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BUS 852 - Business Strategy C01

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Business Foundations BUS 825
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
John Nashid
Course Dates:
01/12/2019 - 04/06/2019

Required Course Materials:
Strategic management and business policy: Globalization, innovation and sustainability. Thomas Wheelen/David Hunger/Alan Hoffman/Charles Bamford). 15th edition: Pearson.
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:

This course is a comprehensive treatment of Business Strategy and its execution as it applies to most organizations. It gives the participants an appreciation of the role of senior management team of organizations and their subordinates devoting significant time in crafting and executing strategies in the creation and distribution of wealth in any economy. 

The course focuses on the importance of both short and long term planning, developing, maintaining and proactively changing strategic direction to have a sustainable competitive advantage in our free enterprise, market-driven economy. The principles and concepts described are equally 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: 

Class Participation and Discussion:  10%

Case Assignments (2 Group submissions - 12.5% each) 25%

Individual Case Submission (in lieu of mid-term) 30%

Final Group Project: Presentation and written paper 35%


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 in class on 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 accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
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:



Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages









































Course Schedule:




Topic & Learning Goals



Readings and





Basic Strategic concepts including corporate social

responsibility, ethics and corporate governance.

· Defining Strategy – Basic Concepts and


· Key strategic phases & importance of a good business strategy

· Define and discuss - key phases in Planning and executing strategy

· Decision Making Key approaches

· Corporate Governance, Social Responsibilities and Ethics in management

· Discussions on Corporate governance and ethics

· Role of Board of Directors and Top


Case Analysis

Chapters 1 to 3

Chapters 13




Role of management and Environmental Scanning

· Understanding Environmental Scanning

· Building Sustainable Competitive Advantage

(SCA) Porters Model

· In-class practice Applying Environmental




Case discussion - Workshop mode: Case # 15 Netflix Inc.

Chapters 4




Evaluating Internal & External Environments

· Understanding Internal Environmental


· Current Best Practices – Other Strategic


· In-class practice Applying Environmental


· Analyzing the first case assignment

Case discussion -

Workshop mode: Case #2 The Wallace Group

Chapters 5




Evaluating Internal & External Environments

· Building Strategic Competitive Advantage

(SCA) - Porter's Model

· Identifying company competitive advantage through generic competitive strategies

Assignment 1

Due: Case #2 The Wallace Group

Chapters 5 and




· Understanding and maintaining Strategic

Competitive Advantage (SCA)

· Understanding Financial Performance Criteria

· Apply learning to a case study






Strategy Formulation

· Value Proposition and Corporate Focus

· Value Chain Partnership Supply chain management

· Corporate Strategy Stability, Growth and


Case discussion -

Workshop mode: Case #13 – Blue Nile Inc.

Chapters 6 and





Strategy Formulation (continued)

· Further Examination of Functional Strategies

· Stakeholders Analysis and alignment

· Decision making Strategic Choices


Chapter 6 and 7




Strategy Formulation (continued)

· Analyze business and industry data to assess the strategic effectiveness of a companys diversified portfolio

· Build diversification strategy options – selecting the best suited to a company’s situation

· Examining various functional strategies to align with corporate strategy

Assignment 2

Due: Case #13 –

Blue Nile Inc.

Chapters 7 and





Building Organizational Capabilities

· Developing Business Initiatives, Programs

· Develop Operational Processes and Business process improvements

Case discussion -

Workshop mode: Case #19 – Panera Bread Company

Chapters 9 and





Building Organizational Capabilities

· Align resources and Develop budgets

· Examine appropriateness of organizational structure and resource alignment


Chapter 11




Evaluation and Controls

· Understanding broader aspects of Operations

· Marketing Strategy

· Information System Requirements

· Finance / Marketing / IT / HR Implications

Business Model

Individual Project submission is due

Chapters 12




Evaluation and Controls

· Identify strengths and capabilities of organizations needed to execute strategy competently

· Build organizational capabilities to execute strategy

· Identify methods to manage organizational internal operations to track and assess strategy execution success

· Balanced Scorecard Application

Case discussion -

Workshop mode: Case #30 – Tesla Motors, Inc.

Chapters 12





Executive Leadership

· Identify the role of corporate culture and leadership in successful strategy execution

· Identify strong, weak, high performing and adaptive cultures and assess their impact on strategy execution. Leveraging culture to promote strategy execution

· Final Review: Concepts and applications






Final Case Group Presentation

Group Project: Case - Presentation & Submission (Final Exam)