Dr. Robert C. Moussetis - Office: 119 Loomis - Phone: 630-637-5475
Office Hours: MWF: 1:15-2:15 TTh11:00-12:00
Text:Strategic Management by Thompson and Strickland – 2001. Prerequisites: Graduating Senior Level. Students who do not have background in management, marketing, accounting and finance are encouraged to wait and take the course later.

"Vision Statement: North Central College is a community of learners dedicated to preparing informed, involved, principled and productive citizens and leaders over a lifetime"

Course Description:The course will expose the student to the strategic management process, strategy- making tasks, industry and competitive analysis, evaluating company resources and competitive capabilities, strategy and competitive advantage, matching strategy and company’s situation, strategy and competitive advantage in diversified companies, strategies of diversified companies, and implementing strategy. Issues of social and ethical responsibility, techniques of strategic diagnosis, and capability design will be presented.

Projects: Strategic Analysis and Competitive Outlook for Waer Systems in Naperville, ILllinois, USA
Intended Outcomes: After completing this course, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the strategic management process.
  • The capability for Environmental Scanning, Industry and competitive analysis.
  • The capability to recognize and analyze complex strategy issues and provide alternatives
  • The capability to integrate all business concepts
  • An understanding of strategic diagnosis, strategic segmentation & managing resistance.
  • Learning Process
  • Lectures/Discussions, group discussions, exams and, participation.
  • Preparation of Homework assignments (individual and group cases-projects)
  • Reviews on lectures and homework discussions (in-class)
  • Articles and Issues discussions on Current Strategic Management topics (in-class).
  • Some presentations will be accompanied with video presentations.



    General Philosophy: The approach to the course is interactive; students are expected to participate in a lively discussion, engage in an intellectual curiosity of concepts and trends surrounding the course, demonstrate command of materials, employ analytical and reasoning skills, provide a rigorous approach to work assigned and be well prepared for each class meeting. Considering the structure of the course (six meetings) maximum effort and intensity are expected. The benefit of the course can be realized ONLY through proactive participation in the learning process.

    Assessment Tools

    1. Exams-Quizzes: Students demonstrate the capability and understudying of the definition, explanation and description of critical Strategic Management concepts/issues.
    2. Cases: Demonstrate the Capability to recognize, analyze and provide alternatives to Strategic Management issues/problems.
    3. Project: Demonstrate the capability to provide an in-depth company analysis, diagnose future potential for an organization, and work effectively and efficiently within a group. The company will be a "real time" case with the CEO addressing the class.
    4. Article Reviews: Demonstrate the capability to engage in environmental scanning.
    5. Exercises: Demonstrate the capability to assess the business environment, engage in strategic planning, organizing and controlling operations, and finally understand issues of leadership and social/ethical responsibilities.
    Mechanics of Grading: Congratulations! You have been selected to fill an internship position at Strategic Management Consultants (SMC). Part of your training is to explore your capability to work individually as well as within a group. SMC is interested in filling an entry-level position for a junior consultant. It anticipates an increase of business in 10 weeks. SMC is interested in individuals who can work both independently and within groups. SMC is interested in individuals who can provide exceptional quality of work, who are reliable and accountable, complete their work timely, possess superior capability to analyze complex strategy problems/issues, offer well-devised alternatives, work under pressure and time limitations. This is a 10-week interview process.
    Work Distribution  
    Individual Cases 1x100 100 >>>900 A  
    Group Cases 2x100 200 800-899 B  
    Team Project 1x150 150 700-799 C  
    Quizzes 3x50 150 600-699 D  
    Articles 4x40 160 000-599 F  
    Class Exercises   100 PLAGIARISM: Please follows the guidelines of the college. Academic integrity is required. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. The grade of "F" will be assigned and the recommendation to be expelled from the institution will be given to the Academic Dean, if a student is engaging in academic dishonesty
    Final   140
    Total*   1000

    No Make-ups and No late work will be accepted (due to the structure of the course).

    Cases: Students will be assigned cases on individual and teamwork basis. Students must read, analyze, evaluate and propose alternatives to all cases. Students must be ready to demonstrate an understanding of cases both orally and written. Cases and a comprehensive guide for case analysis are included at the Internet site below:

     Check under student resources for the case and guidelines to a case.

     Case 1: DaihmelChrysler (due second meeting)

    Case 2: Guiseppe’s Original Sausage Company (due third meeting)

    Case 3: Peabod (due fourth meeting)

     Articles: Readings will involve strategic management issues. Articles should involve industry analysis issues, future issues for industries and organizations, scanning future developments, organizational and capability design, diversification, etc. Student will write a brief summary of the article and demonstrate how the article relates to the course. The write-up should not exceed one page but should exceed 600 words. Articles should exceed 2000 words (brief news in newspapers and magazine are not acceptable unless are in-depth surveys). All articles must be six months old. (Exception to Academic Journals articles – up to 10 years old-which are at least 10 pages long and have substantial references – 10 or more references). Students should be ready to present and discuss the article extensively (develop key points/concepts, respond to questions form other students0, etc.).

    Project: This project requires employment of all reasoning skills, analytical tools and command of principles to analyze a "real" business. The CEO of the business will present the class with a real time case to analyze and provide suggestions. The project requires exceptional communication skills, team-work skills, capability to work with others and capability to overcome personality and structural conflicts. Students will be divided in-groups of three to five and engage in a comprehensive review of the company and provide an exceptional written report.

    Quizzes: Students will be supplied in advance with a list of questions. Those questions comprise the most critical issues, theories and/or points of strategic management. Students are expected to take an essay examination and demonstrate effectively a comprehensive understanding of concepts and issues as they are presented in the textbook (to maintain objectivity). Students can use additional information presented in the classroom and/or acquired elsewhere to support concepts/issues of examination questions. Students are encouraged to follow the structure of the textbook in preparation for the essay exams.

    Class-Exercises-Participation: Those will be usually assigned in class. They will involve specific topics and/or issues. Students will generally be expected to respond in class orally/written.

    Group Evaluation: Since the course involves substantial group work, it is critical that each group member receives the opportunity to evaluate each group member. The evaluation process will be comprehensive.
    Chapters 1-2  
    Chapters 3-4  
    Chapters 5-6  Case 1 is Due (individual)
    Chapters 7-8 Case 2 is Due (group)
    Chapters 9-10 Case 3 is Due (group)
    Chapters 11-12 Project is Due

    Standards of Achievement – General Guidelines

    A: Students can define, describe, and communicate effectively their understanding of basic strategic management concepts consistently and exceptionally. Students participate actively in class discussion, case discussion, and offer alternatives and solutions that are based on concrete theoretical information and/or factual information generated from readings and/or cases. Students can integrate consistently all basic theoretical concepts, solve complex strategic management issues and engage in-depth industry analysis. Students attend all classes and complete all projects consistently and exceptionally.

    B: Students can define, describe and communicate effectively most of the basic concepts/issues in basic strategic management concepts consistently. Students participate most of the time in class discussion, case discussion and offer alternatives and solutions that are based on concrete theoretical information and/or factual information generated from readings and/or cases. Students can integrate most of the basic theoretical concepts, solve complex strategic management issues and engage in-depth industry analysis. Students attend most classes and complete all projects consistently and/or exceptionally.

    C: Students can define, describe and/or communicate effectively most of their understanding of basic strategic management concepts. Students participate most of the time in class discussion, case discussion and/or offers alternatives and solutions that are based on concrete theoretical information and/or factual information generated from readings and/or cases. Students can identify some basic theoretical concepts, solve complex strategic management issues and engage in-depth industry analysis. Students attend most classes and complete all projects consistently and adequately.

    D: Students can define or describe or communicate effectively some basic concepts in basic strategic management concepts. Students participate sometimes in class discussion, case discussion and/or offers alternatives and solutions that are based on some theoretical foundation and/or factual information generated from readings and/or cases. Students can identify very few of the basic theoretical concepts, solve complex strategic management issues and engage in-depth industry analysis. Students attend most classes and complete all projects but poorly.

    F: Students are unable to define or describe or communicate effectively some basic understanding in basic strategic management concepts international business. Students seldom or never participate in class discussion, case discussion and offer no alternatives and solutions that are based on some theoretical foundation and/or factual information generated form readings and/or cases. Students can identify very few of the basic theoretical concepts, solve complex strategic management issues and engage in-depth industry analysis. Students attend most classes and/or complete some/none of the projects poorly.

    Changes are mainly contingent to the
    Progress of the class

    Chapter 3

    How strategic thinking and strategic analysis lead to good strategic choices? Explain.
    What is competition like and how strong are each of the competitive forces/ Explain
    What is causing the industry’s competitive structure and business environment to change? Explain.
    What can be learned from strategic group maps? What are some of the common key success factors?

    Chapter 4
    What are the company’s resource strengths and weaknesses and its external opportunities and threats? Explain
    Explain strategic cost analysis and value chains.
    Explain benchmarking the costs of key activities.

    Chapter 5

    Explain in detail the distinctive features of the generic competitive strategies
    Explain the advantages of mergers & acquisitions, strategic alliances, vertical integration, and first mover.

    Chapter 6
    Why companies expand into foreign markets? Explain
    Explain the strategic options for entering and competing in foreign markets
    Explain: Competitive advantage by competing multinationally.
    Explain profit sanctuaries, cross-market subsidization; what are the strategic implications when competing in emerging foreign markets?

    Chapter 7

    What are the strategy-shaping characteristics of the e-commerce environment?
    How traditional businesses integrate Internet strategies? Explain

    Chapter 8

    Describe strategies for:
        Turbulent and Emerging markets
        Maturing and declining industries Industry leaders and runner-ups
    Describe the 10 commandments for crafting successful business strategies

    Chapter 9

    Explain when companies diversify; identify the three tests for judging a diversification move
    Explain in detail diversification of related versus unrelated business
    What are the strategies for entering new business?

    Chapter 10

    Explain how to evaluate industry attractiveness?
    Explain how and attractiveness-competitive strength matrix works?
    Explain strategic fit analysis and resource fit analysis.

    Chapter 11

    How do we build a capable organization? Explain

    Chapter 12

    Explain how to create strategy-supportive policies and procedures.
    Explain how to design strategy-supportive reward systems.

    Lecture Notes



    1. What industry characteristics support the DaimlerChrysler merger?
    2. What are the drivers of industry change?
    3. Is the global automobile industry at a strategic crossroads? What problems do you see?
    4. What industry developments can you point to that suggest that a merger between Daimler and Chrysler make good strategic sense?
    5. What resource strengths and competitive capabilities does Chrysler bring to Daimler-Benz?
    6. What competitive capabilities can be transferred from Daimler-Benz operations to Chrysler operations?
    7. How important is a merger with Daimler-Benz to Chrysler's long term viability?
    8. How essential is the addition of Chrysler resource strengths and competitive capabilities to better position Daimler-Benz for long-term competitive success in the global automobile industry?
    9. Will the companies really competitively stronger together?
    10. How important is it that the merger be viewed as a "merger of equals" rather than an acquisition? Does it appear that DaimlerChrysler has a shared vision? Common Objectives? A clear post-merger strategy? If not, propose a new vision, objectives, and strategy for DaimlerChrysler
    11. What post-merger implementation challenges might DaimlerChrysler executives encounter?
    12. What impact might the two companies' traditions have on the success of the merger? its corporate cultures? its home country differences? its previous strategic priorities?

    Guiseppe's Original

    Case Questions
    1.  What is Giuseppe Sausage Company's Strategy

    2. What is the nature and strengths  of the compatitive forces confronting Giuseppe in the Memphis Area specialty industry? Is the Memphis area market attractive form the standpoint of offering Giuseppe attractive profit prospects?

    3. What do you see as Giuseppe Sausage Company's competitive strengths and weaknesses?

    4. What problems do you see at this company? Should MR. Cotrone be pleased with the progress the company is making? Why or why not? Why has it taken the company seven years to get this far?

    5. What must Giuseppe's do to be successful in the specialty sausage industry?

    6. What is your assessment of Giuseppe's financial condition and financial performance? Is the company in good financial shape? Why or why not?

    7. If Joe Cotrone continues to operate Giuseppe's Original sausage Company as he has to date, what financial results can he expect over the next three years?

    8. What recommendations would you make to Mr. Cotrone? If he follows your recommendations, what financial results can he expect over the next 3 years?

    Peapod, Inc (for more info on tables, click onPeapod

    1. What is the competition like in the online grocery business?
    2. What does a five-forces analysis reveals about which competitive forces are strongest/weakest/
    3. What does your strategic group map of the online industry look like? (need to draw map here)
    4. Is Peapod well positioned?
    5. What are the key success factors for companies in the online grocery business? Explain.
    6. Is the online grocery business attractive? Why or why not?
    7. What is Peapod's Strategy? Explain.
    8. What does a SWOT analysis reveal about the company’s situation?
    9. What is your evaluation of Peapod’s financial condition?

    a. Net Profit Margin (1994 through 1999)
    b. (see Peapod)
    c. Other financial analysis?

    10. What does a weighted competitive strength assessment (based on the methodology of table 4.4) reveal about Peapod’s competitive position vs. Webvan, NetGrocer, and

    A Weighted Competitive Strength Assessment     (see Peapod)
    Competitive Strength measure

    Website features and functionality (as per Gomez Advisors 0.20
    Breadth of Product Line 0.20
    Geographic Expansion 0.05
    Financial Strength to fund expansion 0.15
    Order fulfillment capabilities 0.15
    Relative prices/costs(as per Gomez Advisors) 0.25
    Sum of Weights 1.00

    Rating Scale: 1=very weak; 5=average; 10=very strong (best among those rated)

    11. What issues and problems does peapod management need to address?
    12. What recommendations would you make to Peapod’s management to get the company on the road to profitability?

    Case Questions for Final

    1. What is your assessment of Steve Case’s performance as chief strategist and chief strategy implementer at AOL? What has he done well? What has he done poorly? What overall grade would you give Steve Case for the job he has done as CEO?

    2. What is Steve Case’s strategic vision for AOL? Do you approve of the company’s “strategic intent?” Why does a merger with Time-Warner make sense? Why is it time for AOL to fundamentally change direction? What do you think of the strategic vision that Steve Case, Gerald Levin and other AOL and Time-Warner executives have for the new company?

    3. What is your assessment of the financial and strategic objectives Case set for AOL prior to the proposed merger with Time-Warner? Did they contain too much stretch? Too little stretch?

    4. What have the key elements of AOL’s strategy been? How will the proposed merger with Time-Warner change AOL’s strategy? What new and different strategy elements do you see emerging at the new AOL Time Warner?

    5. How well has AOL’s strategy been implemented? What are AOL’s strategy successes so far? What problems or missteps do you see? Why do you think Steve Case brought in Bob Pittman? Was he a good choice? Why or why not?

    6. Do questionable ethical standards have anything to do with the problems AOL has had? Why has AOL had to deal with so many lawsuits and investigations?

    7. What recommendations would you make to Steve Case about how to integrate the resources and capabilities of Time-Warner to achieve his new strategic vision for AOL Time Warner? What challenges might the Time-Warner merger present to AOL Time Warner’s new management team?

    1. What are the defining business and economic characteristics of the Chinese fireworks industry? What is the industry like?

    2. What is competition like in the Chinese fireworks industry? Which of the five competitive forces is strongest? Which is weakest? What competitive forces seem to have the greatest effect on industry attractiveness and the potential profitability of new entrants?

    3. How is the Chinese fireworks industry changing? What are the underlying drivers of change and how might those driving forces change competition in the industry?

    4. What does your strategic group map of the Chinese fireworks industry look like? Which strategic groups do you think are in the best position? The worst position?

    5. What key factors determine the success of fireworks manufacturers?

    6. What recommendation would you make to Jerry Yu concerning an investment in a Liuyang fireworks factory? Is this an attractive business to be in? Are conditions in this industry such? .

    1. Given Ben & Jerry’s track record in entering foreign markets, does it make good strategic sense for Ben & Jerry’s to commit to entering the superpremium ice cream market in Japan? Why or why not? What prior “mistakes” will it need to avoid?

    2. What resource strengths/competitive assets do Ben & Jerry’s have in trying to successfully enter the Japanese market?

    3. Is the market for superpremium ice cream in Japan a competitively attractive market from Ben & Jerry’s perspective? Why or why not?

    4. Is Haagen-Dazs’s strong presence in Japan a plus of a minus from Ben & Jerry’s perspective?

    5. What risks do you see to Ben & Jerry’s plan to enter the Japanese market via an export strategy?

    6. Is entering Japan consistent with Ben & Jerry’s social mission? Can any problem with the present social mission not be resolved?