Management Policy and Strategy

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Management Policy and Strategy
This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.

MGT B399
Management Policy and Strategy


MGT B399 Management Policy and Strategy is a one semester, five-credit, Higher level course. It is the capstone course of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree and is compulsory for all BBA students. In order to ensure adequate exposure to business and management concepts, students are advised to have completed at least 60 credits of the courses of the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration, preferably all the Middle level courses, before they register for the course.

The content of MGT B399 takes account of the material covered in the latest textbook available by Barney and Hesterly (2019). The textbook reflects the integrative nature of this subject with a view to understanding what contributes to a firm's long-term performance.

What this course helps you do


This course aims to:

  1. Enhance your ability to view a business as an integrated whole.

  2. Provide you with an understanding of the factors that contribute to long-term performance of business.

  3. Introduce various tools and frameworks for strategic analysis and strategic management.

  4. Help you better comprehend the ways that business entities can develop and maintain competitive advantages.

Course learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and analyse the key factors affecting organizational performance.

  2. Apply theories to construct alternative strategic options for different stages of the strategic management process.

  3. Evaluate and select recommendations on strategic decisions.

Course description

The course is split into five units. Each unit consists of one to two weeks' work and discusses the relevant issues of strategy confronting a corporation. Directions for study, commentaries on readings, summaries of key issues and ideas, as well as illustrations and case analysis are included in each unit to help you better grasp the concepts.

The course materials are supplemented by a series of tutorials where tutors meet students face-to-face on matters related to the course materials and the assignments. Students coming to the tutorials are advised to read the assigned readings or cases before attending the tutorials in order to take full advantage of such meetings. Although not compulsory, you are advised to attend all tutorials.

The study units and the amount of time you should allow for completing them are shown in the table below. These are intended as a guide only. The time needed to complete study units, work on the practice exercises and assignments, and complete the rest of the work involved in this course will vary from learner to learner depending on their study habits and work schedule.

Unit Title Study time
Complete by end of week
1 Overview of strategic management 1 1
2 Strategic analysis 2 3
3 Strategy formulation 2 5
4 Strategy implementation and control 2 7
5 International aspects of strategic management 2 9
  Revision 1 10
Course materials

In addition to this Course Guide, the course has the following important components.

Study units

An outline of the topics covered in each unit is listed below.

Unit 1 Overview of strategic management

  • Strategic management and the strategic management process
  • The core issues of strategic management: firm performance and competitive advantage
  • Towards a model of firm performance
  • Strategic intent, the mission statement and the work of strategic leaders
  • The promise and limitations of strategic management
  • Analysing case studies in strategic management

Unit 2 Strategic analysis

  • External factors and external analysis
  • Customer needs
  • Resources and capabilities, the value chain and internal analysis
  • Competitor and strategic group analyses
  • Other tools of strategic analysis
  • Integrating strategic analysis

Unit 3 Strategy formulation

  • Key decisions in business-level strategy
  • Criteria in making strategy choices
  • Positioning
  • Managing the business environment
  • Managing resources and capabilities
  • Timing and scale
  • Key decisions in corporate-level strategy
  • M&A cooperative strategies

Unit 4 Strategy implementation and control

  • Tools for shaping workplace behaviour
    • Direction setting: from vision to objectives
    • Resource allocation
    • Means of motivation, coordination and control
    • Organizational structure
    • Recruitment (selection), training, development and retention
    • From managing organizations to managing partners
    • 'Fit' and competencies
  • Organizational structure
  • Evaluation, control, and change
  • 'Structure drives strategy'
  • Strategic leadership

Unit 5 International aspects of strategic management

  • Globalization and the international aspects of strategic management
    • Globalization and going international
    • Internationalizing markets and operations
    • International entry strategies
  • Local responsiveness versus global/international integration
    • Multidomestic strategy
    • Global strategy
    • Transnational strategy
    • Organizational structures that facilitate international corporate-level strategies
  • Risks of going international


You may be instructed in the study units to read articles or other supplementary materials. These will be available online or provided as hard copies at the backs of the study units.

E-Library E-Reserve readings

You may be instructed to read articles in the E-Library E-Reserve. To read these items, go to the OUHK E-Library and click on 'E-Reserve'. Log in, click 'Accept/Agree' on the Copyright Restrictions page, fill in the 'Course Code' box, and click 'Search'.

Set textbook

There is one set textbook for this course:

Barney, J and Hesterly, W (2019) Strategic Management and Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, 6th edn, Pearson.

You must buy this textbook yourself.

Audiovisual materials

The following videos are recommended for this course. You can find them in the library:

  • Michael Porter on Competitive Strategy
  • Competing for the Future
  • Competitive Analysis and Competitive Strategy (Herman Daems).

Assignment File

The Assignment File is either included in the course material or sent to you separately. Please read the instructions carefully and note the policy on late submission and extension.

You are required to complete your assignments submitted by e-submission via OLE.

Presentation Schedule

The Presentation Schedule is available on the Online Learning Environment (OLE). It gives the dates for completing the assignments and attending supplementary lectures and tutorials.

Online Learning Environment

This course is supported by the Online Learning Environment (OLE). You can find course materials and the latest course information from the OLE. Through the OLE, you can also communicate with your tutors, the Course Coordinator and other students. For details about the OLE and how to access it, please refer to the Online Learning Environment User Guide.

How to work through the course material

Study units

You should read each study unit carefully because it guides your learning. The study units and textbook are not alternatives — you should read both. It is also helpful to read as widely as possible (articles in newspapers, business magazines, journals, other books on the subject, and related cases). This is a higher-level course so you will need to study in greater depth than you did in some of your previous courses.

Each study unit is organized into a number of sections. The first section provides an overview of how the unit is organized. This is followed by the main body of the unit. At the end of the unit, there is an overall summary of the unit and a list of references.

Activities, self-tests and case studies

Activities or self-tests are included in each unit to help you think through important concepts and issues. You cannot do well in a strategy course just by memorizing. You have to understand the logic behind the concepts and be able to apply them appropriately. The activities and self-tests provide you with an opportunity to do so. Spending time on them will prepare you for the assignments and the examination.

Many exercises are case based. A case describes what is happening in a particular company or industry. Cases are based on actual management situations, though in some situations facts about a particular company might have been changed to protect the interests of the company. Rather than presenting a solution to a problem, cases leave it to you to determine what decisions should be taken given the particular set of circumstances described. Learning by the case method enables you to learn how to define a problem, to analyse what other information is needed before a solution can be suggested, and to devise and implement a reasonable plan of action. At the level you have reached in the BBA programme, the case method is an appropriate way to learn.

Checking your understanding

Some concepts in this course will be new to you, and may take some effort to understand. You may also find that the case study approach, though rewarding, is initially difficult to cope with. Keep a note of your problems and raise them with your tutor as soon as possible. Be specific about the problems so that your tutor can help you more effectively.

Use of case studies

Case studies are a useful and increasingly popular form of learning and assessment in the OUHK's School of Business and Administration. In this section we will look at why case studies are used and then suggest some learning strategies that you can use to approach case studies. We will also briefly discuss some problems that you may encounter as you learn from case studies.

What is a case study approach to learning?

One main purpose of a case study is to explore an issue or a number of issues in relation to an organization. The intention is to get you to carefully diagnose an organization; to focus on key problems, and to suggest how these might be resolved. Often the case is a real-life account of an organization which you are required to analyse in order to focus on a problem. Usually, the information that is provided is incomplete and you are often expected to observe developments in the organization over a period of time. The case study approach is an excellent opportunity to actively apply material that you have read and conceptual knowledge to the reality of an organization.

At the OUHK, case studies may be used as part of assignments, exams, study units, or day-school exercises. You normally are given some information about a company (this could be both text and graphical information, such as figures and tables). You are then asked to think about some problems related to the company and to use concepts and apply theories that you have learned in your course to propose possible solutions for the company.

Let's have a look at two kinds of case study questions that you might be asked to work through in your courses. The first example is quite structured, while the second is much more open-ended.

Two examples of case study questions

  1. Read the case study entitled 'ABC Consultants' and consider the following issues:

    • Using your understanding of the resource-based model, what measures could be taken to improve ABC's returns?

    • Drawing on your broad understanding of the consultancy industry, assess ABC's relative competitiveness and its profit potential.

    • To what extent do internal factors account for ABC's financial weaknesses?

    • Based on your assessment of ABC's financial weaknesses, formulate a new strategic intent and develop a mission statement for ABC.

  2. Read the case study entitled 'XYZ Industries'.

    • Identify the key problems that are currently faced by XYZ's management.

    • Propose viable solutions to these problems.

Why case studies?

As you can see from the above examples, a case study approach to learning requires a great deal of thinking and often will not easily yield a quick 'wrong' or 'right' answer. However, case studies are also good preparation for dealing with real-life business problems. Cases may be short and relatively simple, or longer and complex. The purpose is the same for both types: to give you an opportunity to develop your skills in analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the organization under examination, to consider the processes at work within the organization, and to make decisions about future actions.

Case studies are not meant to replace textbooks, but rather to ask you to draw connections between theories and practice and to apply abstract ideas, concepts, and principles to specific concrete situations. Consequently, case analysis develops a number of skills that are crucial in business. In particular, they help you to:

  • analyse complex, unstructured, sometimes ambiguous situations;

  • identify critical issues and problems;

  • question your own and others' assumptions;

  • improve your problem-solving skills;

  • develop your ability to find alternatives and make informed decisions;

  • make decisions with incomplete information and think strategically;

  • self-educate yourself and draw on a broad range of resources and knowledge; and

  • present and justify recommendations in writing.

You may find that there are many possible 'right' answers to the questions in a case study. This illustrates that there is often no single best way to responsibly manage and solve real-life business problems.

Some guidelines for analysing case studies

The following strategies should help you to successfully analyse case studies:

1 Read the case and become familiar with the facts

First, skim read the case to obtain a general understanding of the main point(s). Highlight or underline the pertinent points as you read.

Read the case again, and this time note down critical facts (such as names, time sequences, and where events occurred). Try to understand how events have influenced decisions. Identify the important individuals or stakeholders, and try to assess the importance of supporting information in the case. How reliable is this supporting information? Are there any gaps in the information that is given?

Make a note of any questions that you have as you read the case.

2 Assess the context of the case

Try to understand the environment of the organization and the wider context of the case.

Ask yourself questions about:

  • The state of the organization: What is the state of this organization: good, bad or in-between? Usually this involves thinking about interpersonal relationships, and assessing production or financial problems.

  • Key players and systems: How do systems and people operate in this organization? Why do they operate like this? Are the systems undergoing change? How successful are the changes? Is there someone who could sabotage any future strategy? Is there someone who can ensure the success of a future strategy?

  • Significant trends: How does this industry operate? What are the main or unique characteristics of the industry? What were they five or ten years ago, and what are they likely to be in the future? What impact are trends likely to have on the organization under investigation? How does this organization's performance compare with that of competitors?

  • Constraints: Clearly identify all constraints in the case. A constraint may be viewed as anything (usually beyond the control of the organization) that may prevent an otherwise feasible course of action from becoming a success. What is outside the control of individuals in the case study? For example, it is unlikely that any company or individual in Hong Kong could prevent a foreign government from imposing tariff barriers on imports.

A SWOT analysis is a good way to get a better understanding of the organization and the context or environment in which it is operating. A SWOT analysis considers the Strengths and Weaknesses of the organization, and the Opportunities and Threats which the organization faces in the external environment.

3 Recognize the case's symptoms

Read the case again and as you read, try listing all the symptoms of the case. The symptoms of a case are not the problems, but they may help you to identify the problems. Symptoms are all the things that are undesirable or that are not as expected. For example, falling sales could be a symptom of several problems such as poor market segmentation, poor product quality, or problems in a supply chain. At this stage of your analysis, you should just try to observe all the symptoms, and avoid prematurely identifying problems or suggesting solutions. Like a doctor who consults a patient, you first need to observe and note all the symptoms before you can give a definite diagnosis of the problem. Think about how the symptoms may be interrelated. Relationship diagrams, like the one below, may help you to see the relationships between symptoms.

4 Diagnose the case's problems

After you have a good sense of the symptoms, you're ready to determine key issues that need to be analysed more closely. You are now diagnosing the situation, like a doctor diagnosing a patient's symptoms. Ask yourself 'what seems to be the trouble in this organization?' and make a list of what you now perceive to be the key problem(s). You will probably need to go back to the details of the case and as you do this, you may add to or refine your list of potential problems.

If there are several problems, you need to order and prioritize them. You might want to number problems according to how you perceive their importance, or make a matrix, like the one below, which shows relationships between various criteria and each problem.

Criteria Problem #1 Problem #2 Problem #3
Importance: what will happen if the problem is not addressed?      
Urgency: how quickly must this problem be solved?      
Centrality: To what extent does this problem cause others?      
Solvability: Can this problem actually be solved?      

Also try to establish if there are relationships or themes in common among the various problems. Perhaps different problems in your list are actually variations of a broader central problem.

Ask yourself what assumptions you have made about the case. Are these assumptions reasonable, and are they supported by the facts? Would other people objectively suggest the same problems, based on the facts that you have? Are you suggesting problems that are not supported by the facts of the case?

After you have considered and put into order the possible problems and questioned your assumptions relating to these problems, you should write a statement of the problems as you perceive them. Avoid suggesting solutions at this stage.

Once you have a problem statement, you need to find evidence in the case to support your problem diagnosis. Also, try to identify ideas, concepts and theories from your textbook and course units which help to explain what is happening in the case.

5 Formulate criteria for a 'good' solution and identify possible constraints to solutions

Before you propose a solution, you need to consider the characteristics of a 'good' solution. Obviously, your solution should bring benefits such as improved productivity, reduced costs or greater profits. However, it also needs to be viable and to accommodate the constraints that you have already identified, i.e. Is the solution legal? Is there a budget for this solution? Does it conflict with the organization's culture?

Try to brainstorm alternative solutions. Aim to generate a broad and creative range of options and then try to rate each according to various criteria.

The following matrix demonstrates how this can be done.

  Cost Ease of implementation Impact on organization culture Impact on profits
Option 1 *** * * **
Option 2 * *** *** **
Option 3 ** * * ***

Also refer to ideas, concepts and theories from your course materials as you consider and assess each possible solution.

It's often wise to propose a solution that allows for plausible alternatives if it should fail. Managers use the term satisfice when they are considering acceptable alternative solutions, that is, the solution is able to satisfy the situation while also making some realistic sacrifices to existing constraints. Therefore, it is a satisficing rather than a maximizing solution.

Finally, don't forget to consider the possibility of taking no action. What will actually happen if no action is taken? Are any (or all) of the solutions less viable than taking no action at all?

6 Recommend a viable solution

After you have assessed the merits and pitfalls of each alternative solution, select the best solution for the situation.

Remember that the solution needs to be viable. Can the recommended solution be introduced? Are there the resources and the willingness to implement it? Be realistic about what may work. Explain why it is the best solution within the constraints of the existing context and explain how it can be applied to the organization. Suggest a time-frame for the solution's implementation.

Outline possible strategies for implementing your solution, either partially or completely. As many feasible courses of action as possible should be considered before you choose the one that seems the most likely to succeed. The more ideas you have, the greater your chance will be of finding a solution that will work well. The complexity of most organizational problems means that it is highly unlikely that one idea alone will correct the situation. Usually a combination of actions is required, and these need to be funded differently, timed carefully and staffed as necessary.

7 Present your solution as a written recommendation

Review your final solutions and then prepare a set of written recommendations. These should clearly outline your proposed solution in relation to the problems that you have identified. Your recommendations should also include details of why these solutions are the most appropriate given the circumstances and constraints of the case. Finally, you need to clearly state how and when your proposals will be implemented.

Your tutor and your course Assignment File can provide some guidelines on how to present your recommendations.

Some mistakes to avoid as you analyse cases

When you first tackle case studies, you should be careful to guard against the following mistakes:

  1. One of the most common mistakes made in case analysis is repeating or simply summarizing the facts of the case. Your tutor is already very familiar with the case details, so you do not have to restate them. You are required to use and analyse the facts, not repeat them. Your analysis should contain only enough case material to support your arguments. Therefore, be analytical!

  2. You may often be tempted to just deal with symptoms and ignore the causes of the problem. It is very important to analyse the background of the case (and the climate in which the events of the case unfold).

  3. Avoid discussing problems in isolation and do not overlook their interrelatedness. If you try to think in terms of 'systems' rather than in terms of individual problems, you are more likely to avoid this pitfall.

  4. Students often fail to state the assumptions underlying their analysis. If any important assumptions have been made, have you questioned them and are they reasonable and appropriate? Avoid selectively using and interpreting case material in order to justify a preconceived solution.

  5. Practical limitations and constraints may sometimes be overlooked. For example, a recommendation that a whole team be fired is probably unrealistic.

  6. A very common mistake is poor integration of the facts in the case with the concepts, principles, and theories in the textbook. Such integration is vital. Ask yourself if relevant theories from your course have been fully and constructively applied.

  7. Finally, recommendations are too often not spelled out in detail or are unrealistic. A timetable for implementing them is also often not given.

Analysing cases poses many challenges, and this is one reason the case study method is so rewarding. It is a very active form of learning. It offers you a risk-free opportunity to gain managerial and organizational experience and should greatly increase your confidence to make informed decisions in the real world.

Good luck and we hope you enjoy working through the cases that you encounter!

Course assessment

The following table shows the components of assessment for this course.

Assessment type Marks
Two required assignments Total = 40%
One two-hour examination with essay type questions 60%
Total 100%

To be assured of achieving a Pass result, you must pass (i.e. at least score 40) in both the continuous assessment (i.e. assignments) and the examination.


There are two assignments for this course. You can find details of each assignment in your Assignment File. You must submit each assignment to your tutor for marking no later than the appropriate due date. You will be able to complete the assignments using information and material contained in your textbooks and study units. However, it is preferable to demonstrate that you have read and researched more widely than the required minimum. Other reference materials will give you a slightly different viewpoint and a deeper understanding of the subject.

Completing assignments is an important part of your learning. You are expected to apply concepts, frameworks, or theories you have learned in the course to answer the questions. This will help to deepen your understanding of these concepts, frameworks and theories.

At this level, most assignment questions require more than citing definitions and explanations from the course materials. In many cases, you are required to choose the relevant concepts, frameworks or theories as tools to help you analyse situations and/or make recommendations. In making recommendations, you are expected to justify your position. Where there are many possible alternatives, it will help your case if you also discuss why the other alternatives are not suitable or why they are less preferable. In general, assignments will be assessed on:

  • your understanding and appropriate application of relevant concepts
  • comprehensiveness and credibility of the answer
  • insights and original ideas on the subject matter
  • presentation and organization of the answer.

The first two of these are basic and will have the most impact on your mark. In texts or articles discussing case studies and the case study method, it is not uncommon to find a reminder that there are no absolute answers in case studies. Does this mean that you can take whatever approach you like? The answer is no. This is because when you are analysing cases in assignments or the examination, you are doing it as part of this course. The purpose of the exercises is to help you to learn the subject and/or test your understanding of the subject. We believe the concepts, frameworks and theories covered in the course are good tools for tackling strategic issues and we want to know whether you understand and can apply them. Thus, we require that relevant concepts, frameworks, and theories be applied in answering assignment and examination questions. Of course, you can suggest better ways of approaching the issues if you find the relevant concepts, frameworks and theories covered in the materials inadequate or inappropriate. If your argument is sound, your insights and original ideas will be recognized and rewarded.

Whether applying concepts, frameworks and theories developed by others or using your own original ideas, your analysis and solution to the situations or issues you are asked to tackle must be comprehensive and credible. By comprehensive, we mean that you have covered the issues, perspectives, possibilities and alternatives, etc., that a competent strategist is expected to cover in approaching the question. By credible, we mean that your arguments are well justified. Some discussion on how one can justify one's argument is included in the section 'Analysing case studies in strategic management' in Unit 1.

The relationship between the assignments and the units is shown in the following table. The assignments are designed to let you think through and apply important concepts and frameworks covered in the units. Strategy is a highly integrative subject. You are not learning discrete pieces of information but rather a holistic way of understanding businesses. What you learn in the earlier units will become integrated with what is covered later. Thus, in doing each assignment, you may need to use relevant and appropriate materials from previous units.

Unit Title Study time
Assessment activity
1 Overview of strategic management 1  
2 Strategic analysis 2  
3 Strategy formulation 2 Assignment 1
4 Strategy implementation and control 2  
5 International aspects of strategic management 2 Assignment 2
  Revision 1 Examination
  Total 10  

How to submit assignments

You must use word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) to prepare the assignments, and submit the assignments via the Online Learning Environment (OLE). All assignments must be uploaded to the OLE by the due date.

Failure to upload an assignment in the required format to the OLE may result in the score of the assignment being adjusted to zero.

Assignment extension policy

The assignment policy of the University as stated in the Student Handbook should be observed. Students are required to submit assignments for a course in accordance with the dates communicated by the course coordinator. Students may apply for a submission extension on the grounds of illness, accident, disability, bereavement or other compassionate circumstances.

Applications for extensions should be submitted via OLE. For extensions of up to seven days, the tutor would consider valid and unexpected emergencies on an individual basis. Normally, documented proof of the extenuating circumstances is not required for extensions of up to seven days. The tutor shall decide and advise the student of the revised date for submission.

For extensions of over seven days, students should note the following:

  1. If students require an extension of more than seven days on the grounds of illness, accident, disability, bereavement or other compassionate circumstances, they are required to complete the application on OLE and the Course Coordinator would consider this application.

  2. Supporting documents must be submitted along with the application for extension of over seven days to justify the claim.

  3. Applications for extension should normally be lodged before or on the due date.

  4. Applications are considered by:


    • the Course Coordinator for extensions of 8 to 21 days; and
    • the Dean for extensions of over 21 days.

After an assignment is submitted via the OLE, it is your responsibility to check that the assignment has been successfully submitted. Extension applications due to any problem with uploading will not be accepted. The University cannot accept any responsibility for assignments that are not received by your tutor due to any problem with submission via the OLE. As a precaution, you are advised to keep a copy of each assignment you submit.

According to the University's policy, no extension of the due date will be allowed for the final assignment. This policy will be strictly enforced. Any late submission of the final assignment will result in the score of the assignment being adjusted to zero.

Final examination and grading

The final examination for MGT B399 is two hours long and involves essay-type questions as well as a case study. It has a value of 60% of the total course grade. Use the time between completing the last unit and the examination to review the entire course. You might find it useful to review the practice exercises, assignments, and your tutor's comments on them, before sitting the examination. You will be advised of examination arrangements after you send in your examination registration card.

A specimen examination paper will be posted on OLE in the early beginning of the course to give you an idea of the format and structure of the examination paper.

How to complete your assignments

First, read all instructions and the assignment questions. Then read quickly through the case study or other materials provided for each assignment in the Assignment File.

Next, read the case carefully two or three times, referring to your notes. Make sure that you have identified all the key points. Then read the instructions that accompany the problem. These explain what you are required to do. Make sure you understand what is required.

When you have completed the assignment, send it to your tutor via the OLE (e-submission). Make sure that each assignment reaches your tutor on or before the deadline. Late assignments will not be graded.


You should use sources other than your textbook in the research for your assignments. Make sure that you clearly reference these sources in your work. If you do not, you commit plagiarism, and will be penalized severely. Plagiarism is the theft of somebody else's work or ideas. This applies to using the work of other students as much as it does to copying material from published books as well as web pages.

If you use somebody else's ideas in your work, give them credit for it. You do this by referencing. An example of a reference in the body of your assignment is: (Earl, 1989, p. 88). At the end of your assignment, you should include a section called 'References' where the full name of the author and the title, date, and place of publication of the source appear. An example of the correct way to cite a reference is:

Claus, S (1995) A Long Winter's Night: Overnight Deliveries in the 1990s, North Pole: Rudolf Publishing, 80-88.

For further guidelines on avoiding plagiarism, please refer to the section on academic writing in the Assignment File.

Tutors and tutorials

Five two-hour tutorials are scheduled for this course which provide face-to-face opportunities to engage students in learning. They are designed to facilitate discussion as well as guiding students to the right line of thoughts over the concepts learnt from study units. They are not compulsory but you are strongly encouraged to attend. The tutorials aim to engage students in discussions and to follow up students' queries from reading the self-learning course materials. This element helps students achieve the knowledge needed to meet the learning outcomes of the course. You will be notified of the dates, times and locations of these tutorials, together with the name and phone number of your tutor, as soon as you are allocated to a tutorial group.

Your tutor will comment on your assignments and mark them, keep a close watch on your progress and on any difficulties you may encounter, and provide assistance to you during the course. Your assignment should be submitted to your tutor before the due date. You should make an additional copy for discussion at the tutorials. They will be marked by your tutor and returned to you as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact your tutor by telephone during the telephone tutoring hours, post your question on the Discussion Board of OLE, or send him an email if you need help; that is:

  • if you don't understand a part of the study units or the assigned readings
  • if you have difficulty with practice exercises
  • if you have a question or problem with assignments, with your tutor's comments or your grading on an assignment.

Tutors are required to start tutorial sessions on time. If a tutor fails to turn up 30 minutes after the scheduled starting time, students may assume that the session is cancelled and they should report the case to the Course Coordinator so that a make-up session can be arranged.

How to get the most from this course

MGT B399 Management Policy and Strategy is intended to develop your understanding of strategic management, and to provide you with the knowledge and the analytical and design skills required to solve business problems.

Strategic management focuses on enhancing firm performance. However, so many things affect firm performance that each situation is unique. Therefore, you won't find many rules of thumb that you can apply in a wide range of situations. Instead of learning rules of thumb, learn the concepts, ideas, tools and frameworks and how to apply them in analysing a situation, formulating alternatives and making strategic choices.

Think through and apply rather than memorize. Be serious and rigorous when doing cases or exercises, i.e. treat the hypothetical situations as if you have invested a significant part of your net worth into it. Small group discussions are useful, as different perspectives and approaches are more easily brought into consideration in this format. When you are alone, try to take on different roles and positions when thinking about the issues.

Strategic management concepts can be applied to a wide range of organizational and even personal issues. After the course, apply what you have learned to real business situations and to understand situations you come across in newspapers, magazines and books. You will find this revealing. We wish you success in your future endeavours!

Deferment of studies

If you wish to defer your studies of this course until a later date, you should apply for deferment of studies. For the regulations governing deferment of studies, please refer to your Student Handbook. If you have applied for deferment of studies you should continue with your studies of this course and submit the required assignments until formal approval is given by the University. Should you have difficulties in submitting an assignment, you are advised to liaise with your Course Coordinator and apply for an assignment extension. Students who have been granted deferment of studies will not be allowed to submit assignments due before the date that their application for deferment of studies is received by Registry.

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