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Strategy in Practice

Strategy in Practice

Code: MGT2LG104
Extent: 5 ECTS (135 h)
Timing: 2nd semester
Language: English
Level: Advanced Professional Studies
Type: Compulsory

Starting level and linkage with other courses

This course is one of the compulsory advanced professional studies that master students are taking during their first year studies. The course has links to HR, IT, Communication, and Change management courses and to the Thesis.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the students will

  • acquire the vocabulary of strategic management practices
  • learn the main views of strategy works and processes by studying the recent strategic management literature (industrial organization and institutional schools, the resource-based and the knowledge-based views of strategy)
  • understand and practice the main principles, methods and tools of strategic analyses and planning
  • understand the role of stakeholders in strategy work
  • understand the role of HR, IT and Communication roles in strategy work and in successful implementation of a strategy
  • be able to identify, analyze and solve the most common strategic management problems in authentic business environment
  • be able to analyze the strategic behavior of different organizations
  • be able to create different strategic options and assess their feasibility

Course contents

During the course the main strategic schools, approaches and trends in the current strategic management literature will be discussed. The course focuses on understanding the role and challenges of strategy work in an emerging and international business environment. The role of strategy work in the service industry will be emphasized.

  • development and current role of strategic management in business
  • main concepts and tools applied in strategic practices
  • strategic analyses (IT tools available)
  • development of a strategic framework for a selected organization
  • strategy implementation action plan (change management, communication, IT, and HR management)

Cooperation with the business community

Professional experiences of students will be shared during the sessions. There will be an opportunity for analyzing the business environment; developing, assessing, and selecting strategic options; and developing implementation plans for the students’ own organizations. Guest lecturers with strategic management experiences will be invited to the course. International and domestic business cases will be discussed.

International dimension

Cases and readings are from international business contexts.

Teaching and learning methods

In addition to contact lessons, the students will work on both team and individual assignments.

Contact sessions 32 h
Individual pre-assignment 39 h
Group work and company report 55 h
Presentations and discussions 8 h
The assessment of one’s own learning 1 h

Accreditation of prior learning (APL)

Depending on the requirements of the teacher prior learning could be accepter fully or partly.

Teacher responsible

Gerard Danford, Pasila

Course materials

List of Strategic Management books will be provided for the individual pre-assignment.
Additional, recommended readings and journal articles will be listed on Moodle.
Other selected materials and cases provided by the teacher(s) as handouts.

Assessment criteria

The course is evaluated on scale 1 to 5 (where 5 is the best). The assessment criteria are presented below regarding three areas, such as knowledge, skills, and competencies.

Grade/ Learning outcomes

1 (minimum 40% competence level)

3 (minimum 70% competence level)

5 (minumim 90% competence level)

Knowledge

The student can identify, list, and combine the main strategic management concepts.

The student can describe the relevant strategic management concepts and apply them to new contexts. The student can link the key theoretical concepts to the practical task to present the big picture.

The student uses and combines different strategic management concepts and theories, develops own frameworks. His/her use of theory and specific terminology is very accurate. Student is aware of different strategic approaches, and compares different models, theories and viewpoints.

Skills

With great difficulty and under strict supervision, the student partly collects, poorly analyzes, and partly uses relevant research findings to conduct the course project for a client company at a beginner’s level.

Student knows how to use certain strategic management concepts.

The student can collect, partly analyze and partly use relevant research findings to accomplish the course project for a client company at a beginner’s level.

Student is able to choose the relevant tools, methods, and frameworks to the specific situation and context.

The student is able to collect, analyze and use relevant research findings to accomplish the course project for a client company at a high professional level. Student demonstrates excellent skills to choose the appropriate tools, methods, and frameworks that are relevant to the course project.

Competencies

With great difficulty and under strict supervision, the student is able to complete tasks. S/he poorly applies the concepts, tools, and theories to the strategic management projects. S/he can conduct strategic analyses with the help of the supervisor.

The student is able to work relatively independently with a client company in a team. S/he is able to apply concepts, tools, and theories to the strategic management projects. S/he can conduct strategic analyses relatively independently from the supervisor.

The student is able work very professionally and independently with a client company in a team. S/he can fully apply the learned strategic management concepts, tools, and theories to the course projects. S/he can conduct strategic analyses at a highly professional level and in an innovative way.

Assessment components and their respective weights

Presenting and discussing the individual pre-assignment 20%
Strategic analysis of a selected organization (group work, report and presentation) 60%
Case and/or article analysis and presentation 20%

All components need to be passed. There will be no extra assignments given to compensate absence.
The assessment of one's own learning does not influence the course grade. The assignment is the same for all courses/modules and the answers will also be used for course/module development. The assignment is completed on an E-form.