Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS501: Strategic Management

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Saylor Student Handbook.

 

Course Description

Incorporate elements from all of our core business courses in this capstone course, which covers strategic management, how to identify goals and formulate winning strategies, and how to implement successful business techniques.

 

Course Introduction

What is strategy? When your friend tells you that his "strategy" in basketball is to win, he is not telling you a strategy at all. A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a goal--in the case of your friend, a more appropriately defined strategy for his basketball game would be: "I am going to apply defensive pressure and force the opposing team to make mistakes with the end goal of winning the game." In this course, you will learn that you must first clearly define your goals before you develop strategies in order to achieve them. You will also learn that strategy in business is similar to strategy in sports, war, or politics; the parallels are so close that early business strategists studied military strategies in depth. The science of strategy development has developed beyond this by now, but the parallels still exist.

Strategic management involves two processes: first, the process of identifying specific goals for a firm and designing strategies to achieve those goals, and second, the process of implementing those strategies. It is easy to say that your goal is to increase sales by 50% in three years, but how do you go about achieving that goal? Are you going to lower prices, acquire a competitor, move into other businesses, or something else? Assuming you are going to lower prices, how are you going to do so and keep profits up? These are the sorts of questions that strategists must answer.

This course is the capstone of the business major, because it incorporates elements from all of the core courses you should have already completed. Almost every topic should be familiar to you to some degree; however, Strategic Management ties them all together. This course begins with an introduction to the field and the definition of some important terms and concepts. You will then move on to identifying goals and formulating strategies before addressing implementation topics. This course will conclude with strategies for the 21st century. This course should be taken after all core courses have been completed and, ideally, near the end of your completion of the elective courses.

This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Strategy
  • Unit 2: Strategic Planning
  • Unit 3: Creating Competitive Advantage
  • Unit 4: Corporate Strategy
  • Unit 5: 21st Century Strategy 

 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • define strategy, discuss the participants in the strategic management process, and analyze various types of industry structures;
  • select and apply appropriate strategic management tools to diagnose internal and external factors facing organizations;
  • define and classify types of competitive advantage and explain associated best practices for creating and maintaining advantages;
  • explain the most commonly used corporate strategies and analyze alternatives for creating long term value;
  • apply modern strategic management techniques and choose the best alternatives in the face of rapidly changing technology; and
  • synthesize strategic management theory and concepts to explain competitive advantage in the era of globalization.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.

 

Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, video tutorials, and other resources.

All course materials are free to access, and can be found through the links provided in each unit and subunit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will instruct you as to what specifically to read or watch at a given point in the course, and help you to understand how these individual materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also access a list all of the materials used in this course by clicking on Resources in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Saylor Certificate of Completion.

There are also 5 unit assessments and other types of quizzes in this course. These are intended to help you to gauge how well you are learning and do not factor into your final course grade. You may retake all of these as many times as needed to feel that you have an understanding of the concepts and material covered. You can locate a full list of these sorts of assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Earning College Credit

This course provides students the opportunity to earn actual college credit. It has been reviewed by Qualifi, a UK Awarding Organization. Once a proctored final exam is successfully completed, the course can count as three credits towards a special degree track at City Vision University. You can read more about this program here.

It has also been reviewed by Brandman University and can applied as credit towards a degree by students who are currently enrolled or plan to enroll at Brandman. You can read more about this special program here.

If you are seeking to earn college credit at Brandman or City Vision, you must take and pass the version of the exam titled "Proctored Final Exam." That exam will be password protected.

Note: There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no imposed wait period between attempting the non-credit certificate-bearing exam and the credit exam. Some credit exams have a maximum number of attempts allowed, which will be detailed on the exam's instructions page.

 

Tips for Success

BUS501: Strategic Management is a self-paced course in which you the learner determines when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or predetermined schedule to follow. While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 62.25 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.
  • As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor Academy students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.

 

Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should:


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it's advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional credit recommended final exam that accompanies this course, then you will also need access to a webcam enabled computer. A webcam is needed so that our remote proctoring service can verify your identity, which will allow Saylor Academy to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor Academy's tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.

 

Fees

There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course does contain an optional final exam that will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit. Access to the exam itself is free, though it does require the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring is $25 per session.



Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 2:11 PM