WELCOME TO MGT 4329 Managerial Strategy and Policy
It is great to have you as a student in this course. Please read through this course outline completely to get an overview. You should clearly understand the technical and other requirements of the various assignments and make sure you are comfortable with them. For instance, for some assignments you will need to have access to a camera and microphone to make videos. Some students have these in their computer's setup already. Others may use small mobile devices with cameras to accomplish this. Such equipment can be inexpensively sourced online. Assignments are due at the date to the left of where they are listed generally. (This initial session is an exception). Late assignments will be accepted with a decrement of points, which will grow steeper as time goes on. Note the Directions for Reports section of this page. If you have any questions, please broach them with the instructor as soon as you can.
Dr. Victoria Shoaf, Dean of the Tobin College of Business, St. John's University, New York, welcomes you to this learning modality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YCCegL1f-Q .
ASSIGNMENT: Send an email to the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address at which you prefer to receive correspondence. In the subject field of this email put “MGT 4329 Student Contact Information”. In the email include the version of your first name or nickname that you prefer the instructor to address you by, your mobile, home, and work phones (and Skype name if you use that) that you do not mind being contacted at and the snail mail address at which you prefer to receive paper correspondence. This assignment should be done immediately (if you have not already sent this information in response to the instructor's greeting email). It would be helpful if you would put "MGT 4329" in the subject field of all of your course related correspondence with the instructor in addition to a brief description of the topic of each email.
ASSIGNMENT: Personalize your Blackboard profile by including an avatar picture of yourself if you have not already done so for previous online courses. To add a photograph, please see the written procedure for doing so at: http://blackboardtips.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-change-your-profile-avatar.html . You may also view a step-by-step animation tutorial at: http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_course_customization_add_avatar.htm .
ASSIGNMENT: Welcome to the MGT 4329 Managerial Strategy and Policy learning community. We come from a variety of majors, backgrounds and St. John's campuses. Some of us are full-time students and some of us are full-time business people. Take a moment to introduce yourself. Please post a text or video message saying “Hi” to your fellow students. Your message can mention what you are interested in, where you studied previously, which campus you are at now, what your major is, what your aspirations are, and some personal things to communicate that you are a fellow human. For example, you might mention that you are an inveterate scuba diver or mention your favorite vacation, book, movie, or song. If you are brave: politician, sport, food, etc. Indeed, if you are fearless you might even offer to coordinate a dinner with other students from this class to get to know each other face-to-face. Post this hello to the “01 HOWDY” forum in the Reports folder on the course site. I exhort you to post responses using the reply function in Blackboard to the postings of other students with comments such as “I am also a marathoner!” or “I never had the courage to cook lasagna but am ready to find a mentor in that.” Your introduction must be at least 110 words long.
ASSIGNMENT: Please read over the Directions for Reports section of this syllabus and familiarize yourself with these requirements, such as: not using contractions but rather formal writing, avoiding nonauthoritative sources such as Wikipedia, and eschewing hedge phrases such as “I think” or “I believe”. Then, post your agreement to abide by these rules in the “01 CROSS MY HEART” forum in the Reports folder on the course site.
ASSIGNMENT: Have a video conference with the professor and several other students. Use Skype to do this. It is a free software available at Skype.com . If you already have Skype installed, update it so you have the latest version, since earlier versions do not work as well with groups. Also, though Skype works from mobile devices, the mobile app does not support video in group situations. Therefore, I urge you to do your participation in this Skype exercise from a PC rather than a Mac or mobile device, if feasible. Up to five students may participate in particular Skype meetings with our group. Add the instructor as a Skype contact using his mgtprof Skype address after you set up your account, so he can add you to a session. The agenda will be informal conversation rather than accomplishing a task. Although you are encouraged to join one of the group sessions, you are invited to Skype the instructor whenever you wish. Send the instructor an email at email@example.com with the Skype session you wish to join. In the subject field of your email, mention MGT 4329 and Skype to facilitate his recognition of it. The sessions are for: January 22nd, 25th, 26th, and 27th; February 2nd, 5th, and 9th. These sessions will be held at: 1PM, 2PM, and 3PM. If you have difficulty with these times, please contact me for a private Skype appointment. Ideally, you will test your cameras and audio prior to the session. Post your Skype address to the "01 SKYPE" forum in the Reports folder on the course site. I encourage you to check this folder for other students on Skype to connect with. Since you might want to use your Skype account professionally in the future, it might be wise to craft a professional one rather than a less appropriate one. I recommend but do not require viewing a video overview of using Skype in business at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gwwfJJ4iu4 .
SOCIAL NETWORKING TECHNOLOGIES: LINKEDIN
VIEW: Charles Wankel. (2015). LinkedIn projects overview. YouTube. Available at: https://youtu.be/wIEkpO0GHgY .
VIEW: Johnny Campbell. (2014, January 8). How to pimp your LinkedIn profile 2014. Socialtalent. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i8ExP7yvsw .
ONLY RECOMMENDED READING: Ted Prodromou. (2015). Ultimate guide to LinkedIn for business. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. ISBN-13: 9781599185606.
ONLY RECOMMENDED READING: Bruce Bixler. (2014, April). Skills on LinkedIn, how to find them in the alumni function! Hobknobery. Available at: http://www.hobknobery.com/node/43 .
ONLY RECOMMENDED VIEWING: At MIT, MBA Students created a tongue-in-cheek overview of innovations enabling students to become better LinkedIn networkers including quaffing a performance enhancement drink, a super-speed networker suit, and special sunglasses that enable the wearers to discern people's LinkedIn profile categories. It does not completely work but is fun nonetheless. See it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG4-rfBujMk .
ASSIGNMENT: Join the social networking group LinkedIn by going to LinkedIn.com. Develop a profile that describes you in an interesting and professional way. Your profile should have a picture. If this is something you have a concern about, please contact me about this and we will work out an alternative image. After you join, to “link up” with others in the site hover your mouse cursor over the "Connections" tab below the search box on the top of your profile. Then click the "Add Connections" drop-down option. Click "Any Email" and then "Invite by Individual Email." Then, enter my email address firstname.lastname@example.org to send me an invitation to join your LinkedIn network. (A) Post to the “02 PROFESSOR’S CONNECTION” forum in the Reports folder on the course site when exactly (date and time) you added me as a LinkedIn connection. (B) Then, post your first name, last name, and the email address that you used for LinkedIn to the “02 NETWORKING AT TCB” forum in the Reports folder on the course site to enable other students in this course to invite you to join their LinkedIn network in the way that I described above. (You must post the same email address that you have entered into your LinkedIn settings. To have more than one email address through which people may send invitations to have you join their LinkedIn network, you must go to the “Settings” link on the top right of your LinkedIn profile. Then click on the “Personal Information” section of your Settings and add your other email addresses that people might use to find you.) Add as many of the students in the course as soon as you can. Later you will be required to report how many total LinkedIn connections you have.
ASSIGNMENT: Join the group called “St. John's University, Queens NY,” which currently has about 7,500 members. Although, normally you would go to the search window on the upper right of the LinkedIn screen, you must first click "Advanced" to the right of the search window. On the new page that appears, there is an "Advanced" tab with a blue arrow to the right of it. Click on this to have the search field options expand from people and jobs to include groups. Click "Groups." When you look at the refreshed search window at the top of the page it should now display "Search groups..." Search for “St. John's University” and you will arrive at that group's page, and here you will see a link “Join.” Click to join, and your request will go to the group manager for approval. However, St. John's is keen on having your membership in our virtual LinkedIn community expedited so we have a more streamlined process for you. This is to send an email from the address associated with your LinkedIn account requesting to join the “St. John's University, Queens NY” group with your LinkedIn public profile URL to Scott Van Deusen, Executive Director of Advancement Programs at St. John's University, email@example.com . Your profile must include "St. John's University" in its education section to be admitted. Mention that you are joining upon my recommendation. If you do not get accepted into the group in a timely manner, Scott invites you to phone him on his mobile phone (631-942-0942) to help you accomplish this. After you are approved as a member, using the advanced search utility (to the right of the main search pane) you can contact other group members readily without knowing their email address for such things as adding them as a connection. So, if you are interested in working in publishing with an editor, you can put the word “editor” in the keywords field of the advanced search window and check off the box to the left of “St. John's University, Queens NY” group in the group area of the advanced search window. This procedure will bring up people in job functions or industries that you have interest in for you to connect with. Invite a goodly number of St. John's alumni to connect with you this way. (Though having many alumni in your LinkedIn network would be very helpful to you, I am leaving it to your discretion as to the specific number since I realize some students will embrace this endeavor with gusto while others will find it as a painful distraction from more frivolous enthusiasms.) Using as a keyword some industry or function of interest to you, you might locate germane groups using the above procedure, but instead of searching for St. John's groups you might use a search term such as “Supply Chain” and then network with people of interest who are members of that group regardless of whether they are connected to St. John's or not.
Your connection message should not say something like "My professor is making me do this for a course." Rather, you should write a message and carefully spell and grammar check it that might read something like "I am currently in my final year of studies at St. John's in the Tobin College of Business. I am interested in connecting with you as someone with a professional trajectory of the sort I aspire to, though much more advanced than where I am." You might tweak the message to indicate a similar interest in marketing, international business, finance, accounting, auditing, tax, information systems, risk management, etc. Also you might mention you are interested in people from a particular geographic area that the target person is in. In the advanced search in LinkedIn you can limit your search to people within a certain a number of miles of a place. I recommend adding other SJU students you know, friends, and family too. When you have completed this exercise, post your work to the “02 CONNECTING WITH ALUMNI” forum in the Reports folder on the course site the names of the particular alumni that you have invited to be your LinkedIn connections. You might send me an email at the end of the course informing me of which of these people have accepted your invitation to connect.
VIEW: Jörgen Sundberg. (2013). LinkedIn Groups: How and Why to Use Them. London. Link Humans. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9z12KxHlf8 .
ASSIGNMENT: Using the pop-down menu to the left of the search box on the top right of your LinkedIn profile enter GROUPS. If you put into the search box at that point terms such as "strategic" or "strategy" you should be able to locate groups germane to the focus of our course. The instructor has located such groups as "Corporate Planning, Strategy, and Strategic Marketing Segmentation", "Stategic Sourcing", "Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals", "Strategic Management Forum", "Business Strategy and Competitive Strategy Forum", "Digital Strategy Consultants", "IT Strategy" and "Blue Ocean Strategy". Also, you might search for other groups that relate to your professional career interests. I strongly recommend that you join at least five such groups. (You can leave groups and add others as you proceed with LinkedIn. However, 50 is the maximum number of groups that you can join). Once you are a member of a group, you will see in your search results those people who are also in a group with you. When you are a member of a group with people, you do not have to know their email addresses to invite them to add you as a LinkedIn connection. Therefore, the next exercise involving locating an expert involved in strategic managment might be facilitated since you will be able to connect with more of the people you find directly due to your common membership in a group. When you have completed this exercise, post to the “02 HOW MANY GROUPS” forum in the Reports folder on the course site the number of groups you have joined and which ones seem most promising to you.
ASSIGNMENT: On the top right of your LinkedIn profile page is an “Advanced Search” link to the right of the main search box. In it, using the “Title” field and the pop down menu associated with it for "Current,"
enter “strategic” and in the keywords field put in a word associated with your major, such as "Accounting". Examine the people who you find this way. Discuss in at least 150 words hypothetically why someone might want such a list of people to network with. Include specific examples of people you networked with in this exercise, mentioning specific elements of their profiles that you found to be notable. You cannot get full credit for this assignment without naming specific people you located in LinkedIn involved in information technology affairs. Post your report to the “02 STRATEGY PROFESSIONAL” forum in the Reports folder on the course site. Hint: You might succeed more in this if you postpone it until after you connect with the instructor and several St. John's alumni, since LinkedIn connections are through people you are already connected to.
ONLY RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Follow companies. Many companies can be followed in LinkedIn such as the one you work for or ones that you would like to find a position with. A video on how you might proceed with this is: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. (2014, April 21). Find and follow a company on LinkedIn. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgST9JhOBTg . Since this is a suggestion beyond the course requirements you should not attempt to post comments on it as a separate report, though you can mention it in the "02 LINKEDIN PROJECTS EVALUATION".
ASSIGNMENT: After the dust settles, reflect on and evaluate the LinkedIn projects in this course in at least 50 words, including ideas for improving them. Post your report to the “02 LINKEDIN PROJECTS EVALUATION” forum in the Reports folder on the course site.
WHAT IS STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT?
VIEW: Gerry McNamara. (2013). What is Strategic Management? McGraw-Hill Higher Education YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2lnRlgJMsk . This video will give you a superb overview of how the strategy course acts as a capstone to your program integrating its various key constituent coursework areas, such as management, finance, marketing, accounting, and information systems.
VIEW: Matthias Holweg. (2016). Crisis, Resilience, and Survival - Lessons from the Global Auto Industry. Said Business School, Oxford University YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uXHoaRSXdQ .
ETHICS VS. PROFITABILITY IN CASE OF VOLKSWAGEN
ASSIGNMENT: In the past few months, we have witnessed the jaw-dropping spectacle of the discovery that Volkswagen created technology to gain exhaust testing by state automobile testing centers in the U.S. and in other countries. Through search engines and/or newspaper and periodical databases locate at least five sources to use and cite in a report on this. Your report should outline the important steps taken by people in Volkswagen in this case. That is, you should explain the logic of what they did and how premising their decision-making on different values and policies might have resulted in better decisions and outcomes. You should discuss a situation you know of in a company where unethical decisions seem to be the norm. Your report should be at least 300 words in length and posted to the 03 STRATEGIC MALFEASANCE VW CASE forum in Reports folder on the course site.
GLOBAL VIRTUAL STUDENT TEAM STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
PROJECT INFORMATION: We are participating in an international collaborative business plan development project with students and instructors around the world. This will involve competing in a virtual industry against similar teams. There will be multiple levels of assessment, including your peers around the world and their professors as well as your St. John's instructor in this course. The instructor will be placing your international teammates' contact information in an Excel matrix on the course homepage in Blackboard before the March beginning of this endeavor. You will contact each of your foreign teammates with a friendly introduction email sharing some of your interests and background with them and soliciting similar information about them. You should also be very emphatic, though polite, about getting the project underway. In the past, students in such projects have added their foreign teammates in Facebook and other social media to develop the connections. I suggest communication via Skype as a rich way of interfacing with them. Around March 1st, you will receive a welcome to the X-Culture project email with a link to a test of your knowledge of the instructions and rules of the project. I assume you will be very prepared and will pass this test. If you do not, you will not be allowed in the project and will have to complete a very difficult alternative. A video introduction to the X-Culture Project can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/QCHH4Gp76F0 . For strategies on how to succeed in this project, view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6E_eK0FFkQ . You should watch the X-Culture project training video: http://x-culture.org/training/ .
ASSIGNMENT: When you have contacted all of your global project teammates, post a copy of one of your introductory emails to the "05 GLOBAL TEAMMATES CONTACTED” forum in the Reports folder on the course site. Four days after you have sent your emails to your global teammates, post to the “05 GLOBAL TEAMMATES STATUS” forum in Blackboard which of your global teammates have responded to your email and which have yet to do so.
READ: To prepare for the project, read over and familiarize yourself with the X-Culture project instructions and pre-project training. You should have received an email that includes links to the training documents and the Readiness Test.
VIEW: Michael Porter. (2015). Aligning Strategy and Project Management. Stern Speakers.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKcSzH1SvCk .
.ASSIGNMENT: Michael Porter, in his "Aligning Strategy and Project Management" lecture has put forth many wise and sometimes counterintuitive ideas, such as the importance of making customers unhappy. In at least 50 words, discuss what you consider the take-away from this talk that you find most useful. Post your report to the 05 STRATEGY AND PROJECTS forum in the Reports folder on the course site.
3/8 - 4/26
Service Learning Project: Crafting a Strategic Vision for the Ortlieb Foundation and steps to get there
The Ortlieb Foundation was founded in 2009 with the mission of providing financial assistance to college students who have or have previously had cancer. The foundation awards $1,000 scholarships to students based upon their financial need, previous academic performance, writing sample, and letters of recommendation. These scholarships benefit college students who have been afflicted with cancer and have undergone treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, while remaining committed and motivated to full-time study at a four-year university, persevering through their illness.
This foundation was recently created by Dr. Evan Ortlieb and is still in its infancy. It has a Board of Directors made up of family and friends and is actively seeking to grow the Board beyond its six members (an Education professor, a teacher, two engineers, a speech pathologist, and a pediatrician). It is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization approved by the I.R.S. as a tax-exempt charitable organization.
Currently it awards approximately three scholarships per semester. By 2018 the foundation would like to increase its awards to 6 recipients per semester and needs assistance making that a reality. Currently, funding comes from members of the Board, friends, and monies raised through sponsored walks, concerts, fantasy online sports, sorority car washes, dinner functions, and employer community volunteer grants. Although the primary aim is to award more scholarships, a long-term goal may be to increase the value of scholarships from the current amount of $1000. However, for sustainability, it needs to generate new streams of revenue before that can be considered.
Currently, the foundation gets inquiries from students in need through referrals from nurses in various hospitals, social workers at universities, and from word of mouth. The Ortlieb Foundation is currently listed in hospital and organizational databases (St. Jude Children’s research Hospital; American Cancer Society; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, etc.) and promotes awareness through its website (www.ortliebfoundation.com) as well as aforementioned events. However, the Ortlieb Foundation has struggled to find recipients because of a lack of referral and public awareness.
The foundation believes possible avenues to increasing both scholarship recipients and donations are through building brand awareness and is considering everything from renaming the organization, re-developing a logo, and redesigning its website. It also feels that establishing relationships with other non-profits--including nursing organizations, charitable foundations, as well as corporate partners--would help the organization grow. These, together with strengthening the bonds with its past scholarship recipients and even friendraising, would help its sustainability.
The foundation needs our help to get started! The Ortlieb Foundation is very open to suggestions in achieving growth. In the field of cancer support The Ortlieb Foundation is finding it challenging to achieve differentiation and needs your consultancy on a number of immediate issues.
Devise a realistic STRATEGIC PLAN for this organization. You should put forth a strategic vision of what the foundation should aim at being in the future. Your plan should include a set of actions (implementation) to move the foundation towards actualizing the strategic vison (goal).
The following long-term concerns should be addressed as part of this strategic plan:
How can the Ortlieb Foundation increase its funding capacity to provide twice as many scholarships by 2018? Be explicit and specific with your suggestions.
What exact steps must be taken to bolster its brand awareness (by afflicted students and potential donors)?
Consider how to achieve these feats with a minimal budget and through pro-bono work.
Are there specific types of corporations, cancer-related or educational organizations, clubs, and societies it should it focus on for partnerships (for fundraising etc.) based on your consultancy research?
GUIDELINES FOR COMPLETING THIS ASSIGNMENT
Do library research (perhaps with the guidance of a reference librarian through the online library interface http://libraries.stjohns.edu or conferring with one in an on-campus library) on how similar foundations raise brand awareness among potential help recipients and donors and how these might suggest steps for the foundation. This information might be in an ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS part of your report. You should consider very creative ways for the foundation to implement its new strategy such as using new technologies, considering making its reach international, looking for very creative partnerships (see who other such foundations partner with) and looking for ways to remove bureaucracy to increase agility and lower costs. Present its results in a PowerPoint presentation format. Post your presentation to the 05 SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT folder on the Blackboard course site. This will be due on April 26th.
COMPETITION AT THE DIGITAL EDGE
READ: Michael Chui and James Manyika. (2015, March). Competition at the Digital Edge: "Hyperscale" business. McKinsey Quarterly.
ASSIGNMENT: Discuss the implications of hyperscale for businesses you know about. Your report should be at least 100 words in length. Post your report to the 09 COMPETITION AT THE DIGITAL EDGE forum in the Reports folder on the course site.
READ: Martin Hirt and Paul Wilmott. (2014). Strategic Principles for Competing in the Digital Age. McKinsey Quarterly. http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/strategy/strategic_principles_for_competing_in_the_digital_age?cid=other-eml-ttn-mip-mck-oth-1412
ASSIGNMENT: Discuss which of the seven digital age trends discussed in the article are most compelling? Explain. Your report should be at least 150 words in length. Post your report to the 09 DIGITAL AGE TRENDS forum in the Reports folder on the course site.
INCORPORATING RISK INTO STRATEGIC PLANS: THE CASE OF CLIMATE CHANGE INDUCED OCEAN LEVEL RISING (not required for Spring 2016 students)
READ (not required for Spring 2016 students): Matthew E. Kahn, "Rising Sea Levels Won’t Doom U.S. Coastal Cities," Harvard Business Review Digital Article, January 20, 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/01/rising-sea-levels-wont-doom-u-s-coastal-cities
ASSIGNMENT (not required for Spring 2016 students): Kahn (2016) discusses how businesses of the 21th century will adapt in coastal areas such as metropolitan New York to the significant rise in sea-level coming as an effect of global climate change. An example of a Brooklyn recylcing business that spent money for a four foot elevation of the business over the ground, which was more than recouped by its not be affected by the 2012 Hurricane Sandy storm surge. In an essay of at least 200 words put forth your ideas on the kinds of things that businesses (real estate development, etc.) might take (relocation, new approaches and technologies etc.) to cope with this risk over the coming decades. Post your reports to the HIGH AND DRY forum in the Reports folder on the course site.