BUU44501 Strategic Management: Theory and Practice

(10 ECTS)


Dr. Eamonn Caffrey

Phone: +353 086 856 3906 
Email: caffreea@tcd.ie 
Office Hours: 11:15am – 12:15pm on Wednesday

Module Description:

Unlike other business courses that concentrate narrowly on a particular function or piece of the business, strategic management is a comprehensive course concerned with the future direction of an enterprise. It cuts across the whole spectrum of business and management. The centre of attention is the total enterprise the industry and competitive environment in which it operates, its long-term direction, purpose and strategy, its resources and competitive capabilities, and its prospects for success 

Throughout the course, the spotlight will be trained on the foremost issues in running a business enterprise: ‘what must future managers and leaders do in order to make the organisation a winner in the game of business?’ The course explores how good strategic management leads to good business performance. It critically examines the techniques of strategic analysis and the frameworks and tools for crafting, executing and evaluating a well-conceived strategy. Cases and industry practitioner experience are used extensively to ground the experiential learning cycle of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation (Kolb, 1984).

Learning Outcomes:

Having completed this module, you should be able to: 

  1. Articulate the role of strategy in the modern organisation, use the vocabulary of strategy, and distinguish strategic management from operational management. 
  2. Incorporate learning from other subject areas into the strategy paradigm.
  3. Engage with and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of the various theoretical frameworks and key debates in the field.
  4. Apply strategic management models and frameworks to business situations using action learning techniques.
  5. Demonstrate the importance of integrating different parts of the module to enrich understanding.
  6. Increase analytical skills and learn to make decisions under uncertainty.
  7. Identify areas to strengthen towards enhancing your professional ability to practice strategic management in the future.

Skills Developed in This Module:

Satisfactory completion of this module will contribute to the development of the following key skills:

  1. Be able to gather the data necessary to develop a strategic picture of an organisation in its environment.
  2. Be able to apply the tools of strategic management to analyse business and organisational situations and identify the strategic issues it must address.
  3. Be able to clinically evaluate strategic options and make highly formidable recommendations in support of future direction.
  4. Be able to identify and design the key components of an implementation plan to lead and execute on the proposed recommendations.
  5. Be able to clinically develop and present a complete strategic analysis for a business or organisation in any business industry or sector.
  6. Be able to effectively participate in team-based assignments and harness good analytical, problem solving, logical reasoning, creative, and critical thinking skills.

Recommended Texts/Key Reading:

Whittington, R., Regnér, P., Angwin, D., Johnson G. and Scholes, K. (2020), Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases, 12th Edition, Pearson.

General Supplemental Readings

Core readings only are highlighted below in the module schedule. A good number of supplemental readings have been made available and aligned to each particular topic. Supplemental reading can help to expand knowledge and understanding of a topic area. In addition to the supplemental readings made available, details of two textbooks of good interest to the field of strategic management are noted below.

  • De Wit, B. (2020), Strategy: An International Perspective, 7th Edition, Cengage.
  • MacKay, B., Arevuo, M., Mackay, D. and Meadows, M. (2020), Strategy: Theory, Practice, Implementation, Oxford University Press


Team-based Strategic Analysis of 2 x Case Studies (40%) 

A continuous assessment task comprising 2 x team-based strategic analyses of case-based organisations assigned over the course of the academic year (See schedule below).  

Each strategic analysis task will aim to identify the strategic position. As the module progresses, later analysis work will also be concerned with strategic choices, and strategy implementation. 

For assessment purposes, each case analysis is weighted at 20% of total marks. This continuous assessment component is a team-based activity comprising 40% of total marks.  

Students are required to form into teams of 5-6 people per team. Case organisations for analysis and submission dates are set out below. Each submission to be completed in a PowerPoint presentation format with a set Maximum limit of 20 slides per analysis and 4,500 words. Each analysis will also require a written summary that concerns the process of learning associated with undertaking team-based strategic analysis. Maximum limit of 1,000 words per summary. More detail will be provided during lectures. 

Individual Reflection Paper (15%) 

This assessment component requires you to critically reflect on module content and to identify key areas to focus and strengthen on in the future towards enhancing skill-level and ability. This aligns well with both the capabilities-based view and knowledge-based view of strategy. The aim is to provide you with an opportunity to give critical thought to module elements that interest you, and deemed relevant, towards heightening your ability to engage effectively well with the practice of strategic management in your professional career ahead. It can be positioned as a high-level self-directed developmental roadmap to heighten knowledge and strengthen skill and ability for the respective areas of strong personal interest. All module topics are considered relevant for the purpose of this assignment. Wordcount limit of 1,500 words. 

Individual Project-based Real-world Case Analysis (45%) 

This component requires an individual analysis of a case organisation. You will be required to undertake a full and complete strategic analysis (strategic position, strategic choices, strategy implementation) of a real-world organisation based on the gathering and analysis of secondary data to inform the full analysis. The case organisation will be advised on 4th March 2024. The work will be due for submission on 12th April 2024. The submission comprises two elements: (a) strategic analysis @ 3.500 words; and (b) learning process summary (500 words); the combined work is evaluated collectively. 

Guidelines for Preparing Assignments (N.B. all marks issued before Court of Examiners’ Meeting are provisional)

Assignments must be typed. On group / team assignments, each member will receive the same grade unless a peer appraisal scheme has been agreed and used. Assignments are due by the specified time and date. Any exceptions to these conditions must be approved by the instructor (via College Tutor) in advance. N.B. Use of plagiarism software (www.tunitin.com) will form part of the submission process.

Late Submission Policy

Unexcused assignments submitted after the designated submission deadline may be penalised by 5% of the grade awarded for each working day late, or part thereof. In the event of a non-medical reason for non-submission of a term-assignment a student should consult with and receive prior approval from the lecturer concerned via their College Tutor. Students unable to submit a term assignment for medical reasons must produce a medical certificate to the School of Business office within three working days of the missed submission date. Certificates received after that time will not be accepted.


Students will have the opportunity to review peer team members, and this could impact the individual mark awarded based-on the individual contribution of effort towards team-based continuous assessments. The mark can be significantly impacted if the degree of effort (evidence-based) is deemed to be well below average.