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STRATEGIC BUSINESS POLICIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

The Evergreen State College

2000-2001

 
Faculty: Masahiro Arima Cynthia Kennedy  Brian McMorrow
Office: Sem 4168 Sem 3164  Sem 3156
Phone: x5076 x5009  x6524
Fax : 866-6794  866-6794  866-6794 
E-mail: arimam@evergreen.edu kennedyc@evergreen.edu mcmorrob@evergreen.edu
Program Description.
This program is shaped by the belief that liberal arts graduates bring a special kind of talent to the study and practice of business management. They are "big picture" thinkers skilled at framing the larger issues that often drive strategic thinking in public and private organizations. Liberal arts graduates, and Evergreen graduates in particular, learn how to use collaborative processes which enable them to span and build upon differences in theory and application. They do this by becoming strong critical thinkers and active listeners, by reasoning about ethical principles and moral outcomes, by communicating their ideas clearly in both written and oral formats.

Graduates of this year-long program will know enough about finance, organizational behavior, marketing and other disciplines to recognize when this expertise is needed and how to get it, but will not devote the bulk of their educational resources to any given area of specialized training. Their specialized skill is integrating all the elements of business management into a comprehensive strategic plan which will be competitively successful and ethically consistent with their sense of what is right, just and fair.

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Program Objectives.

Students who successfully complete this year-long program will learn how to:

Program Structure.

This course is designed to mimic the workplace in that it requires self-discipline, individual work and teamwork. Please follow the schedule closely and attend all seminars, workshops, lectures and team meetings. It will be hard to achieve the program objectives of teamwork, communication and professionalism without actively attending and contributing to class. Late submittals communicate to us that you are not keeping up with your work and may result in a reduction of credit.

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Program Content:

This program seeks to identify the larger social, political, economic and environmental issues shaping business policy as we enter the 21st century. Weekly book seminars, lectures and workshops will enable us to examine issues from all sides. We will also evaluate the strategy of a number of real businesses such as Starbucks and Dell Computer. Students will write seminar papers, academic journals and team case reports as well as work to develop oral presentation skills.

Fall Quarter will focus on the basic tools you will need to conduct strategic policy analysis. This will include finance, accounting, economics as well as leadership skills. Seminar readings will focus on a range of larger issues that influence strategic success. A two-day overnight retreat will help us get acquainted and select teams for the quarter. This retreat, required of all students, will form the foundation for the year's work much of which is performed in teams, hence the formation process is important.

By Winter Quarter we will have developed many of analytical skills necessary to do more in-depth analysis of global business and cross-cultural issues. We will continue to engage in case analysis and teams will work with a local business to analyze its strategy and offer recommendations for improvement. Lectures, workshops and seminar readings will all focus on international issues and contemporary institutions.

Spring Quarter will culminate with a computer simulation. Students will create teams of four people that serve as the top managers for a multinational athletic footwear company. The simulations will run for eight-plus years, with one academic week representing one year of the game. Each team will be competing against the other teams in the class making production, marketing, financing, and strategic decisions. Decisions are made via computer.  Spring Quarter will also offer students the chance to choose one of three options: an internship, a business plan or an academic paper.

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ACADEMIC STANDARDS

It is required that each assignment be an original piece of work (i.e., the piece has never been submitted to or has not been the basis for an assignment in another program) but is your own work. Ideas that are not yours must be referenced so that credit can accrue to the original sources. If any situation arises in which there is ambiguity or uncertainty about whether the work fulfills the letter or spirit of Evergreenís Academic Standards, please bring it to our attention. Failure to adhere to these standards will result in a loss of credit.

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Fall Quarter Required Readings:

  1. Thompson and Strickland, Strategic Management Concepts and Cases, 1999 *
  2. Thompson and Stappenbeck, The Business Strategy Game, A Global Industry Simulation - Player's Manual *
  3. Warren, Survey of Accounting *
  4. Miller, All My Sons
  5. Tannen, Nine to Five
  6. Whyte, The Heart Aroused
  7. Zemke, Raines, Filipczak, Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers, Nexters in Your Workplace
  8. Narayan, The Guide
  9. Durenmaat, The Physicists
  10. Heilbroner, The Economic Transformation of America
  11. Omae, Ohmae, The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in the Interlinked Economy
* These three expensive texts will be purchased once and used for three academic quarters.

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