ProfessorAndrew D. Henderson
Office CBA 4.226
Office Hours By Appointment
Course Web Pagevia Blackboard
REQUIRED READING MATERIALS
Textbook: Barney, J. B., & Hesterly, W. S. 2007. Strategic management and competitive advantage (2nd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. This book is widely available from on-line booksellers, and each student should order their own copy. Note: The 3rd edition (published in 2010) is essentially identical and can be used instead. Note: You do not need to buy a version of this book that includes cases.
Reading packet: Available at the University Co-op. Due to copyright provisions, the GSB Honor Code requires that each student purchase a new case packet. It is a violation of the Honor Code to duplicate case packets.
This course enables students to analyze business situations from the point of view of practicing general managers, persons who have responsibility for making strategic decisions that affect the long-term health of entire organizations. The key tasks involved in strategic management include detecting and adapting to environmental changes, creating new opportunities, procuring and allocating critical resources, integrating activities across subparts of the organization, and shaping corporate purpose and direction.
To be effective, general managers need to have an in-depth understanding of the ongoing challenges in key functional areas such as marketing, finance, MIS, R&D, and operations. Consequently, this course builds on and makes use of the knowledge developed in earlier classes. General managers, however, cannot be superficial dabblers who know a little bit about everything but not much about anything. Instead, strategic management involves a distinct set of skills, perspectives, and insights about the business problems and opportunities confronting the total enterprise. Therefore, students are expected to combine knowledge from other courses with the new material presented here to develop sophisticated analyses and solutions to the large, multi-dimensional problems that pervade today’s fast-paced, global, and highly competitive business environment.
While not all students will become general managers, for several reasons this course should benefit virtually all who take it. First, ongoing trends in the corporate world towards flatter, less hierarchical organizations have resulted in strategic decisions being made at ever lower hierarchical levels, often by relatively inexperienced people. Second, a number of factors, including technological change and the continuing shift to global markets, have forced established firms to become increasingly innovative and entrepreneurial, and such initiatives often originate at lower organizational ranks. Third, functional specialists such as professionals in finance and marketing are the people on whom general managers rely to implement a firm’s existing strategy and collect the information needed to update and revise it. Since functional managers are often under intense pressure to fix problems in their own areas without regard to the overall business, it is critical that they develop a keen awareness and appreciation of the challenges facing the firm as a whole.
Verbal communication is both vital to and inseparable from strategic management. This has two critical implications for this class. First, there will be relatively few lectures. We will instead emphasize case...