SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN225224
Module Leader Sonya Campbell-Perry
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • S-C (May start)-A (September start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to develop a critical awareness and understanding of strategy and its relevance and application to different contexts. The module will explore contemporary thinking and literature in the field of strategic management, and will make use of examples and cases from a range of organisational and cultural contexts. The module will provide students with the knowledge and skills to develop and implement business strategies within a variety of organisational and geographical settings; in doing so, it enables students to explore, evaluate and reflect on the interrelationship between strategic analysis, strategic choice (decision) and business performance. It is repeatedly stated that organisations are operating in a complex, fast-moving environment in which they are constantly seeking to discover ways that will help them survive and succeed. This module explains how managers can use a variety of tools to analyse situations and craft a strategy that can help the organisation gain and maintain its competitive advantage/achieve its objectives. The syllabus critically examines strategy in the commercial, public and not-for profit sectors, as well as considering the reason for organisations operating beyond their national boundaries. The syllabus examines the evolution of strategy and its development from a financial tool to one designed to encourage innovation. The module explores the analysis, choice and implementation of a strategy with an emphasis on generating sustainable, competitive advantage. Students are introduced to the language, analytical tools, frameworks and normative models of strategic management that provide the basis for assignments which test students' abilities to apply knowledge. The module aims to inform the student on the 'why', 'what', 'where' and 'how' strategy is made. Summary of how PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module: within this module, students will critically evaluate strategies across a range of organisational contexts including consideration of opportunities aimed towards the 'Bottom of the Pyramid'. This approach will seek to align the strategic process to ideas related to the 'triple bottom line' (profit, people, planet) .


-284b7 Historical context of strategy; origin, process, content and drivers of strategy - rational strategic management models, and frameworks for various organisational settings. b7 The global context: 'Globalisation' - definitions, origins, changing patterns in world trade and investment, global economic shift from West to East, the rise of emerging markets and the concept of an interdependent world. b7 Leadership challenges: economic, social, environmental, and the emergence of 'rules for business leaders' e.g. United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) - Principles of Responsible Management Education PRME - the implications for strategy design and assessing organisational performance. b7 Management of Strategic Change b7 The strategy process: Vision, mission, stakeholder analysis, corporate social responsibility and connection to strategy and creation of competitive advantage. b7 External analysis: Analysing the macro environment, applying relevant tools PESTEL. b7 Analysing the meso environment, applying relevant tools Porter's 5 Forces, Strategic Industry Mapping b7 Internal - organisational analysis: Analysing an organisation's strengths and weaknesses, skills, capabilities and competences, applying relevant tools: value chain and weighted competitive assessment; applying relevant tools SWOT, Value Chain Analysis, The Resource Based View of the Firm, The VRIO Framework & McKinsey 7S Framework b7 Business strategy: generic strategy and choices, competitive positioning and the creation of competitive advantage. b7 Strategy in the public sector and not for profit; similarities and differences b7 Corporate strategy: Ansoff's matrix, strategic options and choice: strategic directions (e.g. market development, cost reduction) and methods (e.g. mergers, acquisition, joint ventures). b7 Corporate strategy: rationale for entering foreign markets; market entry strategies (e.g. risks and benefits), implications: culture, demographic, resources and market, Porter's diamond b7 Quest for competitive advantage in foreign markets; OLI, RBV, and TCE theories, b7 Implementation: people, resources, structure, systems, culture b7 Monitoring and controlling strategy: frameworks, tools and models (e.g. GAP Analysis; the Balanced Scorecard; Benchmarking) b7 Evaluation of strategy: tools and frameworks for evaluating an organisation's strategy and strategic performance using financial and non-financial measures: key performance indicators, financial ratios, the 'triple bottom line'.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of fundamental, contemporary strategic theories, frameworks and concepts in the analysis of company performance and strategic positioning2. Critically evaluate and apply appropriate concepts of strategy to practice, across a range of organisational contexts3. Assess alternative approaches to strategy available to an organisation in its quest for competitive advantage within national and international markets and justify particular courses of action 4. Evaluate the implications to performance of strategic decisions within different organisational and cultural contexts.5. Monitor and critically appraise the success of the strategy implemented using various performance indicators and adapt the strategy for continuous improvement

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This work based module adopts a blended approach to learning which combines face to face contact and online learning via GCU's virtual learning environment, GCU Learn. The teaching and learning strategy encourages an active and self-directed approach to learning. In the context of a work based ethos, teaching and learning methods use real world and real work scenarios to promote action learning, inquiry based learning, problem based learning and peer learning. To this end learning will involve formal and informal strategies which place an emphasis on the integration of learning and work. Students will be expected to take a critical stance as they draw on academic theories and techniques in order to frame, analyse and solve actual work-based problems. The module utilises an interactive lecture programme where students are encouraged to participate and contribute. Students are required to undertake a programme of specified reading for independent learning, and reflect upon managerial practices within the workplace. The teaching and skills development programme will be supported via GCU Learn, which will also enhance the students' ability to utilise e-communication. Learners will be supported during the module by the module team which includes module tutors, work based mentors and Academic Development Tutors. Module tutors act as facilitators and also determine the level and accuracy of knowledge acquisition at key points in the delivery. Additionally, input, when necessary, either directly or with the support of external experts will add to the authenticity, credibility and application of education and learning to the workplace. Work based mentors provide a full spectrum of workplace support; helping apprentices to identify relevant work activity that can operate as a source for work-integrated learning, advise on the development of work-based projects, provide feedback on the development of professional competence, and formatively comment on progress in achieving negotiated work-integrated learning objectives. Academic Development Tutors will provide support to help maximise potential in relation to academic writing, referencing and the development of effective study techniques. Both formative and summative assessment strategies will be adopted during the module. Formative assessment will be used not only to encourage knowledge of the subject, but also to help develop transferable skills. Summative assessments will provide evidence of the learning achieved throughout the module. Summative assessments are compulsory. A mark of 35% must be achieved for each summative assessment and an overall mark of 40% must be achieved in the module. Students will have access to ongoing academic support as they work through the module assessment activities, and staff will assist students to reflect on and evaluate achievement of the learning outcomes. The percentage of Work Based Learning for this module, as represented by the Independent Learning 'Activity Type' is 72%. Work Based Assessment will account for 20% with the remainder of 8% accounted for by Lectures and Seminars.

Indicative Reading

LYNCH, R., 2015. Strategic Management. 7th edition. New York: Pearson (Available as e-book from GCU Library) Visit <> to find valuable online resources. JOHNSON, G. & SCHOLES, K. & WHITTINGTON, R., 2008. Exploring corporate strategy, 8 th ed. Pearson Education (Available as e-book from GCU Library) ROTHAERMEL, F.T., 2015. Strategic management. 2 nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education Recommended Reading ANGWIN, D. CUMMINS, S. & SMITH, C., 2011. The Strategy Pathfinder. 2 nd ed. Wiley. (Available as e-book from GCU Library) BILTON, C. & CUMMINGS, S., 2010. Creative strategy: reconnecting business and innovation. Wiley. CAPON, C., 2008. Understanding Strategic Management. Harlow: Prentice Hall. DESS, G. MCNAMARA, G. & EISNER, A., 2016. Strategic management: text and cases. 8 th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education FRANZ, P., 2012. Value-driven business process management: the value-switch for lasting competitive advantage. McGraw-Hill Education GRANT, R.M., 2010. Contemporary strategic analysis. Blackwell. HENRY, A., 2011. Understanding strategic management. 2 nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. STROH, P.J., 2014. Business strategy, plan, execute, win. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley (Available as e-book from GCU Library) SPENDER, J. C., 2014. Business Strategy: managing uncertainty, opportunity, and enterprise. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Available as e-book from GCU Library) STACEY, D., R., 2011. Strategic management and organisational dynamics: the challenge of complexity to ways of thinking about organisations. 6 th ed. Financial Times Prentice Hall (Available as e-book from GCU Library) MAGEE, J. THOMAS, I. & WILSON, D., 2010. Strategy: Analysis and Practice, McGraw Hill. JEAN GARNER STEAD, J. G. & STEAD, W. E., 2014. Sustainable strategic management. 2 nd ed. London: Routledge (Available as e-book from GCU Library) THOMPSON, J. SCOTT, J. & MARTIN, F., 2014. Strategic management: awareness and change. 7 th ed. Cengage Learning. (Available as e-book from GCU Library) THOMPSON, A. A. STRICKLAND, A. J. & GAMBLE, J. E., 2016. Crafting and executing strategy: concepts and cases.20 th ed. McGraw-Hill International. Selected websites Harvard Business Review: <><> [Free registration] Harvard Business School, Business Research: <><> Harvard Business School, Institute for Strategy & Competitiveness: <>:// <> <> Balanced Scorecard Institute: <><> Harvard Business School, Working paper series <>:// <> <> Strategic Planning Society <> Academic Journals Academy of Management Executive Academy of Management Journal Advances in Strategic Management British Journal of Management Business Strategy Review California Management Review European Management Journal Sloan Management Review Strategic Change Strategy and Leadership Strategic Management Journal Journal of Business Strategy Journal of Change Management Journal of Economics and Management Strategy Journal of Management Journal of Management Studies International Journal of Management Reviews International Journal of Business Strategy Journal of Business Research Long Range Planning Additional reading materials will be drawn from online resources provided by the module team.

Transferrable Skills

-Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. -Interpersonal Skills: an ability to work collaboratively and constructively with others in seminars and outside of class in allocated groups. -Oral and written communication skills, negotiation skills and presentation skills -Group work when participating in the group work in seminars and outside of class in allocated groups. -Information technology skills will be developed through Internet searches and online communication. -Analytical, evaluative and creative problem solving will be developed throughout the module experience but especially through case studies, seminar debates. -Using Turnitin software to improve writing style.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 145.00
Lectures (FT) 15.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% Negotiated individual work based assignment: management report of 4000 words.