MBAX9143 Strategic Management - 2020

Weekly Online
Term 3
6 Units of Credit

Offering Selection
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Strategic Management is designed to help you to apply knowledge in understanding how the managers of modern, technology-rich, sustainable organisations look to generate, communicate and fulfil a strategic vision and deliver outcomes that fulfil the purpose for which the organisations were created.

Whether you work in small business or major international organisations, in the public sector, private industry or not-for-profit sector, strategic management plays a central role in understanding and defining answers to four fundamental questions.

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want or need to go?
  • How will we get there?
  • How will we make sure we stay on track to get there?

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The course is designed to help you reflect on the role of strategic management and draw on concepts, issues and principles highlighted in other courses that you have or will undertake in this degree program. As a result, you will understand how effectively managing the diverse range of technology and integrating business management disciplines empowers you to be more effective in achieving your organisation's strategic goals in a rapidly changing, technology-disrupted organisational environment.

In this course, current key strategic concepts and major theoretical frameworks for strategic thinking and strategic management are presented to help you understand how to answer the four fundamental questions considered in this course (see Course Summary).

You are asked to apply these theories and approaches via analysis and strategic option development for your own organisation, by participating both individually and as part of a team to generate strategic options via analysis in action learning case studies of organisations facing real strategic issues, and by sharing and drawing on the experiences of your work and class colleagues in online or face-to-face classes.

Additonal Course Details

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Course CoordinatorCraig Tapper

The role of your Class Facilitator is to support the learning process by encouraging interaction among participants, providing direction in understanding the course content, assessing participant progress through the course and providing feedback on work submitted. Class Facilitators comprise both academics and industry practitioners with relevant backgrounds.

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

Course Structure

Unit 1: 'Strategy in modern business organisations' explores what strategic management is all about, how change and disruptions such as emerging technologies impact strategic thinking in organisations, and the major approaches to strategic management - proactive and reactive.

Unit 2: 'The strategic management process'. As reflected in its title, in this Unit we will closely examine the stages of both strategy formulation and strategy execution that make up the strategic management process.

Unit 3: 'Generating insights about the future' explores the way in which strategic managers must understand and analyse their organisation's external environment in order to generate insights about the future condistions that will drive strategic success.

Unit 4: 'Building competitive and strategic advantage'. Understanding capabilities and strengths in a strategic sense moves on from the external forces at work outside the organisation to help us understand the internal environment environment: the strengths, strategic capabilities, resources and assets available to create strategy and which of these are strategically valuable.

Unit 5: 'Strategically agile organisations'. Building an adaptive culture and capability creates an understanding of how modern organisations need to develop capacity and understanding of how to remain agile, what strategic agility and strategic resillience are, and how the organisation adapts in order to respond to changes in the environment quickly and appropriately.

Unit 6: 'Technology and strategy'. Understanding the impact of technology including emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning as enablers of strategic and competitive advantage is as vital to an effective strategic manager in the 21st century as understanding finance, marketing, human resources and sustainability.

Unit 7: 'Innovation and new product development'. Almost every business writer, commentator, policy-maker and reader of strategic management today recognises that innovation, creativity and the capacity to generate a stream of new value propositions are among the most significant forms of strategic and competitive advantage.

Unit 8: 'The strategic toolkit ' - examines a range of generic strategic options such as mergers & acquisitions, diversification and concentration strategies and strategic alliances. While one of the key outputs that strategic managers look for from analysis is strategic options, many strategies have been tried, tested and used successfully before.

Unit 9: 'Managing intellectual capital and knowledge'. Like innovation and technology, the forces of globalisation and the almost white-water-like turbulence of change in many industries and ecosystems today, one of the clear strategic differentiators and competencies to emerge has been harnessing intellectual capital and knowledge.

Unit 10: 'Cross-border strategies' considers the unique opportunities and challenges that arise from an organisation looking to compete or operate in multiple countries.  Considerations of the advantages and challenges and the cahraracteristics likely to maximise the success of operating in multiple national markets are important to ensure potential success.

Unit 11: 'Implementing strategy'. Strategy most commonly fails not because of poor planning or lack of strategic thinking and creativity, but because of the failure to implement it properly.  This units forcuses on the necessary elements to ensure that good strategy forumulation is accompanied by effective strategy execution.

Unit 12: 'Recognising and engaging key strategic stakeholders'. Finally, we need to bring all the strategic thinking together into something that we can convey effectively to the organisation's major strategic stakeholders in order to get them engaged and commited to take the organisation forward.

6. Course Resources

Learning resources

You have four major resources to help you learn:

  1. The course materials, comprising the weekly study units with readings, references, insights and commentary. You will do much of your learning outside the classroom by working through the course materials, and by completing the exercises as they arise.
  2. Your online or face-to-face classes with your facilitator.
  3. The facilitator's job is to guide your learning by conducting class discussion, answering questions that might arise after you have done the week's work, providing insights from his or her practical experience and understanding of theory, providing you with feedback on your assignments, and directing discussions and debates that will occur between you and your co-participants in the classroom.
  4. Your co-participants. Your colleagues in the class are an invaluable potential source of learning for you. Their work and life, and their willingness to question and argue with the course materials, the facilitator and your views, represent a great learning opportunity. They bring much valuable insight to the learning experience.
  5. In addition to course based resources, please also refer to the AGSM Learning Toolkit (available in Moodle), for tutorials and guides that will help you learn more about effective study practices and techniques. Specific to this course, the toolkit includes sections on working in teams, oral presentations and handling written assessments.

Course materials

The course materials comprise this Course Outline, the Assessment Details and 12 Units.

Recommended reading

  1. Burgelman, R A, Christensen, C M & Wheelwright, S C 2009, Strategic management of technology and innovation, 5th edn, McGraw Hill, Boston.
    ISBN 9780073381541
  2. Thompson, A A, Peteraf, M, Gamble, J E & Strickland, A J III 2020, Crafting & executing strategy: The quest for competitive advantage: Concepts and cases, 22nd edn, McGraw-Hill Irwin, Boston.
    ISBN: 9780078029509
  3. Grant, R, P 2020, Contemporary strategy analysis, 10th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton Qld. ISBN 9781119495727; eBook ISBN 978119495673

Other resources


BusinessThink is UNSW's free, online business publication. It is a platform for business research, analysis and opinion. If you would like to subscribe to BusinessThink, and receive the free monthly e-newsletter with the latest in research, opinion and business then go to Link.

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

AGSM courses are revised each time they run, with updated course outlines and assessment tasks developed. Changes relating to any industry developments will also be included.

Additionally, the AGSM surveys students each time a course is offered. The data collected provides anonymous feedback from students on the quality of course content and materials, class facilitation, student support services and the program in general. This student feedback is considered during all course revisions. 

Student Response

Feedback from the last offering of the course (T1 2020) was positive.

Some concern was expressed around the style of online activities in online classes and whether there was opportunities for more engagement with fellow members of the class to share experiences.  The need for more clarity around assessments was also raised with more interaction as assessments are approached being suggested.  

Response to Student Feedback

Facilitators are being encouraged to vary the style of participation activities across the term and seek feedback on which are the most effective learning activities.   In Term 2 a series of webinars lead by the Course Coordinator (recorded and streamed) are being trialled as a way of addressing this concern.

8. Course Schedule

Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
Week 1 Assessment 4 Unit 1: Strategy in modern business organisations

Thorughout the duration of the course

Assessment 4 : Participation
Week 2 -Unit 2: The strategic management process
Week 3 -Unit 3: Generating insights about the future
Week 4 Assessment 1Unit 4: Building competitive and strategic advantage
Assessment 1 : Individual audiovisual presentation
Week 5 -Unit 5: Strategically agile organisations
Week 6 -Unit 6: Technology and strategy
Week 7 Assessment 2Unit 7: Innovation and new product development
Assessment 2 : Individual analysis - Contribution to the team assessment
Week 8 -Unit 8: The strategic toolkit
Week 9 -Unit 9: Managing intellectual capital and knowledge
Week 10 -Unit 10: Cross-border strategies
Week 11 -Unit 11: Implementing strategy
Week 12 Assessment 3Unit 12: Recognising and engaging key strategic stakeholders
Assessment 3 : Team assessment report

9. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

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