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					                                   CLARKSON UNIVERSITY
                                     School of Business

Course Syllabus – Fall 2004

Course: SB 322 Entrepreneurial Strategy & Assessment
Time: M, W 9:30-10:45 am
Classroom: CB 178 – Camp Building
Instructor: Augustine A. Lado, Ph.D.
Office: SN 335 – New Snell Hall Office Phone: (315) 268-6608
Office Hours: M, W – 11:00 am – 12:00 noon; Cell: (315) 212-9558
and 3:00 – 4:00 pm Fax: (315) 268-3810
Tuesday – 2:00 – 4:00 pm; E-mail:
Thursday Morning: by appointment

Course Description
This course provides a continuation of the CUSB Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration. The
course objectives focus on critical analysis of opportunity assessment and entrepreneurial
strategy. Specifically, the course covers analysis of the strategic challenges involved in the
initiation, evolution, development, and control of entrepreneurial ventures. Course activities
will primarily involve the investigation of: (a) critical issues facing leaders of entrepreneurial
firms, (b) proposed solution, and (c) realized outcomes. The course relies heavily on the
case study method to convey and grasp complex issues in entrepreneurship.

Text & Reading Material
1. Kuratko, D. F., & Welsch, H. P. (2004). Strategic Entrepreneurial Growth. Mason, OH:
2. Supplemental Case Packet – available at the University Book Store.
3. Additional readings are available online (instructions for online retrieval will be provided
in class)
4. Handouts in class

CUSB Mission and Course Objectives
The mission of the Clarkson University School of Business (CUSB) is to create and
disseminate knowledge and educate leaders who are energized by the entrepreneurial spirit,
nourished through scholarship, and beckoned to serve the community. CUSB seeks to
provide its students with competencies for organizational leadership, strategic
understanding of information technology, and awareness of global, ethical, and diversity
issues. The school also seeks to provide students with skills for critical thinking and problem
solving, teamwork, communication, and interpersonal relationships, among other things.

This course will contribute toward the attainment of CUSB’s mission through:
(a) building and fostering the entrepreneurial leadership skills necessary for identifying,
analyzing, and capturing entrepreneurial opportunities;
(b) critically analyzing and developing entrepreneurial business plans;
(c) developing ethical/moral awareness and sensitivity to issues and challenges facing
entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms;
(d) integrating theory and practice in entrepreneurial strategy assessment;
(e) developing and fostering communication and team-building skills
Specific Knowledge/Skill Areas
This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills for (a) entrepreneurial opportunity
recognition and assessment; (b) industry/competitor analysis; (c) resource/capability
assessment; (c) entrepreneurial strategy development, implementation, and evaluation;
and (d) writing effective business plans. You will also hone analytical, critical-thinking,
decision-making, and leadership skills (including communication skills).

Student Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
• explain the entrepreneurial process of new venture creation, growth and
• critically assess the effectiveness of new venture strategies.
• write and evaluate effective business plans for launching and growing
entrepreneurial ventures.
• develop entrepreneurial strategy (including mission/vision, goals, plans, and
• develop critical thinking and problem solving skills for effectively addressing
various issues and challenges facing entrepreneurs/entrepreneurial firms.
• develop an appreciation of how entrepreneurship can make a difference in our
surrounding world.

Methods of Instruction
A variety of instructional methods are used in this course, including the case method,
lecture, experiential exercises and class discussion. Lectures are intended to provide a
synthesis of core ideas, concepts/theories related to the course (including any material not
covered in a specific chapter/reading), rather than a chapter-by-chapter tutorial on
concepts/frameworks. It is your responsibility to read and demonstrate a clear
understanding of all assigned text and readings.

Performance Expectations
I expect you to read all assigned readings and cases before coming to class, and to
participate effectively in class discussions. You will not be able to participate effectively if
you have not read the material. The case assignments will require you to work in teams,
meet outside of class, and pull your weight as a team member.

Class Attendance and Participation
Regular class attendance is required. Please plan to always come to class on time and avoid
– as much as possible – actions (such as tardiness, cell phone use, and other noise that
may create a sub-optimal learning experience for class). I expect every student to be fully
prepared for class. At a minimum, this involves reading and comprehending the assigned
cases and readings. You are also expected to read current business periodicals/magazines
(such as Business Week, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal) to gain current
understanding of entrepreneurial issues and challenges. Although regular attendance is
important, it is not sufficient to fully realize the benefits of active learning. You must also be
prepared to ask good questions, and provide cogent answers to questions related to the
course material. We all gain if everybody shares their knowledge, experiences, ideas, or
opinions in class. A portion of the course grade will be allocated to class attendance and
participation (40% for attendance; 60% for class participation). However, a record of 5 or
more absences from class provides a sufficient ground for allocating “0” (zero) point for
class attendance/participation!
Case Analysis and Presentation
All students will participate in team-based case analyses and presentations. An overall grade
will be assigned for the team's work; however, individual contribution to team work will be
apportioned based on peer ratings and instructor judgment. Students are expected to
demonstrate a high standard of professionalism in all assignments.

The case presentation may be structured around specific discussion questions. Each
presentation should last no more than 25 minutes. A question-and-answer session will
follow. Each team is responsible for leading class discussion (including fielding questions). I
will then synthesize the main themes from the case and integrate with relevant theoretical
frameworks/concepts. The presentation should reflect a thorough level of preparation by all
group members.

Business Plan
Business plan writing is a critical part of any entrepreneurial course, including this course!
Working alone or in pairs, you will be asked to develop detailed business plans for
launching, growing, or restructuring an entrepreneurial firm. The plan must include a clear
identification of entrepreneurial opportunity, external (industry/market) analysis, internal
(resource/capability) analysis, and strategy development and implementation. This is your
major “deliverable” from this course. The evaluation standard used for assessing the quality
of this assignment is that of a venture capitalist considering whether or not to provide funds
for the business plan. Thus, you must exercise due diligence and professionalism in
developing and writing your business plan. Details of the guidelines for writing an effective
business plan will be provided later. Your business plan must be thorough and rigorous,
applying relevant analytical models and concepts gained from this course (and related
courses). The report must also reflect evidence of sound research and critical thinking. I
expect the business plan to be 15-20 pages of text (double-spaced, with regular font (i.e.,
12-point font), with at least one-inch margin on each side). Prior approval of business plan
selections is required, in order to determine its scope, feasibility and relevance to course
learning objectives. Business Plan due date is November 29 (in class).

Tracking an Entrepreneurial Venture
To hone critical analysis skills, you will be asked to choose an entrepreneurial venture
(smaller to mid-sized firm) and write a case-study report, providing a cogent analysis of the
strategic issues/challenges related to the establishment, growth/development,
restructuring, and control the entrepreneurial venture. Based on applicable concepts/tools
derived from the text and readings, you are to (a) analyze the strategy for growing the
venture, and (b) evaluate its implementation and outcomes. The case study report is
designed to incorporate/integrate the main themes of the course: (a) entrepreneurial
leadership, and (b) entrepreneurial venture growth and development. The report will be
submitted in three cumulative parts (Part I = 5%; Part II = 7.5%; Part III = 12.5%). This
exercise provides an opportunity to integrate theory with “real-world” practice in launching,
growing and managing/controlling an entrepreneurial firm. Details of report format/content
and grading criteria will be provided within during the third week of the semester (for due
dates, see “Tentative Course Outline” below).

There will be a mid-term exam and a final exam, covering relevant text and lecture
material. The exams consist of multiple-choice and essay questions covering assigned text
and reading material (any lecture material not covered in assigned text chapters and
readings). The exams may not cover cases and experiential exercises directly; however, you
may use the knowledge gained from this material to develop your reasoning more fully in
answering the essay questions. The allocation rule of thumb is: 40% for multiple-choice
questions and 60% for essay questions. Essays will be graded on the basis of accuracy,
clarity, succinctness, persuasiveness and strength/force of logic. The final exam is
cumulative (consisting of approximately 25% of material covered before, and 75% of
material covered after, the mid-term exam).

Learning Exercises: To ensure adequate preparation and foster active learning, you will
participate in a variety of learning-based exercises. These include short essays, case write-
ups, video clips/case studies, entrepreneurial stories (from actual entrepreneurs), quizzes,
etc. You may also be asked to identify and write about entrepreneurship-related articles
featured in the current business media. You will be asked to do these exercises either in
class or out of class. There is no make-up for in-class exercises missed! If you are unable to
make it to class, please let me know in advance. Note, however, that any such notice does
not absolve you from any assignment given in class.

Individual Contribution to Group Work: Teamwork is a critical component of this course.
Students will be assigned to groups during the first week of the Fall semester. Each student
is expected to contribute his or her fair share to the group work. Cooperation and trust
rather than competition and opportunism are the keys to effective group accomplishment. A
grade will be assigned to each piece of teamwork (case analysis/presentation). However,
70% of the group grade will be allocated to individual contribution, based on peer
evaluation and my own assessment. If everybody contributes equally to the group work, the
individual grade will be equivalent to the group grade. However, if one person shirks and
contributes close to zero effort, then his or her score will be only up to 30% of the group
effort!! Therefore, it is in everyone's enlightened self-interest to work cooperatively in order
to effectively accomplish teamwork.

Peer Feedback: This course gives you an opportunity to provide constructive feedback to
your peers (team members and classmates). I will provide a peer evaluation sheet,
reflecting relevant criteria for judging individual contribution to teamwork. A portion of your
course grade will be used to assess the quality of your peer feedback (see Grading below).

Written communication is an important aspect of professional work, and is a crucial
requirement in this course. I expect you to have acquired the writing skills necessary for
effective communication in this course. If you need additional help with honing your writing
skills, please seek out help at the writing center (located in Snell Hall, room 139; telephone:
268-4439; email: In addition, my colleague, Professor Michael
Wasserman, has put together valuable business writing guidelines, which are posted on his
web site at: (click “business writing”); also available
at: Your written work should reflect the
essentials of effective communication, including correctness, clarity, conciseness, and
completeness. You should strive to provide a persuasive and logically compelling argument.
High-quality writing is an acquired skill; it is a function of imagination, disciplined by formal
rules of writing and writing-related work habits, such as outlining, editing and proofreading
of work (beyond the use of a spell-checking function in an electronic word processor!). I
won’t accept any excuse for turning in a sloppy written assignment (i.e., one that contains
grammatical/typographical errors, incomplete sentences, slang/colloquial expressions, poor
organization/flow, etc.). If anything, such sloppiness is indicative of lack of care and concern
for your work.

A variety of assignments will be given to foster learning. Many of these assignments will be
given in class and will also be available on the CUSB Neptune web site. You are responsible
for completing and submitting any and all assignments by the due date. Any changes to the
assignments will be announced in class. If, for some reason, you are unable to attend class
when a change in assignment is made, you should contact me or ask a colleague for
pertinent class material (see Class Attendance and Participation above).

The course grade will be determined on the basis of group case analysis & presentation,
business plans, learning exercises, and class attendance and participation. Please note the
following points concerning grading in this course:

(1) My grading philosophy incorporates (and values) continuous improvement in course
assignments. Thus, my approach to grading is largely developmental, reflecting an ethic of
care, rather than (just) an ethic of judgment. To the extent that a graded assignment
conveys feedback that can be used for performance improvement in later assignments, it is
consistent with my grading philosophy.
(2) Please note that grading is ultimately an art (subjective) rather than a science
(objective). I will strive to minimize ambiguity in grading by communicating more specific
and clearer grading criteria. However, some ambiguity is (ex ante and ex post) irreducible,
and may even be a necessary component of learning!
(3) I strongly believe that each of us can and wants to do better; thus, it’s not where you
start, but where you end that matters the most. Thus, for example, if you haven’t done well
in the first exam (8%), but double your effort and learn from your “mistakes,” your
performance on the second exam will reflect a higher weight (12%). This applies only to
assignments that are done in two or more parts (e.g., exams and tracking entrepreneurial
ventures), but not to one-time assignments.
(4) Grades are non-negotiable, and grading is not based on a normal curve! Your grade will
reflect the extent of genuine learning that has taken place on your part. And, genuine
learning is not a competitive, zero-sum game; rather, it reflects a striving to do better in
whatever we do.
(5) Thus, you should seek out opportunities for learning improvements before rather than
after the assignment is due. My mission is to help you succeed in this course – assuming
you want to do the same. So, if you have any concerns or questions related to the course
assignments, please don’t hesitate to contact me (my contact information is given above).
(6) If you detect a grading error, you should bring it to my attention immediately. If I
determine that it is a bona fide error on my part, I will correct it in your favor within a week.
However, if the “error” is the result of differences in interpretation between us, and you are
not satisfied with my explanation or resolution, then you may seek formal resolution as
stipulated in applicable sections of the Clarkson University Regulations.

The distribution of the course grade is as follows:

Exams (Mid-term = 8%; Final = 12%) ..………………. 20%
Case Analysis and Presentation .......………………….. 10%
Business Plan………....................................………….. 20%
Tracking an Entrepreneurial Venture
(Part I = 5%; Part II = 7.5%; Part III = 12.5 %) …... 15%
Learning Exercises ….………………………………… 15%
Peer Feedback …..………………………………………. 5%
Class Attendance and Participation
(attendance = 40%; participation = 60%; but see above) 15%
Total ......................................................………………….. 100%

Grades will be determined on the basis of the following scale

Letter Grade Percentage Points

A 90 - 100
B+ 86 - 89
B 80 - 85
C+ 76 - 79
C 70 - 75
D+ 66 - 69
D 60 - 65
F below 60

Core Values
A number of core values underpin any and all work related to this course. These values
include academic honesty and integrity, conscientiousness, intellectual curiosity, and
dignity/respect, among others. For specific discussion of applicable policies on academic
conduct/integrity, please refer to the Clarkson University Regulations available online at

Guidelines for course assignments will be provided in class (and posted on the CUSB
Neptune web site or “S” drive) later. For the purposes of this course, such guidelines should
be taken for what they are – as guides to “organic” action, rather than as rules for
“mechanistic” action. As the famous American essayist, poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo
Emerson, reminds us “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little
statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

Tentative Course Outline

Date Topic/Subject Text/Reading Assignment Key Course Assignment
Week 1
08/23 Course introduction and procedure
Definition of Entrepreneurship Handout: The Sam Barshop story
Instructions for online retrieval of readings
In-Class exercise
Additional assignment tba
08/25 Understanding the Entrepreneurial Challenge Chapter 1,
Entrepreneurial Library, Reading 1 (pp. 8-28)
Additional assignment tba (to be announced)
*Formation of Teams & case assignment

Week 2
08/30 Case: Splatterball Adventure Case write-up
Additional assignment tba
09/01 The Challenge of Entrepreneurial Growth Chapters 2
Entrepreneurial Library reading 2 (pp. 51-60)
Additional assignment tba
Week 3
09/06 Case: Wal-Mart Stores Case write-up
Additional assignment tba
*Tracking Entrepreneurial Venture Approval.
09/08 Ethical Challenge of Growing
Enterprises Chapter 3
Entrepreneurial Library reading 2 (pp. 89-98)
Essay & Additional assignment tba

Week 4
09/13 Case Discussion: Playskool Travel-Lite Case write-up
Additional assignment tba
09/15 Business Plans for Growing Ventures Chapter 7
Entrepreneurial Library reading (pp. 255-264)
Additional assignment tba
Week 5
09/20 Case Discussion: Grounded – Business Solutions for Today’s Traveler
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba *Business Plan Approval
Case Discussion: PacNet
Analysis & Presentation – Team 1
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba

Week 6
09/27 No Class: Fall Recess
09/29 Opportunity Recognition: Distinctive Competencies
Assessment of Entrepreneurial Ventures Chapter 4
Entrepreneurial Library reading (pp. 137-156)
Additional assignment tba *Part I of Tracking Entrepreneurial Venture Report due

Week 7
10/04 Assessment of Entrepreneurial Ventures Chapter 5
Entrepreneurial Library reading (pp. 178-194)
Essay/case write-up
Additional assignment tba

Case Discussion: Ockham Technologies Analysis & Presentation – Team 2
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba

Week 8
Mid-term Exam
10/13 Understanding Strategic Positioning Chapter 6
Entrepreneurial Library reading (pp. 218-235)
Essay & Additional assignment tba
Week 9
Case Discussion: VM Ware Analysis & Presentation – Team 3
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba
10/20 Succession Planning and the Family Business Chapter 8
Additional assignment tba
*Part II of Tracking Entrepreneurial Venture Report due

Week 10
10/25 Succession Planning – continued AMR article on succession planning
Entrepreneurial library reading (pp. 327-336)

10/27 Crowne Inn Case Discussion
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba
Week 11
Case Discussion: Zaplet Case Analysis & Presentation – Team 4
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba
11/03 Corporate Entrepreneurship: Developing Internal Innovation Chapter 9
Entrepreneurial library reading (pp. 367-383)
The 3M Innovation story
Essay & Additional assignment tba
Week 12
Case Discussion: Orchid Partners Case Analysis & Presentation – Team 5
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba
11/10 Embracing Rapid Expansion: The Franchise Option Chapter 10
Entrepreneurial library reading (pp. 406-423)
Additional assignment tba
Week 13
11/15 The Challenge of Venture Capital for Growing Ventures Chapter 11
Entrepreneurial library reading (pp. 450-462)
Essay & Additional assignment tba

Case Discussion: Case Analysis & Presentation – Team 6
Case write-up
Additional assignment tba * Part III of “Tracking Entrepreneurial Venture” Report Due
Week 14
11/22 Video Case study (TBA) Essay/case write-up

11/24 No Class: Thanksgiving Recess
Week 15
11/29 Web-based Chapter: The challenges of global expansion
Additional assignment tba Entrepreneurship, technology transfer and economic development
(Lado & Vozikis, 1996)
Additional assignment tba *Business Plans Due
12/01 Feedback/Evaluation Wrap-up
-- Final Exam
Date/Time/Place to be announced