module specification

MN7131 - Advances in Strategy (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Advances in Strategy
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
255 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Individual case study report (c 2,500 words)
Coursework 50%   Individual strategy paper (c 2,500 words)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module is designed to have a firm academic base and to provide conceptual tools for the effective functioning of the strategic manager.
The module focuses on four areas,
The development of strategic thought   
The role of ideas and creativity in strategic management 
The analysis and implementation of strategy
Future developments in strategic thought
The module will contain a strong experiential learning component.

Module aims

This module aims to facilitate the development of analytical and critical awareness such that participants are better able to formulate, implement and evaluate organisational strategies in a socially responsible manner. In particular to:
Understand the diachronic development of strategic thought leading to the situation as it exists today with many, often conflicting, schools of thought in strategic management enabling an insight into the potential and weaknesses inherent in particular approaches.
Examine the roles of creativity and rationality in the development of strategic thought.
Explore generic strategic issues applicable to any organisation and specific strategic issues relating to particular organisations.


The development of strategic thought:

  • The background to strategy: the development of management thought.
  • The development of strategic thinking in an organisational setting.

The role of ideas and creativity in strategic management:

  • The planning paradigm
  • Incrementalism and reactive approaches to the strategy process.
  • The role of rationality and creativity.
  • Corporate, business, functional and network strategies.
  • Approaches for identifying strategic issues.

The implementation and analysis of strategy:

  • Resource based and environment-led approaches to strategy formation.
  • The role of mission, objectives and stakeholder analysis.
  • Performance measurement and evaluation.
  • Identification and evaluation of strategic options.
  • Techniques and frameworks for environmental analysis.
  • Implementation issues

Learning and teaching

A variety of methods are employed including lectures, cases studies, seminars and use of internet/web based tools.

Overall the course uses experiential learning, critical reflective and interactive methods of learning and teaching

E learning
Students will be timetabled for regular workshops which they must attend. Students should also look at Weblearn/Blackboard regularly to see any preparation activities that they need to undertake or slides or other material that they may wish to print or download. Additionally students should spend time each week online maintaining and updating their Learning Journal which is on WebLearn/Blackboard. This journal records not only what students have done in class but also other activities, and thoughts and reflections which contribute to their learning. Students will be guided in class as to what they should focus on each week. It is important that students make their entries regularly as they will help to consolidate learning throughout the module.
The module tutor / lecturer will regularly review entries in students Learning Journal and will comment and leave feedback. This provides regular formative feedback.

Entries in students learning journals can only be viewed by the student and the tutors on the module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Analyse an organisational situation using appropriate concepts, models and analytical techniques.
  2. Identify (and justify the choice of) key strategic issues facing an organisation.
  3. Creatively develop and rationally evaluate a range of socially responsible strategic options to address strategic issues in a particular organisational situation and consider strategy implementation issues.
  4. Recognise and make valid inferences concerning the influences of individuals, groups and the organisational context on the strategy process in organisations.
  5. Contrast and compare schools of thought in the strategy literature and consider their utility in the light of a particular organisational situation.
  6. Articulate evaluations and ideas both in writing and orally.

Assessment strategy

There are two assessments, the first involving the analysis of a case study. The second will be a paper which focuses on a particular aspect of the strategy literature and explores it in relation to (a) real-world organisation(s).


Strategy Analysis

  • De Wit, B and Meyer, R (editors) (2010). Strategy: Process, Content, Context Ed4. Thomson International Business Press: London.
  • Grant R (2010), Contemporary Strategy Analysis: concepts, techniques, applications Ed 7. Mass (USA): Blackwell.
  • Johnson G, Whittington R & Scholes K (2011), Exploring Corporate Strategy, Ed9 Prentice Hall
  • Johnson G, Scholes K and Whittington R (2009), Fundamentals of Strategy, Prentice Hall.

Strategic Schools of Thought

  • Jenkins,  M., Ambrosini, V., and Collier, N. (2007), Advanced Strategic Management: a multi-perspective approach, Edition 2, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Mintzberg H, Ahlstrand B and Lampel J (2008), Strategy Safari, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall.
  • Whittington R (2nd ed) (2001), What is strategy – and does it matter? Thomson Learning.

Creativity and Innovation

  • Bilton C (2007) Management and Creativity, Blackwell
  • Isaksen S & Tidd J (2006) Meeting the Innovation Challenge: Leadership for Transformation & Growth, Wiley
  • Kelley T & Littman J (2001) The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity for IDEO America’s Leading Design Firm Profilebooks
  • Meyers H & Gerstman R (editors) (2007) Creativity: Unconventional Wisdom from 20 Accomplished Minds Palgrave
  • Miller W (1999) Flash of Brilliance: Inspiring creativity where you work Perseus Books
  • Proctor T (1995) The Essence of Management Creativity Pearson Education

Further Reading:
Hamel, G, and Prahalad, C K (1994). Competing for the Future, Boston, Mass.: HBS Press.
Mintzberg H, Lampel J, Quinn JB and Ghoshal S (2003), The Strategy Process: concepts, contexts, cases, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Ohmae, K (1982), The Mind of the Strategist, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
Porter, M E (1998). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, The Free Press, New York.

Academic Journals
Long Range Planning and Harvard Business Review and Strategic Management Journal
are all available via the Library catalogue