Western Washington University Western Washington University

Business Policy
Spring 2012


Course Syllabus:

Meets: AW 302, CRN 23076 (Thursdays 8:00 pm - 9:50 pm)
Instructors: Associate Professor Craig Dunn
Office: PH 206a
Office Hours: by appointment
Phone: 360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)
E-mail: craig.dunn@wwu.edu
URL: www.dunn.cc

MBA 591 -- BUSINESS POLICY (4) Prereq: MBA 516 or MBA 595. Study of administration and policy making from a top-management viewpoint. Integrates the marketing, financial, production and functional fields of management within a strategic management framework. Case study and simulation techniques used. (MBA program comprehensive exam, in the form of an integrated case, is a part of the course.) Normally taken in the last quarter of the program.

This is an intensive class with active participation being critical to both your learning as well as success of the course as well as the client organization. The design is structured as a culminating experience for the MBA involving integration, synthesis, and executive planning - all with the objective of identifying and applying strategic models to analyze real-world business problems, formulate strategic solutions, and make sound decisions and recommendations.

"This is an exciting time to be a manager, full of challenges and opportunities. Today’s organizations are increasingly complex, unpredictable, and fast-paced. Significant social and economic trends such as diversity, globalization, and technological advances have fundamentally changed the nature of managerial work. In such an environment, the ability to think broadly and deeply from a variety of perspectives is one of the most important skills a manager can have."

Paula J. Caprioni
The Practical Coach

A maximum of 100 points may be accumulated in this course. Point distribution varies as follows (see grading contract at back of syllabus for details):

o Seminar Presentation 20-30 points
o Reflective Journal 20-30 points
o Team Consulting Competition 40-60 points

The following grading standards will be used to determine your final course grade. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress throughout the term.

93 - 100 points


90 - 92.9 points


86.5 - 89.9 points


83 - 86.4 points


80 - 82.9 points


76.5 - 79.9 points


73 - 76.4 points


70 - 72.9 points


66.5 - 69.9 points


63 - 66.4 points


60 - 62.9 points


In a section entitled Grades and Intellectual Honesty, the Western Washington University catalog states:

Grades are given for the student’s work and achievement. Fair evaluation of students’ work and helpful instruction are possible only when students submit work which genuinely reflects their own reading, computation, research and thoughts and is their own production, whether in writing or other format(s). Intellectual dishonesty can result in a failing grade and the placement of a note in the student’s permanent record. For the university’s policy on academic dishonesty, see Appendix D.

Students involved in any form of academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism or `cheating') on any coursework will receive a failing grade for the course.

'. . .my spirit never walked beyond our counting house. . .[It] never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole.'
'But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge.
'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business. . .'

-Jacob Marley
A Christmas Carol
(Charles Dickens)

Two books are assigned: Youngme Moon (2010) Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd (Crown Business) and W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne (2005) Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant (Harvard Business School Press). Additionally, assigned case studies, reading materials, podcasts, and course videos will be available on the course schedule. Students are expected to reflect on assigned material before the scheduled discussion of that material, and to come prepared to discuss same.

The first two class sessions are reserved for presentations related to the required texts. Pairs of students will be tasked with fully vetting the material in these books, chapter by chapter, and presenting a comprehensive summary to the entire class. Each chapter will additionally be 'compressed' into a one-page synopsis, which when submitted to the course instructor and compiled will amount to an abridged version of the text - to be made available for distribution to all course enrollees. As part of their seminar overview, presenters are to suggest how the topics outlined in each chapter might be meaningfully related to each of the three projects for the team consulting competition (see below).

Each week the class schedule will indicate a 'prompt' for your reflective journal (see course schedule for due dates). This term-long assignment accounts for twenty to thirty percent of your course grade, and is designed to engage you in linking the course content with 'real life' application.

To post a journal entry, 'cut and paste' the 'prompt' from the course schedule into a new thread within your own journal, and then provide their reflections on the 'prompt.' The reflective journal is to be kept in Blackboard. To post an entry, do the following:

o Click on the 'journal' button in the left menu bar
o Click on 'view journal'
o Click on 'create journal entry'
o Enter a BRIEF journal entry title
o Cut and paste the 'prompt' from the course schedule into the BODY of the journal entry
o Click 'post entry' (following completion of journal entry)

Each student has access to only their own journal. Only each individual student, as well as the faculty members, have access to these posts – which are time and date stamped upon submission. Entries are due by midnight of the Saturday following the date on which 'prompt' is listed on the course schedule.

"Greed, for want of a better term, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all of its forms-greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge-has marked the upward surge of mankind."

-Gordon Gecko
Oliver Stone's Wall Street

Each student shall participate in a team-based consulting project, with the primary objective being to link theory and practice. Each six member team is to prepare both a comprehensive written analysis as well as a formal class presentation of their strategic analyisis of one of three organizations. This analysis is to include: (1) executive summary; (2) company overview; (3) industry analysis; (4) customer analysis; (5) competitive analysis; (6) marketing plan; (7) operations plan; (8) management team; (9) financial plan...as well as (10) appendix used to support the balance of the business plan.

Two teams will be assigned to each of three projects, one governmental (Western MBA), one not-for-profit (Lydia Place), and one for-profit (2Morrow Mobile). Express your preference for a project client by clicking here. Each team is to craft an independent business plan containing all the elements outlined immediately above. Teams are not to collaborate with one another; this is a competition! Final reporting will take the form of a 30 minute oral presentation followed by a 20 minute question and answer session. The audience for the presentation will be a panel of community business leaders who will determine the winning team for each of the three projects. The determination of the judges will be final, and will be factored into the team grade for this assignment.

Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in evaluating the team project are listed in the table below.

o accuracy of issue identification
o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o use of theory to support recommendation(s)
o soundness of recommendation(s)
o feasibilty of recommendation(s)
o professionalism of presentation
o creativity of approach
o ability to engage the class in discussion

There are no examinations for this course.

Outlined above are the course activities available to students. Ranges of possible points have been listed above. Each student is to fill out and return to the instructor a binding contract for work to be completed this term (see below). You are to fill out the number of points desired for each activity. The total number of points must total 100. Points for each activity will range from 20-60% of the course grade, depending upon the individual assignment and weightings. Points must be selected in increments of 5.

For example, a student may choose to minimize the points on the team consulting competition by completing all other assignments at the maximum points possible:

o Seminar Presentation 30 points
o Reflective Journal 30 points
o Team Consulting Competition 40 points

In all cases, class participation is mandatory. Failure to attend scheduled class sessions may be reflected in final course grading.

To send your MBA 591 contract, fill out the following form thoroughly and completely. This form must be submitted electronically. A confirmed copy of each contract will be posted to Blackboard by the end of the first week of class.

MBA 591 Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MBA 591 student and Professor Dunn for work to be completed Spring term, 2012. It is understood that this agreement is not subject to change. Additionally, course participation (or lack thereof) may be reflected in final course grading.

Section #

First Name: Last Name:

Complete E-mail Address:

Point Objective for Seminar Presentation:

Point Objective for Reflective Journal:

Point Objective for Team Consulting Competition:

Please make certain the above point objectives total 100.

By sending this form, you agree to be evaluated on the basis of this contract as well as by the terms of the course as outlined in this syllabus.


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