School of Business and Management

BUSM086 Strategic Management


1 (2017/18)



Module organiser

Professor Sukhdev Johal

Module overview

This module will explore various theoretical approaches used to explain what markets managers choose to compete within, why and how. We will begin by examining the "traditional" competitive positioning and resource-based views, and critically evaluate their appropriateness in an increasingly networked, globalised, digitised and fluid competitive environment. We will then go on to consider more contemporary approaches to strategic management, such as the importance of strategy process, business ecosystems, behavioural approaches and time/timing. Throughout the course we will examine a variety of organisational contexts, assessing the extent to which firm strategy models may be applicable to public sector, voluntary, entrepreneurial or other types of organisations as well as firms.


40% coursework and 60% examination 

Indicative reading list

The reading list for the course will be made up of articles on strategy from journals such as the Harvard Business Review, California Management Review or Academy of Management Perspectives. There will also be one 15-20 page business case assigned each week. Illustrative readings include:

  • Blenko, M. W., Mankins, M. C. and Rogers, P. (2010) The decision-driven organization, Harvard Business Review, June: 54-62
  • Bower, J. L. & Gilbert, C. (2007) How Managers' Everyday Decisions Create or Destroy your Company's Strategy, Harvard Business Review, Feb 2007: 72-79.
  • Camillus, J. C. (2008) Strategy as a wicked problem, Harvard Business Review, May: 99-106.
  • Collis, D.J. & Rukstad, D.J. (2008), “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?” Harvard Business Review, 86(4): 82-90.
  • Eccles, R. G., Newquist, S. C., Schatz, R. (2007) Reputation and its risks, Harvard Business Review, Feb: 104-114
  • Eisenhardt, K. M. (2001) Strategy as Simple Rules, Harvard Business Review, January 2001:107-116.
  • Gavetti & Rivkin, (2005) How Strategists Really Think: Tapping the Power of Analogy, Harvard Business Review, April 2005: 54-63.
  • Ghoshal, S. (2005) Bad Management Theories are destroying good management practices, Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(1): 75-91.
  • Kim, C. and Mauborgne, R. (2005), “Blue Ocean Strategy: From Theory to Practice” California Management Review, 47(3): 105-121.
  • Lovello, D. and Sibony, O. (2010) The case of behavioural strategy, McKinsey Quarterley, March
  • Olson, M., van Bever, D., Verry, S. (2008), “When Growth Stalls” Harvard Business Review, 86(3): 50-61.
  • Pfeffer, J. (2010) Power Play, Harvard Business Review, July-August: 84-92
  • Porter, M.E. (1996), “What is Strategy?” Harvard Business Review, 74(6): 61-78.