Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

female business professionals looking at a computer screen female business professionals looking at a computer screen

Business Administration

Get down to business.

Grow your career in business and management

BUS 852 - Business Strategy C21

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
BUS 825 Business Foundations
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
John Nashid
Course Dates:
01/11/2021 - 04/04/2021

Required Course Materials:
Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage (22nd ed.) Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., Strickland, A. (2020) McGraw-Hill Education.
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
This course examines Business Strategy and its execution as it applies to most organizations. It gives learners an appreciation of the role of organizational senior management teams and the reason they devote significant time in crafting and executing strategies that are beneficial to the public, the overall economy, and themselves.

The course focuses on the importance of both short and long term planning, developing, maintaining and changing strategic direction to have a sustainable competitive advantage in our free enterprise, market-driven economy. The principles and concepts described are applicable to non-profit organizations as well.
Learning Outcomes:
The primary focus of the course is to prepare learners to think broadly as a support to senior management teams. It allows learners to develop various options, take a rational approach towards optimal business decisions, with a focus on profitability, sustainability, long-term growth, and enhancing shareholders’ wealth.

This course will:
  • Develop your capacity to think strategically about company operations, both present and long-term.
  • Build your skills in conducting strategic analysis in a variety of industries and competitive situations.
  • Provide you with a stronger understanding of the competitive challenges of a global market environment.
  • Acquaint you with the managerial tasks associated with implementing and executing company strategies.
  • Heighten your awareness of how and why ethical principles, core values, and socially responsible management practices matter greatly in the conduct of a company’s business.
  • Develop your powers of managerial judgment to assess business risk, and improve your ability to make sound business decisions to achieve effective outcomes.
Course Evaluation
The final grade is calculated based on the following components:
Assignment Percent
Assignment #1 15%
Assignment #2 20%
Assignment #3 30%
Participation:  15%
Homework Assignments:  10%
Quiz: 10%
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in Business administration and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This course emphasizes student participation through weekly online discussion boards.  It is expected that students will read the assigned chapters per the weekly requirements.
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:

Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied.  Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request.  

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour day window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:


Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or  to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students will need to contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and other coursework. It is the student’s responsibility to contact McMaster Continuing Education to discuss accommodations related to examinations. (if applicable)

On-line Elements:

Conduct Expectations:

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the “Code”). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in-person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students’ access to these platforms.

Copyright and Recording:

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students who wish to record sessions need to acquire permission from the instructor. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.
In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.
Course Changes:

The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.

Extreme Circumstances:

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.

Course Withdrawal Policy:

Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (

Storm Closure Policy:

In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the university is closed. All in-class courses, exams, and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed. On-line courses will take place as scheduled.

Grading Scale:
Grade Equivalent
Grade Point
Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Course Schedule:
Week Topic ​Learning Goals Reference
Week 1
What Is Strategy and Why Is It Important?
Define strategy; offer an explanation for how to identify an organization’s particular strategy; lay a foundation for many of the concepts that will be explored in this course; tie the role of strategy to competitive advantage; consider the relationship between a company’s strategy and its business model.

Discussion: Week 1

Assignment #1 (Part I)

(Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble, & Strickland, 2020, Chapter 1)
Week 2
Charting a Company’s Direction: Vision and Mission, Objectives, and Strategy
Review some of the managerial responsibilities regarding the establishment and execution of organizational strategies; look at charting a course, setting targets, and selecting a strategy capable of achieving those objectives; consider the roles and responsibilities of the company’s board of directors in the strategy-making and –execution process.

Discussion: Week 2

(Thompson et al., Chapter2)
Week 3
Evaluating a Company’s External Environment
Discuss some of the analytical tools that can be used for assessing a single-business company’s external environment; consider the competitive landscape, together with the technological, regulatory, and demographic factors that organizations should consider when preparing a strategy.

Discussion: Week 3


(Thompson et al., Chapter 3)
Week 4 Evaluating a Company’s
Resources and Capabilities
Discuss techniques of evaluating a company’s internal environment and its resource capabilities, relative cost position, and competitive strength versus its competitors.

Discussion: Week 4

(Thompson et al., Chapter 4)
Week 5 The Five Generic Competitive Strategies
Examine five strategy options and consider which of the five should be used by the organization to help craft an overall strategy and begin the quest for competitive advantage, including: low-cost leadership, differentiation, best-cost provider, focused differentiation, and focused low-cost.

Discussion: Week 5

Assignment #2
(Thompson et al., Chapter 5)
Week 6 Strengthening a Company’s Competitive Position
Consider what other strategic options are available once a company has settled on which of the five generic strategies to use; offensive and defensive options, competitive dynamics and timing, and the breadth of a company’s activities explored through seven broad categories: Whether and when to go on the offensive, whether and when to employ defensive strategies, when to undertake strategic moves, whether to merge or acquire another firm, whether to integrate the value chain backward or forward, whether to outsource certain value chain activities, and whether to enter into strategic alliances.

Discussion: Week 6

Homework Assignment #1

(Thompson et al., Chapter 6)
Week 7 Strategies for Competing in International Markets Consider options for expanding internationally; strategic issues unique to competing successfully the era of globalization; core concepts like multi-domestic, global, and transnational strategies as well as the Porter diamond of national advantage and cross-country differences in cultural, demographic, and market conditions.

Discussion Assignment: Week 7

(Thompson et al., Chapter 7)
Week 8 Corporate Strategy: Diversification and the Multibusiness Company Strategy making in a diversified enterprise; the various paths through which a company can become diversified; using diversification to create competitive advantage for business units; techniques for assessing the strategic attractiveness of a diversified company’s business portfolio; strategic options open to already-diversified companies.

Discussion: Week 8 

Quiz 1

(Thompson et al., Chapter 8)
Week 9 Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Sustainability, and Strategy
Links between a company’s effort to design and execute a winning strategy and its duties to conduct its activities in an ethical manner; demonstrating socially responsible behaviour by being a good corporate citizen; the needs of non-owner stakeholders like employees, the communities in which they operate, the disadvantaged, and society as a whole; limiting strategic initiatives to those that meet the needs of consumers without depleting resources needed by future generations.

Discussion: Week 9 

Assignment #2

(Thompson et al., Chapter 9)
Week 10 Building an Organization Capable of Good Strategic Execution
A review of the process of executing an organizational strategy, including: the conversion of a strategy into actions and good results; how executing strategy is an operations-driven activity, revolving around the management of people and business processes; working with and through others, building and strengthening competitive capabilities, motivating and rewarding people in a strategy-supportive manner, and instilling a discipline of getting things done.

Discussion: Week 10

(Thompson et al., Chapter 10)
Week 11 Managing Internal Operations: Actions that Promote Good Strategic Execution
Five managerial approaches that can be used to help facilitate the success of a company’s strategy execution effort.

Discussion: Week 11

(Thompson et al., Chapter 11)

Week 12 Corporate Culture and Leadership: Keys to Good Strategy Execution
The final two managerial tasks in executing a company’s strategy: creating a supportive corporate culture and employing the leadership needed to drive strategic initiatives forward.

Discussion: Week 12

(Thompson et al., Chapter 12)
Week 13
Assignment #1 (Part II)

Assignment #3

Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., Strickland, A. (2020). Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage (22nd ed.)  McGraw-Hill Education.