BUS 402 Complete Class Week 1 – 5 All Assignments and Discussion Questions – A+ Graded Course Material - Ashford

Course Text:

Marcus, A.A. (2011). Management Strategy: Achieving Sustained Competitive Advantage (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. ISBN: 9780078137129, bundled with case: Starbucks’ Global Quest 2006: Is the Best Yet to Come?  

Week 1

Required Readings

Chapter 1: Strategy Basics

Chapter 2: External Analysis

Chapter 3: Internal Analysis


Week 1 DQ1 Environmental Changes

Provide an example of an industry or company that has changed its strategy over time as environmental factors such as technology, competition, and consumer preferences have changed. Explain the changes in environment and in the industry’s or company’s evolving strategy. 

Week 1 DQ2 Vision and Mission - BUS402

Share the vision and mission statement of your firm (or one with which you are familiar). How is that vision and mission statement communicated to employees and the public? What is the role of the vision and mission statement in driving the activities of the firm? If there is no vision and/or mission statement, discuss possible reasons why it is not clear.

Week 2

Required Readings

Chapter 4: Timing and Positioning

Chapter 5: Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestures


Week 2 Assignments S.W.O.T. Analysis

Watch the video, How to Perform a S.W.O.T. Analysis, and then conduct an S.W.O.T. analysis using the Starbucks’ Global Quest 2006: Is the Best Yet to Come? case provided in the Course Materials section of your course shell. The analysis should address the components of the organization’s environment (internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats), alternatives to consider, and your assessment of the quality of the decision made by the company and/or your recommendation(s) for improvement. (NOTE: This will become part of your final paper.) Your paper must be four to five pages in length, incorporate at least two resources from the University’s Online Library collection, and be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide.

Week 2 DQ1 Components of External Environment

What are the two most relevant externalities from Exhibit 2.6 for a firm with which you are familiar? Have these externalities made the industry in which the firm operates more, or less, attractive to you as consumer? Explain your rationale. 

Week 2 DQ2 Components of Internal Analysis

Using “The Seven-S Framework” from pages 58-59 to examine a firm with which you are familiar and address how the firm stacks up in respect to the “qualities of excellence” list on page 59. Does alignment with this list help explain why the firm is currently successful or unsuccessful (use any metric you think is appropriate to judge success)? 

Week 3

Required Readings

Chapter 6: Globalization

Chapter 7: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Week 3 DQ1 Market Positioning Strategies

Chapter 4 addresses timing and positioning (or market niche) strategies. Using Exhibits 4.8 and 4.9 to assess a firm of your choice. What generic strategy is this firm employing? Are they using a combination approach? What are the advantages/disadvantages of consciously using a generic strategy? Explain your position. 

Week 3 DQ2 Vertical Integration

Is your company vertically integrated? If so, is it fully, or partially, integrated? If not, would such a move yield potentially high competitive rewards? Explain your rationale. You can also use a past firm or one with which you are familiar. Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ posts. 

Week 4

Required Readings

Chapter 8: Continuous Reinvention

Chapter 9: Implementation

Week 4 DQ1 International Markets

What issues are likely to arise in a developing country when a global giant like Coca-Cola begins operations there? What kinds of advantages does such an expansion bring to the globalizing organization? Support your thoughts with research. Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ posts.

Week 4 DQ2 Multi-business Corporations

Consider how a large diversified organization sets strategy. PepsiCo, for example, has beverages (Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Tropicana, Aquafina, Dole,

and tea and coffee through partnerships with Lipton and Starbucks) and food companies (Frito Lay, Quaker, Sabritas, Gamesa, and Latin Americas Foods). Do you think all the business units should have the same strategy, or should they be independent and set their own strategies? Explain. 

Assignments - Not included in this tutorial at this time!

Program Comprehensive Exam. Complete the comprehensive exam, which will take approximately two hours and will be graded based on your score. 

Week 5

Required Readings

Husted, B., & Allen, D. (2007). Corporate social strategy in multinational enterprises: Antecedents and value creation. Journal of Business Ethics, 74(4), 345-361. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

This article is a study of corporate social responsibility (C.S.R.) as it is specifically applied to multinational firms, emphasizing the need for C.S.R. to be strategic in order to create value.

Dwyer, R.J. (2009). "Keen to be green" organizations: A focused rules approach to accountability. Management Decision, 47(7), 1200-1216. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

This article discusses a practical approach to businesses that incorporate green initiatives into their strategies.


Week 5 Assignments Final Case Study and Strategic Plan

Final Project

The final assignment for this course is a Final Case Study and Strategic Plan. The purpose of the Final Project is for you to culminate the learning achieved in the course by describing your understanding and application of knowledge in the field of Strategic Management & Business Policy through the analysis of a mini case. The Final Project represents 30% of the overall course grade.

Focus of the Final Paper

Read the Starbucks’ Global Quest 2006: Is the Best Yet to Come? case provided in the Course Materials section of your course shell. From the perspective of an executive with the firm, prepare a ten- to twelve- page, three-year strategic management proposal to Starbuck’s managing board of directors. Your proposal must be future-oriented and include an economic assessment, marketing assessment plan, a financial plan, an organizational structure recommendation, and supporting rationale. Use non-course materials to support your contentions and incorporate pro-rata financial statements and supporting documentation. Use APA style and submit your proposal to the instructor by the last day of class.

Week 5 DQ1 Corporate Social Responsibility

Think of companies that are concerned not only with the bottom line, but also with being good corporate citizens. Share examples and the reasons why you think these companies practice social responsibility.

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BUS 402 (Strategic Management & Business Policy) Complete Class

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