That rating will be a part of your grade. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Individual Performance:
1.        Participation: 10%
2.        Exams: 30%
3.        Individual Papers: 20%

Group Performance:
4.        Team Discussion of cases: 10%
5.        Simulation: 30% 

1.      Participation (10%)

The success and value of this course depends on class discussion. The case method requires your active participation. It is my expectation that you will read the assigned material and will be prepared to participate in class discussions and activities. You should be prepared to answer questions about lecture materials as well as cases. Details on participation grades are provided in a separate handout. 

2.      Exams (30%) 

There will be two non-cumulative exams, each worth 15 %. These exams will be given on October 17 and December 10. The exams will consist of true-false, multiple choice, and short answer questions on all readings, class discussion and case presentations. Please prepare early for the exams and come to class with any questions or concerns prior to the exam date. You will need to bring a small Scantron form and #2 pencil to each exam. All exams are closed book and notes, but you can prepare a one page summary of notes. 

Make-up exams will not be given. An un-excused absence on the day of the exam will result in a zero for that exam. In unavoidable situations, with advanced notice of absences you can take an earlier exam. However, I must be notified of the expectation of a missed exam well before the scheduled exam day. 

3.      Individual Papers (20%)

You are required to submit individual written answers for two questions on each case (excluding your team’s cases). Details about these case questions will be discussed in class. These papers should be approximately two typed, double-spaced pages.   Please hand in two copies of these assignments - one for me and one for the writing tutor. 

This written work is expected to follow standards of clarity, organization, and grammar. You will be evaluated on the quality of the writing, assessed by the writing tutor, as well as the content as assessed by me. You must achieve a pass grade from the writing tutor to receive credit for these individual assignments. If necessary, you may resubmit a revised version of your assignment for grading by the writing tutor. However, this will not impact your content grade. The assignment is due at the beginning of the class.  

4.  Team Discussion of Cases (10%) 

At the second class, teams of five to six students will be formed for two purposes: Case Discussion Leads and the Simulation Exercise. The groups will lead the class case discussions and are primarily responsible for raising important issues about the case. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your presentation as well as your ability to engage your classmates. Additional details are provided as a separate handout. 

All groups should be prepared to present their materials at the start of the case discussion (I will only do a brief introduction to the case). An outline of your discussion and related overheads/handouts should be given to me at the start of your discussion. Team members should be prepared to address questions and comments from the class (either during or following the oral presentation). The teams should be prepared to conduct discussion for about 20-30 minutes. No more than the first ten minutes should be used to introduce the case. 

The objective of the case discussion is to involve the entire class in every case discussion while giving the assigned team the opportunity to take leadership of the case materials.  

5.  CAPSTONE Simulation Team Project (30%)

The Capstone simulation will be conducted with students organized into groups that will represent separate firms within an industry. Every firm begins from the same starting point, but will compete based on various decisions made by your group. We will begin with two practice rounds to learn to play the game, and hopefully identify some fatal strategies. After that point, the simulation results count toward your final grade. As the simulation continues, each group will keep a record of decisions made, and the specific strategic reasons for those decisions. Simulations are fun, but take the competition seriously – there are winners and losers in this game! 

When the simulation ends, each group will prepare a final report (approximately 10 double-spaced, typed pages) that outlines actions taken throughout the life of the simulation. Details of this report are provided in a separate handout. 

Each firm group will then make a final presentation to the class regarding their final firm report. Be able to defend your decisions and assumptions. Presentations are to be 15 minutes. 

Finally, you will individually and confidentially grade each member of your team on participation and level of contributions. 

Grading for the simulation will be as follows:

            10%            Final report
           
10%            Final presentation
           
 5%            Individual participation in the simulation
           
 5%            Simulation results 

Scholastic Dishonesty 

Scholastic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students who violate the University of Texas at Dallas’ rules on scholastic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. I will strictly enforce the University’s policies.

 

Date Topic Chapter Case Capstone

8/27
8/29

Introduction to course
Capstone introduction

   
Select Teams

9/3
9/5

Labor Day Holiday
Strategic Management


Chapter 1
 
Registration completed 

9/10
9/12

Stakeholders
Chapter 2

Case3
Practice round #1 uploaded by noon 9/10
9/17
9/19
External Analysis
Chapter 3

Case 8
Practice round #2 uploaded by noon 9/17
9/24
9/26
Internal Analysis
Chapter 4

Case 9
Decision round #1 uploaded by noon 9/24
10/1
10/3
Functional Strategy
Chapter 5

Case 10
Decision round #2 uploaded by noon 10/1
10/8
10/10
No class - do peer eval
Bus Strategy, Ind Env

Chapter 6,7
  Decision round #3 uploaded by noon 10/10
10/15
10/17
Review for Exam
Exam: Chapters 1-7
 
 
10/22
10/24
Global Environment
Chapter 8

Case 12
Decision round #4 uploaded by noon 10/22
10/29
10/31
Corp. Strategy & Dev.
Chap. 9-10

Case 41
Decision round #5 uploaded by noon 10/29
11/5
11/7
Org. Structure
Chapter 11

Case 31
Decision round #6 uploaded by noon 11/5
11/12
11/14
Control Systems
Chapter 12

Case 36
Decision round #7 uploaded by noon 11/12
11/19
11/21
Strategy/Structure Fit
Chapter 13

Case 25
Decision round #8 uploaded by noon 11/19
11/26
11/28
Implementation
Chapter 14

Case 21
 
12/3
12/5
Group Presentations
Review for Exam
     
12/10 Exam: Chapters 8-14      

 

Student Information Sheet

 Please submit this form and a recent photo (or a copy of your student ID) by August 29.

1. Name:_________________________                      Put picture here 

2. Phone Number:__________________   

    E-Mail:________________________ 

3. Have you completed all the core courses? (check one)        Yes_____     No_____

4.      What are your career objectives?

 

 

 

5.   Current and/or Previous Work Experience, if any:

 

 

 

  Thank you

                      Additional information for BA 4305-002 

1. Participation (10%) 

Participation is graded from 0 (absent) to 10 (highest), using the criteria below.

3 points:

-         Present, not disruptive.

-         Responds when called on but does not offer much.

-         Demonstrates infrequent involvement in discussion. 

6 points:

-         Demonstrates adequate preparation: knows basic case or reading facts, but does not show evidence of trying to interpret or analyze them.

-         Offers straightforward information (e.g., straight from the case or reading), without elaboration or very infrequently.

-         Does not initiate contribute to discussion, but contributes to a moderate degree when called on. 

10 points:

-         Demonstrates good preparation: knows case or reading facts well, has thought through implications.

-         Offers interpretations and analysis of case material (more than just facts) to class.

-          Contributes well to discussion in an ongoing way: responds to other students’ points, thinks through own points, and questions others in a constructive way.  

Lecture Feedback Sheets.

In order to ensure accurate records of attendance and participation, at the end of each lecture class you will turn in a feedback sheet. Tell me what you learned in class or ask questions you still have. Also, suggest your participation in class discussion by giving yourself a participation grade based on the criteria listed above.

 

4. Team Discussion of Cases (10%)   

If you observe these suggestions as you prepare a case for class discussion, your grade on the assigned cases will improve.  

1.      Read C2 - C7 in textbook on analyzing a case (8 suggested items).

2.      Read the case twice, once for an overview and once to gain full command of the facts.

3.      Make a list of the problems and issues that have to be confronted.

4.      Look for opportunities to apply the concepts and analytical tools in the text chapters.

5.      Develop charts, tables, or graphs to clarify your main points.

6.      Prioritize your recommendations and be sure they can be done in the time frame.

7.      Review your action plan to see if it addresses all of the problems you identified.

8.      Make an outline for your presentation. You can use overheads or a power-point presentation.

9.      Every team member should take an active part in your presentation.

10.  Be prepared to lead class discussion on my two questions on the case.

5. Capstone Foundation simulation (30%) 

Each team will participate in the simulation that has two market segments - high tech and low tech. The purpose of the simulation is to test various strategies in a competitive environment without incurring costs or the risk of implementing them in a real setting. Most strategic decisions are made after consultation with team members in an atmosphere of deliberations and discussion. Each student will select their own team.  

Each team manages and analyzes their company and develops and implements strategic concepts. The management team will make decisions about various aspects of an assigned company’s management for a given period of “simulated time”. The simulation is played over eight simulated years to maximize the firm’s objectives. The objectives are achieved more successfully by considering and applying concepts developed in lectures and case discussions. There will be 2 practice rounds, then 8 decision rounds in the simulation exercise. You are expected to read the TEAM MEMBER GUIDE for 8/29 and to register for the simulation before 9/5. These materials and further directions will be discussed in class on 8/29. 

During the simulation you will manage your company via telephone, email, the Web site, and out of class meetings. Each week, some class time will be set aside for simulation so that teams can meet face-to-face to discuss their strategy. Team meetings will be short - typically no more than 15-20 minutes of class time. To be effective team members, students should prepare themselves for the team meetings by analyzing the data in their particular area of responsibility. 

The simulation will be coordinated primarily using the Internet. Each week you will download starting conditions for the current “year”, print reports, develop strategy and tactics, make decisions, and upload decisions to the web site before the posted deadline. Capstone is both an individual and team exercise. Each student will have specific decision-making responsibilities within the simulation - product manager or functional manager, for example. Each student must coordinate their decisions with their teammates, such as launching new products, or arriving at an overall corporate strategy. 

The Capstone web site is located at www.capsim.com. You must register on the site so that the system can connect you with our class and your team. 

Each person is required:

1.      To make and/or audit decisions in their areas of responsibility.

2.      To contribute to their team’s strategy discussion. 

Each team is required:

1.      To develop and update their Business Plan (1st version due 9/24)

2.      Track the firm’s decisions and post a summary of weekly activities on the Web site.

3.      To present a final report orally to the class (and a written report to me) 

Business Plan (1st version due 9/24): (Examples will be handed out in class) 

In no more than two typed, double-spaced pages (outline format is fine), summarize your company’s vision and intended strategy. Your plan should include:

-         your executive summary including a description of your products(s)

-         your vision statement  

-         your functional level strategies (R&D, marketing, production, finance)

-         a list of your top management team members (CEO, CTO, CMO, COO, CFO)

Don’t be generic! What makes your firm unique? What is its identity? In what fundamental ways will you distinguish yourself from your competitors?  

Peer Evaluation 

Members of each team will evaluate each other’s performance in terms of attendance at team meetings, willingness to cooperate, importance of contributions, etc. Each team member evaluates the performance of the other team members of his/her team on the five-point scale of Outstanding (5), Very good (4), Good (3), Fair(2), or Poor(1).  

Peer evaluations are entered using the Web site at www.capsim.com. The system keeps peer evaluations confidential between you and me. There will be two peer evaluations during the course. The first will follow the simulation’s Decision Round 2. The second will follow your presentation at the end of class. The objective of the confidential peer evaluation is to remind all team members that their behavior and work ethic affect the entire group, and that they are accountable for the impact they have upon their team.  

The grading of this simulation exercise will be based on the following: 

A.     Final Report and Presentation (10% and 10%) 

Each team will maintain a record of its activities including such things as strategic positions taken, assumptions employed, decisions made, the outcomes of those decisions, and changes that were necessary. Based on this information, each team will report on its Capstone experiences in the form of a written report and a 15-minute presentation.   

Your Report is not intended to be an academic paper. It should be summary describing your company’s results and effectiveness. It should be typed, double-spaced, and ten-page maximum, not including attachments and appendices. This written Report will be the basis for your presentation to the class.  

The Report should include, at a minimum: 

1.      Your company’s initial Executive Summary and Vision statement.

2.      A comparison of your emergent strategies with the original intended strategy.

3.      An evaluation of intended and emergent strategies with respect to the company’s external environmental threats and opportunities and your organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses.

4.      An analysis of your market and competition.

5.      Description of the strategic decisions you made over time, why you made them, and how you implemented them.

6.      A discussion of what you learned from your experience, what worked well, and what you will do differently in the future.  

The Presentation grade will be based on the professionalism of the presentation - was it informative, accurate, believable, and coordinated?  

B.   Peer Evaluation (5%) 

Occasionally there are students who don’t carry their weight in getting the work done. Hopefully, the peer evaluations will solve this. If a majority of the team still feels that there have been serious problems in getting some members to contribute, please discuss this with me and the grades may be adjusted. 

C.  Simulation results (5%) 

Final simulations results will count 5%.