BUSA 4900


Professor:    Dr. Robert J. Williams

Office:            Thaxton Hall 308

Phone:          229-259-5505 or 229-245-2233

Fax:               229-249-2795

E-mail:          robwill@valdosta.edu


This course is designed to allow students the opportunity to integrate the various functional areas of business in order to analyze business situations and opportunities. Students will examine how the formulation and implementation of various business strategies serve to achieve organization objectives and enhance firm value. Both business policy concepts and their application in various case settings will be examined.
Prerequisites: BUSA 2106, MKTG 3050, MGNT 3250, and FIN 3350.

Required Text:  Strategic Management and Business Policy, by Wheelen and Hunger, 9/e, Prentice-Hall.


Students are expected to attend each class meeting and to participate in the discussion.  Attendance will be recorded daily, and will be used as a factor in determining each student’s participation grade.  Also, a student who misses more than 20% of the scheduled classes will be subject to receiving a failing grade in the course.


There will be three (3) strategy concept exams during the semester.  In addition, a team project involving a case presentation is required.  In all, each student can earn up to 400 points during the semester.  Final course grades will be calculated based upon the following format:

         strategy concept exam 1  -  100 points

         strategy concept exam 2  -  100 points

         strategy concept exam 3  -  100 points

         team project                    -  100 points

Team Project:  The team project will involve each student working in a 5-7 member team and preparing both a written and an in-class presentation of an analysis of a firm.  The selected firm must be a firm listed on the 2004 Fortune 500.  The instructor will assist each team in selecting a firm for analysis.  The analysis should include those strategic management concepts and techniques covered during the semester.  At the end of the semester, each team member will provide the instructor with an evaluation of his/her fellow team members as to their efforts in helping to prepare the team case presentation.  The written component of the team case analysis should be well written, and the in-class presentation should utilize various visual aids (PowerPoint presentation, overheads, handouts, etc.) appropriate for a business presentation.  Also, each team member should have a part in the actual class presentation.  This is good practice for those future business presentations you may have to make!!!  


Students should make arrangements to PROMPTLY make-up missed strategy concept exams resulting from medical and work related situations. 

Grades will be based on the following scale:

                A  =  90%+

                B  =  80% – 89.99%

                C  =  70% – 79.99%

                D  =  60% – 69.99%

                F  =  less than 60%, or by missing more than 20% of  the scheduled class meetings


Several case studies of well known business organizations will be discussed during the term.  Each student should read the case (note: a question or two from the cases might be on the exams) and focus on the following areas of analysis:

            (1)   identification of pertinent issues 

            (2)   proper evaluation and analysis, especially financial analysis

            (3)   SWOT analysis

In preparing for a case analysis the student is encouraged to draw upon his/her total knowledge of business concepts as covered in accounting, finance, management, and marketing.


Students are encouraged to express their own ideas and opinions about any topic covered in class.  STUDENTS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO DISAGREE WITH THE INSTRUCTOR IF THEY FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT A TOPIC AND THEY FEEL THE INSTRUCTOR’S POSITION IS INCORRECT – such open debate adds to the classroom experience and makes the subject more interesting.

American Disabilities Act (ADA) and available resources at VSU

Students requiring classroom accommodations or modifications because of documented disability should meet and discuss this need with the professor at the beginning of the semester. The Access Office for Students with Disabilities works with students with special needs. Students not registered with the Special Services Program should contact the Special Services Office in Nevins Hall, Room 1115. The telephone number 229-245-2498 (voice) and/or 229-219-1348 (TTY).

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