Advanced Strategy Module - Online MBA
Introduction and module objectives
There is no one-way of managing successful organisations or any recipes for success, irrespective of how we define ‘success’. However, there are certain ways of managing, setting directions, making decisions and taking actions, which can define and ensure the long-term success of organisations. Strategic management is about process of leading, developing and making such decisions and tailoring actions to implement them effectively. Being able to define an effective strategy is therefore critical to the survival and success of an organisation relative to other players in its sector and the industry it belongs. The notion of Strategy is therefore relevant to any organisation irrespective of its sector or industry, in any part of the world, and irrespective of the way in which strategy is developed.
Developing effective strategy, however, is messy, chaotic and complex. In practice, a manager involved in the strategy process engages in multitude of activities and understanding which activities are pertinent to the success of the organisation demands a key set of skills. Good managers pursue a strategy with due diligence, consistency, commitment and integrity. They have a thorough understanding of how to best utilise the limited resources and capabilities of the organisation and best compete for resources and customers. Doing this, however, demands not only an astute understanding of critical issues that affect strategy making, but also the pressures that continuously shape the process.
Building on the core ‘Strategy’ module, Advanced Strategy takes an in depth view at the process of strategy formulation and implementation through the lens of key themes/topics pertinent to the contemporary strategists. You might be already familiar with some of the basics of strategic management from your earlier study in this programme, now we take you a step further in challenging your intuition, creativity and critical thinking to explore the dynamics, challenges and complexities underpinning the strategy process and the ‘elusiveness’ sustainable competitive advantage and the elements that characterise ‘success’ of the modern firm.
The module will revisit some of the basics of strategic management but will move quickly to focus your thinking and learning on key strategic concepts, theories and issues around the specific themes/topics and cases in question around strategy implementation. Using a combination of cases of (un)successful firms, some readings and, most importantly, lively discussion, this module will explore the ways in which long term advantage is built and continuously influenced by contextual issues at firm and industry levels. We will focus particularly on how the thinking, actions and capabilities of the strategist develops in this process; the mind-set needed to build and sustain competitive advantage over time, and on the strategic implications of understanding what defines firm's success.
On completion of the module, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature of strategy and an awareness of the different ways of thinking about strategy and the kinds of issues it raises for organisations in decision-making and implementation.
- Distinguish between different approaches to strategy decision-making and implementation, and the pertinent issues around leading and managing change, and critically apply appropriate models and framework.
- Develop and evaluate a range of strategic implementation options and identify strategic decision-making and communication processes, including the consideration of different approaches to such decision making, and the risks and ethical considerations involved.
- Develop skills in critical thinking, analysis and synthesis; including identifying and questioning assumptions, weighing evidence appropriately, identifying and challenging false logic or reasoning, and generalising in a way which recognises the limits of knowledge in strategy.
The module will develop students’ ability to synthesise both at the level of theoretical and analytical approaches, and also at the level of complex information … of data.
The module will use case studies which will allow students to propose recommendations to the solution of strategic management problems.
The module will allow students to develop leadership abilities team-work and project management skills via group work.