What you will study
In an ever-changing world, organisations must make strategic choices based on solid analyses and decision making processes. This module adopts an innovative teaching approach to illustrate how strategic management theories and models can be applied in different contexts and how they inform decision making. You will develop a skill-set founded on strategic management theory that will allow you to become an active actor in the strategy process that organisations deploy to ensure their long-term success.
The module is relevant to anyone interested in understanding how organisations can be managed strategically and sustainably. You will be exposed to the key theoretical frameworks that inform the understanding and practice of strategy, with particular attention paid to competitive and corporate strategy domains. You will apply strategic management models to real cases from different contexts and critically assess their implications for organisations and stakeholders at large.
You'll hear from managers and consultants and learn from their experiences in a wide range of examples and cases from several industries at national and international levels. The selection of cases ranges from traditional production companies to innovative businesses. You will also benefit from the experience of an international module team who has designed the module for practical application and use of strategic models and frameworks. A key feature of your learning will be a collaborative role play activity in the final phase of the module, where you will work as a consultant in a small team with other students to offer advice to a company and prepare a professional presentation.
You’ll be introduced to key concepts in strategy and strategic management. There is much debate on what strategy is and you’ll learn different definitions and develop a clear understanding of what comprises strategic choices for organisations. You’ll also explore the core concepts of vision, mission, values, and goals. As strategic management is strongly connected with performance, you’ll learn how to evaluate a firm’s performance in financial and non-financial terms. There is also a section on corporate social responsibility to enhance your appreciation of performance indicators beyond financial performance. While engaging with these sections, you’ll develop your study and professional skills, starting with a skills audit, and with sessions on professional writing and on how to build an argument.
You’ll examine the implications of the external and internal environments for strategy. The external analysis considers how external forces and competition in industry influence organisations and their strategic choices. The internal analysis looks at how resources and capabilities shape the strategies of organisations. The analytical frameworks from this block will be complemented with an in-depth explanation of several core concepts and demonstrations of how you can apply them to real cases.
In this block, attention turns to examining business and competitive strategies and how they influence how organisations conduct their business. Key considerations in the block will be developing your understanding of the types of competitive advantage, focusing on cost leadership and differentiation. Special attention is given to explaining how companies adopt different business models and types, and how they can create value. You’ll be engaged in defining the value proposition of a new business as part of a role play in order to understand how several dimensions are interconnected.
You’ll look at strategy at a corporate level and covers where strategic decision making takes place. Some of the most important considerations here will touch on vertical integration, diversification and internationalisation (drivers, location, speed, and outcomes). You will learn how organisations grow and expand following different strategies such as new greenfield operations, mergers and acquisitions, alliances and joint ventures. You will learn about emerging markets and how multinationals can operate in those increasingly important areas by leveraging their political capabilities.
You’ll identify and assess the challenges and barriers in implementing strategies as you learn how to put strategy into practice by aligning its formulation and implementation. Core elements that influence implementation will be examined, including organisational structure, management systems, organisational culture and people management. In this final part, you’ll join a small group of other learners for a collaborative activity that feeds into your individual reflection for the end of module assessment.
The focus on developing academic and professional skills closely reflects the Quality Assurance Agency's benchmark statement expectations for business studies and clearly expresses the module's intention to enhance the employability of its students. Although it has a significant theoretical component, the module's emphasis on practical application of strategic models also supports employability across a range of sectors.