EXMBM521-22C (HAM)

Strategic Management and Decision Making

15 Points

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Division of Management
Strategic Engagement
Professional Programmes


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: mbmenquiries@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: yilan.chen@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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Welcome to Managing Strategically

This paper is all about strategic thinking. We will blend theory and practical examples to develop skills in strategic analysis and decision-making. We will use business cases and theory and learn how to evaluate and improve the competitive position of organisations. Students will be given the opportunity to better understand professional practice, and further develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. This format blends academic theory with practical organisational examples, requiring significant individual participation within class and during group work.

The paper is concerned with developing long-term strategic thinking, rather than a short-term operational view. To do this, we consider the unique resources and capabilities of a firm, core competencies, and the wider market. Our focus is on for-profit businesses as well as non-profit entities and individuals. The main objective here is to better understand how organisations can achieve distinctive and long-term competitive advantage. This paper provides tools applicable to future endeavours. It will position you to participate at a higher level of analysis and decision-making in entities of all kinds and sizes.

More specifically, we will cover:

  • The organisation’s position in the external environment – including the macro-environment and industry or sector environment.
  • Porter’s Competitive Five Forces Framework to analyse industries or sectors: rivalry, the threat of entrants, substitute threats, customer’s power and supplier power.
  • Analysis of strategic and competitor positions in terms of strategic groups, market segments and the strategy canvas.
  • The dynamic nature of organisational strategy.
  • The sources of competitive advantage.
  • The development of core competencies that provide the foundation for long-term competitiveness and success.
  • Organisational resources and capabilities and how these relate to the strategies of organisations.
  • Resources and capabilities analysis, by means of VRIO analysis, value chain analysis, activity systems mapping, benchmarking and SWOT analysis.
  • Business model components: value creation, configuration and capture.
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Paper Structure

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Strategic Management and Decision Making is delivered as a flipped learning experience. You will complete a series of interactive online modules. Then you will apply strategic tools to business cases, and discuss your decisions with classmates and the facilitator in person or over zoom (or an equivalent platform). Workshops orient around discussing the application of strategic concepts to a business case. The paper finishes with a one-on-one case interview which involves applying the concepts learned throughout the course.

This paper will be offered in a FLEXI format where students can participate online via Zoom synchronously or on-campus in Hamilton. We expect students to participate in all sessions synchronously and some assessments may be scheduled at specific times. You are expected to participate fully in group work and assessments for you to be able to meet the requirements and expectations of this paper. All supportive online resources and class recordings will be available via Moodle.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Evaluate an entity’s strategic position on the basis of its internal and external characteristics
    Case presentation
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Applied case study presentation (group) (1)
    Case Report (2)
  • Through written and verbal means, demonstrate the ability to communicate strategic analyses
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Applied case study presentation (group) (1)
    Case Report (2)
  • Demonstrate an applied knowledge of strategy formulation principles
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Applied case study presentation (group) (1)
    Case Report (2)
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All assessment must be completed.
PLEASE NOTE: The University of Waikato has zero-tolerance for plagiarism.
Click here for help with APA Referencing.

All assessment must be submitted as a word document unless otherwise stated.

Click here to view the University of Waikato Grading Scale.
Click here to learn how to view Grades in Moodle.
Click here to learn how to use Turnitin to view Feedback.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Applied case study presentation (group)
8 Feb 2023
4:00 PM
  • In Class: In Workshop
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Case Report
13 Feb 2023
4:00 PM
  • In Class: In Test
3. Module completion (2)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Class engagement
  • In Class: In Workshop
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Recommended Readings

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Fisher, G. G., Wisneski, J. E., & Bakker, R. M. (2020). Strategy in 3D: Essential Tools to Diagnose, Decide, and Deliver (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088NZ4PHM/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_LiHXFb3E1B1JE (electronic version)
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Online Support

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Waikato Management School Helpdesk: wms_helpdesk@waikato.ac.nz, 0800 WAIKATO, extn 4599

ITS: https://landesk.waikato.ac.nz0800 WAIKATO, extn 4008

Moodle help files

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It is expected that you will devote 150 hours of learning, reading and preparation of assessments for this paper over the trimester.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: EXPM507

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