STRATEGY - 2018/9

Module code: MANM171

Module Overview

The strategy module is designed to appeal to a range of students who may be considering careers in business consultancy or in key managerial roles within a broad spectrum of industries. It is intended to provide students with a holistic understanding of the most relevant theoretical approaches to strategy formulation, implementation and control either in the context of a single-business organisation or a multi-business organisation. The theoretical approaches will draw on the relevant strategy concepts which have developed within the strategic management theory, providing integration with other theoretical concepts developed in other disciplines, such as marketing, finance and organisational behaviour. It will also address the practical implications of the theoretical concepts by providing specific links to specific business contexts in given industries. Students will also be exposed to the international dimension of businesses and related implications for strategy formulation and implementation.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N211

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Concept of strategy and competitive advantage 
The strategic management process
Strategic frameworks for the analysis of the external environment
Strategic frameworks for the analysis of the internal environment
Business level strategy to achieve and sustain competitive advantage
Corporate level strategy: creating value through diversification
International strategy: creating value in global markets
Creating effective organisational designs for strategic success
Strategy and organisational culture
Strategy and leadership
Entrepreneurial strategy and competitive dynamics
Strategic renewal and the role of innovation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have gained knowledge of the strategic management theory, practical, analytical and critical skills with regard to their ability to analyse the strategy of any given corporation, identify strategic issues and dilemmas, critically evaluate alternative solutions to such issues and dilemma, and finally recommend a long-term sustainable competitive strategy. Thus, the assessment strategy is designed to test the K+C+P+T skills that students have gained throughout the Strategy course.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

1. Individual coursework (weight: 60%); 

The individual coursework consists of a business report (2,000 words) where students should apply the theoretical frameworks of strategic management to a real business organisation, analyse the strategic issues that such business faces within a specific organisational and industry contexts, critically evaluate the different strategic options available to the organisation, and recommend realistic solutions with regard to the strategic course of action that the given organisation should pursue in order to attain a sustainable competitive advantage.  The deadline is set for the beginning of week 8 during the academic year 2013-2014. This deadline might change in subsequent years. The coursework will enable to assess K+P+C+T skills.

2. Exam (weight: 40%)

The exam (2 hours closed book) includes a combination of various types of questions where students should demonstrate: the ability to identify and understand the theoretical approaches to the process of strategy formulation, implementation and control; the ability to critically compare and evaluate the different theoretical underpinnings of such strategic approaches by also referring to the relevant business evidence avaiable in practice; and the ability to critically analyse a given business case and offer both realistic and theoretically-driven solutions to a range of strategic issues which are inherent to competitive strategies. The exam will enable to assess the K+C skills.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive (1) written feedback on the individual coursework, (2) verbal feedback via case study analysis during tutorials, (3) by best practices of knowledge transfer such as constructive comments/highlights of specific cases and related common mistakes that students might encounter.  The latter will be provided either verbally in the class or virtually in SurreyLearn. 

Module aims

  • To enable students to appreciate the importance of competitive strategy to firm's long-term success;
  • To provide students with the knowledge and understanding of the most important theoretical models of the strategy process;
  • To provide students with a combination of the theoretical and practical approaches to strategy formulation, implementation and control;
  • To enable students to identify and critically evaluate the strategic issues and dilemmas that managers and consultants face in the phase of developing competitive strategies with regard to specific business contexts; 
  • To enable students to critically analyse business cases via the application of the most appropriate theoretical frameworks of strategic management;
  • To enable students to propose both realistic and theoretically-driven solutions to firms' strategic issues in order to ensure that the recommended strategy is sustainable in the long-term.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand alternative theoretical approaches to the process of strategy development K
002 Understand the theoretical frameworks of strategy formulation, implementation and control; K
003 Understand the concept of competitive advantage and critically evaluate alternative strategic frameworks available to achieve it, at the business level and corporate level KC
004 Apply the most relevant theoretical frameworks of strategy formulation, implementation and control to a real business context PT
005 Critically understand and evaluate the most important strategic issues and dilemmas which concern the development of firms' competitive strategies C
006 Exercise analytical judgement over a range of strategic solutions available and recommend the most sustainable competitive strategy for a given firm in a given industry KCP
007 Write strategy reports by adopting a high standard of professionalism PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 114

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 11

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

The teaching and learning methods are designed to give students the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the relevant theory and business practices and problems which are pertinent to the topics of strategy formulation, implementation and control.

The teaching and learning methods include the delivery of lectures, tutorials, business examples, mini-videos and independent-learning.  Whilst the formal lectures are mainly designed to illustrate and explain the theoretical concepts and models of strategy formulation, implementation and control, the tutorials illuminate the theoretical concepts and models by reference to, and explanation of a range of specific real business cases. The tutorials will mainly consist of critical and analytical evaluation of a a comprehensive case-study. Furthermore, practical cases will be shown via the adoption of business examples in the class and mini-videos made available in SurreyLearn.

The critical and analytical evaluation of the case-study will contribute to developing a practical and critical view of strategy. Therefore, prior to attending the lecture and tutorial, students are required to undertake the essential reading of the theory and case study. To this end, advanced information will be posted on the SurreyLearn website on a weekly basis.

The learning and teaching methods include:

22 hours of lectures (theory);
11 hours of lectures (business examples);
3 hours of tutorials (case study discussion);
11 hours of guided study (virtual learning via use of mini-videos);
103 hours of independent learning (researching, reading, analysing data and reporting writing).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for STRATEGY :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.