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Syllabus B189 — Fall 2019

RoomBBC 105
Day Monday
Time 6pm-8:45pm
 
Instructor: Simon Rodan
Office: BT 457
Office Hours:
In-person: Monday 4:45-5:45pm
Virtual (Zoom): Tuesday / Wednesday 10am - 6pm
 
Email: simon.rodan@sjsu.edu

Course Description

Integrative capstone seminar analyzing inter-relationships of managerial decisions/actions within and between the firm and its environment. Applies multi-disciplinary techniques to diagnose and recommend actions appropriate to specific company situations, using case method.

Prerequisites: COMM 100W or ENGL 100WB or LLD 100WB. The course is restricted to graduating seniors only.

Program Level Learning Objectives

  • To sharpen students' ability to think critically, logically and strategically.
  • To diagnose business situations from a strategic perspective.

Course Learning Objectives

By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate an ability to:
  • Apply the following strategic analyitical perspectives to unfamiliar business situations
    • Value-price-cost framework
    • Industry and competitive analysis (Porter’s 5 forces model)
    • The Resource Based View of the firm
    • Generic strategies
    • Economies of scale, experience and learning
    • Diversification
    • Acquisition
    • Transaction costs economics and vertical integration
    • Network externalities
  • Apply the knowledge, tools and techniques you have studied in your courses in economics (ECON 1A, 1B), accounting (BUS 20, BUS 21), marketing (BUS 130), operations management (BUS 140), management and organizational behaviour (BUS 160), finance (BUS 170), and QBA (BUS 190) in the context of a business simulation.

Required Reading

There are three required readings for this course.

The first two are:

The second is a collection of handouts, Supplemental Readings in Strategy

Evaluation

Exams (35%) There is one mid-term exam and a final which will respectively count for 15% and 20% of your course grade. The exams will generally require either short answers or a single short essay based on a 3-4 page fictional case. Spelling and grammatical errors will reduce your grade.

Term research paper and presentation (31%)

  • Your term paper will represent 25% of your grade.
  • Your presentation will represent 5% of your grade.
  • Submitting your slides ahead of the presentation (through Canvas) will add 1% to your grade.

Simulation (10%) Your grade in the simulation exercise will be based on:

  • Your company’s financial performance in the simulation based on ‘Z-score’ metrics (10%)

In your written reports and oral presentation clarity and straight-forwardness is infinitely preferable to spin and BS.

Peer 360 evaluation (9%) Four times times during the semester you will be asked to make an assessment of your team members’ contribution to the team's collective effort. Of the 4 evaluations, the lowest will be dropped and the 3 best used in calculating your grade. You must complete your evaluation for your team’s assessment of your performance to be counted towards you grade.

Quizes and other exercises (15%) You will be asked to complete the Business Assessment Test (BAT) which will count for 9% of your grade. There is an accounting Excel based assignment worth 3%. There is an accounting Excel based exercise on decision trees worth 3%.

Grading scheme

I do not use a fixed scale to assign final letter grades. Since exams may vary in difficulty from semester to semester and I often introduce new ones, a fixed scale would not be fair, for example when an exam or a new assignment is particulalry challenging. My approach is to anchor the grading scale loosely based on the highest and lowest total scores for the semester’s work. This means you are not penalized if I set a particularly hard exam. This is not a forced curve, but the ends of the scale are determined by the range in perfomance across all the graded assignments. Differently abled students should contact me if these evaluation procedures are not appropriate.

Following a recent change in university policy, there are no extra credit assignments.


Class schedule


Aug 26th, 2019
(Monday)
1. Introduction to the Course and the Simulation
To prepare: Buy the book - “Strategic Management 3rd edition Concepts and Cases”
Download - “Supplemental Readings in Strategy”
Download - Business Policy Game manual
Class agenda:
  • Purpose and learing goals
  • Information you will need
    • Text book - On-line, customized version of Frank Rothaermel’s book “Strategic Management 3rd edition Concepts and Cases”
    • Other required reading - accumulated handouts in “Supplemental Readings in Strategy”
    • Cases
  • Simulation: The Business Policy Game Simulation
  • Exams
  • Research paper
  • Submitting assignments using Canavas
  • Grading
  • Teams
  • Introdution to the Business Policy Game
    • Key functions
      • Sales & marketing, demand forcasting
      • Production and operations management, scheduling and capacity planning
      • Accounting, financing and cash flow management
    • Software interface
    • Marketing mix
    • Demand forecasting
  • Four ‘quick fire’ quarters
  • Decision Schedule
  • Sep 9th, 2019
    (Monday)
    2. Foundational Corner-stones
    To prepare: Financial Measures handout
    Bertrand and Cournot - Two models of oligopolostic competition. THIS READING IS OPTIONAL
    Class agenda:
  • The Income ( ‘P & L’ ) Statement
  • Lecture / discussion – Bertrand and Cournot
    • The Demand Curve
    • Bertrand’s model
    • Cournot’s model
  • Presentation slides: Bertrand and Cournot
    Sep 16th, 2019
    (Monday)
    3. Generic Strategies, Scale and Learning
    To prepare: Rothaermel, Chapter 6 "Business Strategy: Differentiation, Cost Leadership, and Blue Oceans"
    Supplemental Readings, Chapter 7, "Generic Strategies"
    Rothaermel, Chapter 1 "What Is Strategy, and Why Is It Important?
    Accounting exercise
    Class agenda:
  • Lecture / discussion – Generic strategies
  • Video – Fiat Chrysler Warren Plant Press ~ 00:10-01:00. 02:11-02:22
  • Video – Redbull Racing - Four wheel tire change
  • Lecture / discussion – Profitability, Scale and Learning
  • In-class exercise – Accounting exercise ( download the questions here: Accounting exercise )
  • Presentation slides: Generic strategies
    Profitability, Scale and Learning
    Assignments due: Accounting exercise
    Sep 23rd, 2019
    (Monday)
    4. Industry and External Analysis
    To prepare: Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 3 "External Analysis: Industry Structure, Competitive Forces, and Strategic Groups"
    Chapter 1, “Competitive Strategy”, Porter, M. E. (1980), Free Press
    Supplemental Readings in Strategy: Chapter 4 "Porter's 5 forces"
    Supplemental Readings in Strategy: Chapter 5 "More on Bargaining Power of Buyers"
    Exide case (up to "Manufacturing, Employees, and Facilities")
    Class agenda:
  • External Analysis
  • Negotiation exercise
  • Case discussion – Exide case (up to "Manufacturing, Employees, and Facilities")
  • Presentation slides: Industry Analysis
    Sep 30th, 2019
    (Monday)
    5. Internal Firm Analysis - The Resource Based View
    To prepare: Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 4 "Internal Analysis: Resources, Capabilities, and Core Competencies"
    Supplemental Readings in Strategy, Chapter 6, "The Resource Based View"
    The Air Express Industry
    Airborne Express in 2002
    TeleDanmark in 1995
    Class agenda:
  • Internal Analysis
  • Please read The Air Express Industry for the industry background to Airborne Express case
  • Case discussion – Airborne Express in 2002
  • Anecdotal evidence – TeleDanmark in 1995
  • Presentation slides: The Resource Based View of the Firm
    Assignments due: 360 Evaluation #1
    Oct 7th, 2019
    (Monday)
    6. Internal Firm Analysis - The Resource Based View Continued
    To prepare: Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 4 "Internal Analysis: Resources, Capabilities, and Core Competencies"
    Supplemental Readings in Strategy, Chapter 6, "The Resource Based View"
    Nucor
    Class agenda:
  • Internal Analysis
  • Case discussion – Nucor in 2001
  • Presentation slides: The Resource Based View of the Firm
    Oct 14th, 2019
    (Monday)
    7. Mid-tem Exam and BAT
    Class agenda:

  • Mid-term exam
    1 ¼ hours, open book
    Use the link below to submit your answer.
     

  • Business Assessment Test (BAT)
    1 ¼ hours, closed book
     
  • Assignments due: Mid-term exam
    Business Assessment Test (BAT)
    Oct 21st, 2019
    (Monday)
    8. Exam review and Business Models
    To prepare: Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 5, page 129 "Popular Business Models"
    Frank Rothaermel, Case: "Barnes & Noble vs Amazon"
    Dixons - Dealing with on-line retailing
    Class agenda:
  • Team exercise / peer feedback on mid-term
  • Lecture / discussion – Business models
  • Case discussion – Frank Rothaermel, Case: "Barnes & Noble vs Amazon"
  • Case discussion – Dixons - Dealing with on-line retailing
    Focus on what Dixons did to combat the threat from on-line retailing.
    What were the key components of its strategy? What is the key to Dixons' new business model?
  • Presentation slides: Business models
    Assignments due: 360 Evaluation #2
    Oct 28th, 2019
    (Monday)
    9. Diversification
    To prepare: Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 8.4 "Corporate Diversification: Expanding Beyond a Single Market"
    First Grayhound, Then Grayhound Dial, Then Dial...
    Case "Sony vs. Apple: Whatever Happened to Sony?"
    Class agenda:
  • Lecture / discussion – Diversification
  • Case discussion – First Grayhound, Then Grayhound Dial, Then Dial...
    If time permits...
  • Case discussion – Case "Sony vs. Apple: Whatever Happened to Sony?"
  • Presentation slides: Diversification
    Nov 4th, 2019
    (Monday)
    10. Acquisition and Vertical Integration
    To prepare: Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 9 "Corporate Strategy: Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategic Alliances"
    The Hanson Trust
    Honda and Triumph (pt 1)
    Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 8.2 "8.2 The Boundaries of the Firm"
    Frank Rothaermel, Chapter 8.2 "8.3 Vertical Integration along the Industry Value Chain"
    Supplemental Readings, Chapter 8, "Transaction Cost Economics"
    Swiss watchmakers - Time is money
    Class agenda:
  • Lecture / discussion – Acquisitions
  • Case discussion – The Hanson Trust
  • Case discussion – Honda and Triumph (pt 1)
  • Lecture / discussion – Vertical Integration and Transaction Cost Economics (TCE)
  • Case discussion – Swiss watchmakers - Time is money
  • Presentation slides: Acquisitions
    Vertical Integration and Transaction Cost Economics (TCE)
    Nov 18th, 2019
    (Monday)
    11. Network Externalities
    To prepare: The Home Video Game Industry: From Pong to X-box
    Class agenda:
  • Case discussion – The Home Video Game Industry: From Pong to X-box
  • Lecture / discussion – Network Externalities
  • Presentation slides: Network Externalities
    Assignments due: 360 Evaluation #3
    Nov 25th, 2019
    (Monday)
    12. Corporate Social Responsibility and Final Review
    To prepare: Case "Google Inc.: Figuring Out What to do with China"
    Class agenda:
  • Case discussion – Case "Google Inc.: Figuring Out What to do with China"
  • Review of key ideas from this course
    • The Demand Curve, Monopoly and Oligopoly Profit Maximization
    • Value Creation and Appropriation (VPC), Consumer and Producer Surplus
    • Industry Analysis - Porter's model
    • The Resrouce Based View
    • Generic Strategies
    • Diversification
    • Corporate Acquisitions
    • Cash flow valuation
    • Vertical Integration and TCE
    • Financial accounting (P&L, Balance sheet)
    • Present value calculation
    • Network effects
    • Assignments due: AI research paper - initial draft
      Dec 2nd, 2019
      (Monday)
      13. Artificial Intelliegence
      Class agenda:
    • Guest speaker – Harlan Findley, Director of Strategy Planning and Analysis, People Operations, Google
    • Discussion – Other Peoples Money Speaches
    • Dec 9th, 2019
      (Monday)
      14. Presentations
      Class agenda:
    • Presentation of your research paper

      Imagine this to be a presentation to a business audience not from the indsutry that is the focus of your research and not directly involved with artificial intelligence. For example, it might be a group of business journalists or a Rotary Club meeting.

      • Each team has 20 minutes including time for questions
      • Each team member should present for about the same amount of time
    • Assignments due: 360 Evaluation #4
      Final presentation slides - due the day before the presentation
      Dec 16th, 2019
      (Monday)
      15. Final Exam
      Class agenda:

    • Part 1 - 5:15pm - 6:30pm
    • ~1 ¼ hours, open book
    • Use the Canvas assignment link below to submit your answers.
    • Part 2 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
    • ~1 hour, open book
    • Use the Canvas assignment links below for the questions and to to upload a word document with your answers.
       
    • Assignments due: Final exam - part 1 (~75 minutes)
      Final exam - part 2 (~60 minutes)