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Strategic Management

Fall 2019

W 5:30-8:15pm Friday 106

Professor Victor Zitian Chen

Friday Building, Room 240C

704-687-7645 (or 77645 in campus)

By appointment

Strategic Management Competitiveness & Globalization: Concepts and Cases (12th Edition)

By Michael A. Hitt, R. Duane Ireland, and Robert E. Hoskisson

Textbook questions: Brooke Walter

Dropbox Link


Course Description

This course is designed as an integrative and interdisciplinary capstone study on key concepts, tools, and principles of strategy formulation and competitive analysis. It is concerned with managerial decisions and executions for defining, measuring, and enhancing firm/organizational performance and survival in competition. The course covers topics on strategic competitiveness, external environments, internal organization, business-level strategy, competitive rivalry and competitive dynamics, corporate-level strategy, merger & acquisition strategies, international strategy, cooperative strategy, corporate governance, organizational structure and controls, strategic leadership, and strategic entrepreneurship. The course takes a holistic and long-term thinking in the role of a general manager, viewing the firm as a whole and connecting it with external ecological systems of people, resources, communities, and institutions.


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should learn the key concepts, tools, and principals for strategy formulation and competitive analysis. Specifically, students should be able to:

1.             Analyze the external environments of opportunities, threats, industry competition, and competitors.

2.             Analyze and design the internal organizations of resources, capabilities, core competencies, and competitive advantage.

3.             Analyze and formulate strategies at the business- and corporate-levels.

4.             Complete an independent case writing that compares two rivals in their external environments, internal organizations, and differences in their strategies.

5.             Formulate a plan for any of the following strategies: Merger and acquisition, internationalization, and inter-firm cooperation.

6.             Formulate a plan for any of the following management functions: Corporate governance, organizational structure and control, leadership, and entrepreneurship.


Course Outline and Schedule


August 21

Introduction and orientation


Chapter 1. Strategic management and strategic competitiveness

·         Trivia question #1: Which country now has the largest number of internet users?

·         In-class case discussion “Competition in the airline industry”

September 4

Chapter 2. The external environment: Opportunities, threats, industry competition, and competitor analysis

·         Trivia question #2: Which company is currently the world’s largest restaurant chain?

·         In-class case discussion “The informal economy: What it is and why it is important”


Chapter 3. The internal organization: Resources, capabilities, core competence, and competitive advantage

·         Trivia question #3: Among the top 10 Forbes 2019 billionaires, two men made their fortune in companies of the same industry, using completely opposite pricing strategies? Which are these two companies?

·         In-class case discussion “Zara: The capabilities behind the Spanish ‘Fast Fashion’ retail giant”

Take-home Quiz 1 in Canvas due noon next Monday


Group case study part 1 – Comparative analysis of two rivals in their external environment and internal organization

Due noon October 9


Chapter 4. Business-level strategy

·         Trivia question #4: Which North Carolina-based analytics company refused to go public in order to reserve benefits for employees and customers?

·         In-class case discussion “Is JCPenney killing itself with a failed strategy?”

October 2

Chapter 5. Competitive rivalry and competitive dynamics

·         Trivia question #5: Which US company’s slogan is (was) “Everyday low price”?

·         In-class case discussion “FedEx and UPS”


Chapter 6. Corporate-level strategy

·         Trivia question #6: Which company is the largest conglomerate in the US by revenue?

·         In-class case discussion “Sany Heavy Industry Co., Ltd”

Take-home Quiz 2 in Canvas due noon next Monday


Group case study part 2 – Comparative analysis of two rivals in their business- and corporate-level strategies

Due noon October 30


Current topic: Business performance for multiple stakeholders (Guest speaker)

·         Trivia question #7: How many goals are listed by United Nations for sustainable development by 2030?

·         In-class case discussion “Annual reports and all-stakeholder key performance indicators”


Chapters 7 and 8. Merger and acquisition (M&A) and international strategy

·         Trivia question #8: Which two big US banks are in a merger into Charlotte?

·         In-class case discussion “Wal-Mart into Germany” (Materials to be distributed before class)

November 6

Chapter 9. Cooperative strategy

·         Trivia question #9: In March 2019, three US companies announced a joint healthcare venture. What are these three companies?

·         In-class case discussion “Alliance formation, both globally and locally, in the global automobile industry”

Take-home Quiz 3 in Canvas due noon next Monday


Group case study part 3 – Comparative analysis of two rivals in any of their recent strategies in: M&A, internationalization, or inter-firm cooperation

Due noon November 27


Chapters 10 and 11. Corporate governance, organizational structure and controls

·         Trivia question #10: Which country is ranked by the World Bank to have the strongest protection of minority investors?

·         In-class case discussion “The imperial CEO, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon”

Take-home Quiz 4 in Canvas due noon next Monday


Thanksgiving break – No classes

December 4

Chapters 12 and 13. Strategic leadership and strategic entrepreneurship

Group case study part 4 – Formulating a strategic plan for one of the two rivals in its ongoing competition

Due noon December 11


·         Trivia question #11: Which company is America’s biggest unicorn, that is, the most valuable private company?

Final presentations

For more information of the university’s academic calendar, see


Grading policies


You can make-up no more than 3 missed classes. Each make-up is attending an international business-related community or speaker event, and submitting a one-page summary by December 4.

10 points


There are four take-home quizzes in Canvas. Each quiz has 20 single choice questions (0.5 point each). Make-up quizzes are available in the last week of the semester. There is a 10% penalty for make-ups.

40 points

Choose 1 of 2

Option 1: Group case study–Appendix 1

50 points

Option 2: Individual research experience–Appendix 2

*Extra/bonus credit

Trivia questions (0.5 point each). In the end of a class, a trivia question will be posted for students to do extra research outside the classroom. Their answers will be submitted in Canvas by the beginning of the next class.

Up to 5.5 points


All members of the course are expected to adhere to the University Policy 407, The Code of Student Academic Integrity. Violations of this code include but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, falsification and fabrication, multiple submissions, abuse of academic materials, and complicity in academic dishonesty. Violators will receive a failing grade and may risk suspension from the University. Additional details on the Code of Student Academic Integrity are available at


The Belk College of Business strives to create an inclusive academic climate in which the dignity of all individuals is respected and maintained. Therefore, we celebrate diversity that includes, but is not limited to ability/disability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.