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					                  Management 377 - Competitive Strategy
                               Fall 2010
                               Section C

Instructor: Brad Shrader, Ph.D., MBA
University Professor – Ralph and Jean Eucher Faculty Fellow in Business Ethics
Office Hours: by appointment
3185 Gerdin Business Building                Office Phone - 294-3050         Dept. Phone – 294-8116


Econ. 101, junior classification, management major.

Required Cases and Readings:

1. Harley-Davison: Preparing for the Next Century, by Nolan and Kotha, Harvard
Business School case, 2007, #9-906-410.

2. The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy, by Michael Porter, Harvard
Business Review article, 2008, reprint # R0801 E.

3. Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2006, by Yoffie and Slind, Harvard
Business School case, revision date 4/6/2009, #9-706-447.

4. The Core Competency of the Corporation, by Prahalad and Hamel, HBR
article, 2001, reprint #90311.

5. GE’s Talent Machine: The Making of a CEO, by Bartlett and McLean, HBS
case, 2006, #9-304-049.

6. ValuJet Airlines, by Dana, Kellogg School of Management case, Northwestern
University, 2004, #KEL043.

7. eReading: Amazon’s Kindle, by Anand, Olson, and Trispas, HBS case,
December 2009, #9-709-486.

8. In the Company of Spies: When Competitive Intelligence Gathering Becomes
Industrial Espionage, by Crane, Business Horizons, Kelley School of Business,
Indiana University, 2005, #BH134.

9. Managing for Creativity, by Florida and Goodnight, Harvard Business Review
article, July 1, 2005, Reprint #R0507L

10. Zara: Fast Fashion, by Ghemawat and Nueno, Harvard Business School
case, 2006, #9-703-497.

11. How GE is Disrupting Itself, by Immelt and Govindarajan, HBR article,
October 2009, #R0910D.

12. Aiming for an Evolutionary Advantage: Google: Management Innovation in
Action, by Hamel and Breen, Harvard Business School Press, excerpted from the
Future of Management, 10/09/2007, #2515BC.

Course Description:

The major objective of this course is to examine the most current thinking in the
area of competitive strategy and how that thinking translates into organizational
practice. We will examine how companies develop competitive strategy and how
they achieve comparative advantages in industries. Topics we will cover include:
industry analysis, generic strategies, hyper-competition, core competencies,
competitive intelligence, ethics and competition, and competing against time.

Special Needs

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of
a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. Please
contact the Student Disability Resource Office at 294-7220 in room 1076,
Student Services Building to coordinate reasonable accommodations for
students with documented disabilities.

Across the College of Business, it is our goal to strengthen student
communication skills and enhance your critical thinking skills by creating
opportunities for you to practice communication skills throughout your academic
careers. Representatives in our Communications Center are available to support
your written, oral, and visual communication assignments this semester. These
Communications Consultants may be available to: 1) review basic grammar, 2)
provide feedback on paper organization and flow, 3) give suggestions on
document design, including written documents and slide presentations, and 4)
other services as needed. The relevant contact information is shown below.

                       Communications Center Consultant
                      Office: 2140 Gerdin Business Building
                              Phone: (515) 294-9693

Course Requirements:

Examinations –
       Exam #1 - 20 points
       Exam #2 - 20 points
       Exam #3 – 20 points
       Final - 20 points
       Quizzes – 20 points
Participation –
       Attendance – expected of all students
       Participation in class discussion/case discussions – 20 points

How final grade is determined:
Examination (best 3 of 4) = 60 points
Participation = 20 points
Quizzes = 20 points
Total – 100 points

There will be four exams during the semester. Reviews will be undertaken prior
to each exam and the dates are listed on the course outline – so plan in advance.
The exams are weighted equally. The goal of the exam requirement is to
examine student understanding of content material covered in class and in the

Exams will be graded on how well the questions are answered using course
material; and how well case problem is analyzed, related to course material, and
on how well solutions are presented. Exams will be graded and reported the
following class period.

Exams will be comprised of essay, elimination/multiple choice, and short answer
Descriptive statistics for each exam will also be reported. Students are
encouraged to check their exam scores and overall grade standing in the course
with me anytime during the semester.

I will take your top three exam scores toward final grade. This means you
can take all four exams and I will count your best three toward the final grade. It
also means that if you need to miss an exam – for a family emergency, work,
illness, interview, or other unforeseen contingency- you will need to take
the other three exams. Therefore, there will be no make up exams. No

The major evaluation criteria used in grading exams will the accurate,
comprehensive and appropriate application of course material to the relevant
question. Also considered will be the diction, sophistication, consistency,

legibility, and clarity of responses. Please bring a blank blue book (exam book)
to class on exam day. I will retain all exam blue books. Students wishing to
appeal an exam score must do so in writing. Students missing an exam will
be required to complete the other three scheduled exams as noted above.
This policy is created to be fair to all students.

Unannounced quizzes will comprise 20% of the final grade. Quizzes will focus
on the main idea of reading and case assignments for the day. There will be five
or six quizzes offered during the semester. Each will be worth 5 points or 5%.
The top four quizzes will be counted toward the final grade. Students are
encouraged to attend sessions so that they take at least four quizzes. The goal
of the quizzes is to keep everyone current on reading and case assignments.

Participation/case discussions and presentations:
Each individual will be graded on general class participation, which means
contribution made to class discussion. In-class case discussions are designed to
help students apply the concepts from the readings and lectures. During the
course of the semester each student will be called upon to discuss cases in
class. Discussions are to be professional and informative. The instructor will
keep a journal of daily class proceedings. Participation is a major outcome of
this course. A simple rubric for participation is as follows:
     20 points - Participation with high interest and enthusiasm during all class
       sessions in all discussions. Consistent substantive contributions. High
       degree of volunteerism. Attended all sessions, arrived on time
     15 points – Engaged in most discussions and presentations. Responded
       with high quality comments and contributions. Attended sessions, arrived
       on time.
     10 points – Engaged in most of discussions and responded with good
       input when prompted. And/or arrived late for sessions.
     5 points – Attended and listened but responded infrequently with
       substantive contributions. And/or arrived late for sessions.
     0 points –No comments but attended, listened and did not disrupt class.
       And/or arrived late for sessions.
     0/Negative points – sleeps, disrupts, misses class. Arrived late.
Participation hint: Bring your name tent everyday and display it proudly.

Students completing this course should be able to do the following:

    analyze the attractiveness of industries
    identify external opportunities and threats
    identify internal strengths and weaknesses

         identify and describe the firm’s competitive positioning strategy
         identify and describe the firm’s core competencies
         develop a competitive intelligence plan
         identify and describe the phenomena of Judo Strategy
         identify and describe the phenomena of Hyper-competition
         understand the ‘innovator’s dilemma
         understand the benefits of competing against time
         analyze competitive strategy cases on the items above
         conduct a competitive analysis of a firm
         Identify competitive early warnings

How to Study for this course:

Studying for Management 377 is straightforward. You need to read and come
prepared to discuss what you’ve read every day. The instructor will provide
many notes on the website, and individual note taking is strongly encouraged.
Students are encouraged to ask questions in class about course concepts and
cases. We will closely follow the course outline—every class day is important.


94-100% = A                    80-82% = B-                 67-69% = D+
90-93% = A-                    77-79% = C+                 63-66% = D
87-89% = B+                    73-76% = C                  60-62% = D-
83-86% = B                     70-72% = C-                 < 60% = F

Assignment and Lecture Schedule:

Date             Topic                                     Case/reading

8/23             Class introduction and organization       Read course outline

8/25             Competitive strategy introduction - General discussion
                 Battle of Trafalgar

8/30             Introduction to SWOT Analysis             Harley-Davidson
                 and case discussion

9/1              Porter’s 5 Forces                  The 5 Forces that Shape
9/6              University holiday – no class

9/8     Porter’s 5 Forces                   The 5 Forces that Shape

9/13    Industry Analysis-case discussion         Cola Wars Continue

9/15    Types of strategy – generic strategy

9/20    Case discussion - differentiation         Harley-Davidson

9/22    Discussion – cost leadership

9/27    Advantage of Nations / Review

9/29    Exam on SWOT, industry analysis/generic strategy, advantage of

10/4    Core competencies                         The Core Competence of
                                                  The Corporation

10/6    Case discussion                           GE’s Talent Machine

10/11   Judo Strategy – Formula 409

10/13   Judo strategy                             ValuJet Airlines

10/18   Hyper-competition – Stent Wars

10/20   No class – Eller case competition

10/25   Case discussion                           Amazon’s Kindle

10/27   Exam on core competencies, hyper-competition and judo strategy

11/1    Competitive Intelligence/Early Warning In the Company of Spies

11/3    Competitive Early warning systems/ Competitive advantage
        through people

11/8    Competitive advantage through people Managing for Creativity

11/10   Competitive advantage through people/ Competing against time

11/15   Competing against time                    Zara: Fast Fashion

11/17   Exam on competitive intelligence, people, and time

11/22        Thanksgiving Break

11/24        Thanksgiving Break

11/29        Innovator’s Dilemma

12/1         Innovator’s Dilemma                      How GE is Disrupting Itself

12/6         Game Theory as a competitive strategy, Blue Ocean Strategy

12/8         Sustainability as competitive strategy   Aiming for an Evolutionary
                                                      Advantage: Google

12/12-17     Final exam
                 Fri. Dec. 17       12:00-2:00 p.m.

Final will cover game theory, Blue Ocean, Innovator’s Dilemma, sustainability,
               and will include material from entire course


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