Strategic Management is an upper level business course, but its general management approach makes it accessible to students from many other disciplines. This integrative course will take the manager’s perspective for analyzing a company’s internal and external situation and for developing courses of action to improve its performance. While we will cover all the standard theories and models of strategic management, cases and examples will be chosen to take advantage of the countries we visit on the voyage. We will rely heavily on the case method, which gives students a broad exposure to the multi-dimensional strategic issues faced by various organizations. Active student participation is required.
Field WorkCountry: Barbados
Day: 3 - Monday, 24 November
One of the many challenges facing farmers, companies, and governments in emerging economies is to capture as much of the retail value of their products as possible. Barbados is famous for rum and has the world’s oldest rum distillery, Mount Gay, which was established in 1703. But most Caribbean islands were planted with sugar during colonial years and most have their own rum industries, with famous brands and lots of advertising. Barbados brands are less recognizable and much of the rum made in Barbados is sold generically, which results in very little profit potential for that island nation. Although studying the rum industry might at first seem like a frivolous subject for our Field Lab, I think it mirrors problems facing agricultural producers of cash crops in poor countries: how to establish your products, whether they are coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas, or whatever, as “special” and worthy of a premium price. I am trying to arrange a briefing by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation or a Barbados rum industry group to talk about their strategies to promote Barbados rum. I also plan to have a tour and briefing at the Mount Gay distillery Academic Objectives: 1. To learn about the problems in successfully branding what could be considered a commodity product. 2. To learn how rum is made, marketed, and distributed around the world. 3. To talk to Barbados workers to get a sense for their quality of life.