Strategic Management

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: Allred
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1250
End: 1405
Field Work: Day 1 | South Africa
Prerequisites: Junior level business core courses, such as Accounting, Marketing, Finance, and Operations are expected as pre-requisites for this course. Download Syllabus

Strategic Management is an upper level business course, typically offered as the Capstone course in undergraduate business programs. This course is an integrative course that takes the manager’s perspective for analyzing a company’s internal and external situation and for developing courses of action to improve its performance. The objective of this course is to develop the capacity to think strategically about a company, its business position, and how it can gain sustainable competitive advantages, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. This course is designed to expose undergraduate business administration majors to the issues that influence the competitive behavior and performance of the firm. In this course students will build skills in conducting strategic analysis in a variety of industry and competitive situations. The course will involve analyzing and crafting business strategies through case studies and class discussion. By the end of this course, students will be able to apply a manager’s strategic perspective to the resolution of major business problems, with the goal of improving organizational performance. This course relies heavily on the case method, used by top business schools. This method facilitates a student’s broad exposure to the multi-dimensional issues involved in the strategic management of different kinds of firms and the problems they face. In order for this method to be most effective and provide the greatest learning experience, active student participation is expected.

Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1

South Africa and the Southern Africa region have been identified as an important emerging market and are often included as an addition to the more widely recognized BRIC countries.  It is home to key natural resources and a growing middle class.  Earlier in the voyage, we will explore challenges of Wal-Mart’s expansion in India.  This Field Lab will continue this line as we look at the opportunities and challenges of the Retail Industry in Southern Africa.  Pep Stores is a major player in this region and is headquartered in Cape Town.  This Field Lab is planned to include a visit to the company’s HQ, a distribution center, and a local store.  Presentations and interaction with management at all three levels will provide the opportunity to further explore and understand the nuances and challenges of conducting the retail business in this region. Academic Objectives:

  1. Improve their understanding of the challenges and opportunities for doing business in key emerging markets, such as South Africa.
  2. See how course concepts/models are being applied in a real world setting.
  3. Gain a better understanding and perspective of the national level factors and differences affect the strategic management of businesses.