This course is about general management, general managers, and the challenges of creating and sustaining competitive advantage by maintaining the fit between industry competitive structure, strategy, organization structure, tactics, and activities (execution) at both the corporate and the business unit levels. Students will be concerned with both the problem of choosing what businesses the firm wants to engage in (the portfolio and diversification of risks) and the task of maximizing profits in the specific businesses the corporation has chosen to enter. In some of the case discussions and the CAPSIM game, students will take the choice of business as a given and focus on how to create a strategy and the network of activities or value chain that implements/executes the strategy of the strategic business unit (SBU), taking into account the interactions and trade-offs among marketing, production, finance, engineering, and human resources decisions as the industry structure changes over time and in the context of active competitors. Students will also be looking at the corporate level choices of entering, growing, or exiting various businesses/markets, the tactics/activities used to execute corporate strategy, the organization structure issues of very large multi-business firms, and the relationships among SBUs and between corporate headquarters and the strategic business units. Completion of program core or instructor permission is required.
[(BUS 510 with min. grade of C, MBA 505 with min. grade of C, and MBA 509 with min. grade of C)]