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 Student Handbook.
Incorporate what you've learned from all of our core business courses in this capstone course, which covers strategic management and how to identify goals, formulate winning strategies, and implement successful business techniques.
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 Saylor Academy's Business Administration program because it incorporates elements from all of the other courses in the program. If you have taken those courses already, almost every topic in this course should be familiar to you, but 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 includes the following units:
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.
The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.
All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.
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 calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.
There are also end-of-unit assessments and writing exercises in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.
BUS501: Strategic Management is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 62 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 progress. It's a good idea to also scheduour study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.
Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:
In order to take this course, you should:
This course is delivered entirely 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.
For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.
This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.