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HI6006 Competitive Strategy
TRIMESTER 1 / 2018
Holmes Institute is committed to providing the highest quality education in a dynamic, student-centred learning environment. Holmes Institute fosters in its students rational thought, intellectual integrity and social responsibility.
Holmes Institute Faculty of Higher Education offers business, creativity and ICT courses that combine disciplinebased excellence with practical application. The faculty operates on campuses in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Hong Kong.
The faculty offers a Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Professional Accounting, Bachelor of Fashion Business, Bachelor of Information Systems, Graduate Diploma in Business, Master of Business Administration and a Master of Professional Accounting.
Details about the members of the faculty can be found on the homepage of the Faculty of Higher Education at
At Holmes Institute, the degree programs offer domestic and international students the opportunity to study a set of contemporary units in the field of business, creativity and ICT. These units prepare students for the challenges in business environments of the 21st century. These programs emphasise the global and crosscultural dimensions of business. Teaching utilises a combination of delivery methods and includes critical analysis and case study methods. A combination of exams, case studies and company analysis are used in assessment.
The degree programs of Holmes Institute focus on the following:
• Critical and Creative Thinking
• Communication
• Cooperation and Teamwork
• Digital Literacy
• International Perspective
• Knowledge and Lifelong Learning
• Social Responsibility and Community Engagement
Welcome from the Subject Coordinator, Professor David Robinson
HI6006 Competitive Strategy approaches business management from the perspective of the board and senior management. In an uncertain, complex and fast changing world, essential management skills are the ability to think strategically, learn quickly and adapt rapidly. With these skills, as well as a framework of models, students will be equipped to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies that ensure business success.
This subject combines knowledge acquired by students in other Holmes MBA subjects and introduces new knowledge, with an emphasis on analysis, evaluation and application, so as to produce well-rounded graduates who are ready to contribute to business success.
On completing this subject the students will have achieved the following:
Graduates will be able to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge of Strategy including the use of strategy tools such as Porter’s Five Forces, SWOT, Life Cycle, Ansoff matrix, BCG matrix, Value Chain and Scenario Planning.
Graduates will be able to analyse complex strategy environments and develop confidence in working with others to develop and apply strategic alternatives.
Application of Knowledge and skills
Apply theoretical and practical knowledge of strategy in the diagnosis of strategy issues and the formulation of strategies. Examine the key challenges faced by companies and contextualise the major approaches companies apply as they formulate strategy. Critically analyse the relationship between an organisation’s strategy and its structure.
Learning Outcomes:
Examine the key challenges faced by companies and contextualise the major approaches companies apply as they formulate strategy
Analyse complex strategy environments and develop confidence in working with others to develop and apply strategic alternatives
Critically analyse the relationship between an organisation’s strategy and its structure.
Synthesise theoretical and practical knowledge of strategy in the diagnosis of strategy issues and the formulation of strategies
• Graduates will be able to, integrate theoretical and practical knowledge of Strategy Assessment 1, 2 and 3
• Graduates will be able to analyse complex strategy environments and develop Assessment confidence in working with others to develop strategic options within rapidly 2 changing business environments
Application of Knowledge and skills
Assessment • Graduates will be able to, apply theoretical and practical knowledge of strategy in the 1, 2, 3
diagnosis of strategy issues and the formulation of strategies
• Explain how the organization works within the external environment and analyse the Assessment external environment to create competitive advantage 1
• Examine the key challenges companies face and have and contextualise the major Assessment approaches companies employ as they seek to dominate complex environments 1
• Identify the resources and capabilities available and the best way to utilize those Assessment resources and capabilities for maximum impact 1
• Position an organization to successfully implement identified strategies effectively Assessment
• Identify the value of intellectual assets in their contribution to organisational capacity Assessment and competitiveness 1
• Evaluate a range of strategies for managing change and demonstrate a critical awareness of the contemporary context of organisational change for creating and Assessment
sustaining competitive advantage as a business strategy, creating value through 2 diversification as a corporate level strategy and creating value in global markets as an international strategy
• Critically analyse the relationship between an organisation’s strategy and its structure Assessment and deal with complex issues, both systematically and creatively 2
• Manage innovation and foster corporate entrepreneurship and recognise Assessment opportunities for creating new ventures 2
• Discuss current research associated with the consequences of global economic Assessment integration and its influences on business management and strategic development 2, 3
• Demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to Assessment successfully negotiate for positive change 2
• Critically evaluate established strategy theories and conceptual frameworks Assessment
1, 2, 3
Awards Duration Core/Elective Subject weight
MBA, MPA 1 semester Core 3 credit points
Mode of delivery On campus
Recommended Nil
Workload Students are expected to attend all classes
Delivery 2 hrs of lectures and 1 hr tutorial or equivalent per week
Independent study 5 hrs per week
Unit Coordinator Professor David Robinson
Gold Coast Lecturer Professor David Robinson
Melbourne Lecturerr Rachel Brisbane
Iral Scholten Castillo
Nhi Mai
Sydney Lecturers Dr. Jas Paul Chawla
Jim Crowe
Brisbane Lecturers Dr. Kris Iyer
Rod Samimi
When contacting your lecturer please write from your Holmes Webmail, stating your degree, the unit code and name, your student number and name, your campus and class number, and which assignment or tutorial you are referring to in your query.
Students please note:
Holmes Institute provides each student with a Holmes webmail. Faculty and Administrative staff can only communicate with you using your Holmes Institute mail address. Emails from private and/or business email accounts cannot be used and may not be answered.
Individual Assignment Week 5 (5pm Fri) Upload Soft copy to blackboard 20% 1200
Group Assignment
(report and presentations) Week 10 – Written report (5pm Fri) Upload Soft copy to blackboard
[Presentations will be scheduled during class time in weeks 6-10] 30%
2000 words
Final Examination Exam Week 50% 2 hours
Individual and Group Assignments
Your assignment must be completed and submitted on time in the prescribed format and via the online Safe Assign portal. Late penalties will apply to overdue assignments.
Business Presentations
You are expected to arrive for any presentation ahead of time. If you are late for your presentation, you may not be eligible to present and may not receive any marks. Where a business presentation involves a group, all group members are expected to be present. Unless your lecturer advises otherwise, students should dress in business attire.
Class Tests - Not applicable to this subject
Final Examinations
Each trimester concludes with the final examinations that are held during a designated examination period. You are expected to be present for the final examinations, which are held during Examination Week, the exact dates/times and venues are announced via your Blackboard. For each subject you will be allocated a designated seat in one of the examination venues. Your examination venue and seat will be confirmed by the end the teaching period of each trimester via your Blackboard.
Assessment Length and Marks Criteria
1. Individual Assignment 1200 words; 20 Marks Comprehensive discussion of at Write an essay of explaining the Individual least 3 of the following: main strategy development tools PESTEL, 5F, RBV, PROFIT, I/O, and how they are used SWOT, and CIA with academic
references and practical examples
2. Group Report 2000 words; 30 marks Demonstrate application of the Write a report on one of 5 Group following (where relevant to the nominated cases, highlighting key chosen case):
aspects of competitive strategy [includes group presentations] Business Strategy, Corporate
Strategy, Acquisitions and
Structure, International Strategy, Cooperative Strategy, with academic references
3. Final Exam 2 hours; 50 marks Demonstrate critical analysis and
ability to synthesise theoretical and practical knowledge to diagnose and evaluate strategic issues and formulate strategy
Prescribed Textbook (compulsory):
Title: Strategic Management – Competitiveness and Globalisation 6e 2017
Author(s): Hanson, D, Hitt, M, Ireland, R.D, Hoskisson, R
ISBN: 9780170373159
Recommended Readings:
• Ghemawat, P. 2016. The Laws of Globalization and Business applications, Cambridge University Press (Kindle App offers free e-book download)
• Rumelt R., (2011), Good Strategy, Bad Strategy, Crown Business, ISBN:978-0-307-88623-1.
• Johnson, G., Scholes, K. & Whittington, R (2008), Exploring Corporate Strategy – Text and Cases, 8th Edition, Prentice Hall.
• Other recommended readings will be advised in the unit blackboard site from time-to-time
How this subject will help you Assurance of Learning
On completion of this subject, you will be able to do the following: Individual
(formative and
Week 5 Group
(formative and
Week 10 Final Exam
Exam Week
1. Examine the key challenges faced by companies and contextualise
the major approaches companies apply as they formulate strategy
2. Analyse complex strategy environments and develop
confidence in working with others to develop and apply strategic
3. Critically analyse the relationship between an organisation’s strategy and its structure.
4. Synthesise theoretical and practical knowledge of strategy in the diagnosis of strategy issues and the formulation of strategies
Assurance of Learning Principles adhered to in this Map:
1. Each Subject Learning Outcome is assessed at least once
2. Subject Learning Outcomes must be pitched at the ‘right level’
3. Early assessments are more formative in nature (hence timely and comprehensive feedback needed); Final Exam is summative.
4. Exam is to assure that individual learning, relative to Subject Learning Outcomes, has been achieved and is therefore NOT limited to the examination of content or only materials taught (Masters subjects aim to move students through levels 3-5; see key below)
* Levels of learning (per Bloom’s Taxonomy)
1. Knowledge (define, list, discuss)
2. Understanding / Comprehension (explain)
3. Application (apply, consider how, demonstrate)
4. Analysis (analyse, apply logical reasoning, diagnose, explain why)
5. Synthesis (formulate, build a case for or against, put together, propose)
6. Evaluation / Creation (evaluate, make a reasoned judgement, construct a solution, recommend a course of action, consult, create a proposal)
Week Topics Case Tutorial Activities
1 The Strategic Management Process (chapter 1) and an Introduction to Case Analysis (P420-422) 3 minicases of ch1
2 Analysing the External Environment (P35) – PESTEL & 5F Otis
Case 12
3 Analysing the organisation’s internal capabilities (P72) - RBV Kindle Case 6
4 Business Strategy (P104) – SWOT & CIA Sydney Case 1
5 Competitive Dynamics (P132) – AAA & Ansoff Individual
Assignment due 20%
6 Corporate Strategy (P164), including BCG Movies Case 8
7 Acquisitions and Structure (P192) Super Case 3
8 International Strategy (P222), includes expatriation Carlsberg Case 9
9 Cooperative Strategy (P258) BP Russia Case 7
IKEA Case 10
10 Corporate Governance (P290) & Organisation Structure (P325) Group Report due 30%
11 Leadership (P362) and Entrepreneurship (P392) Gore Case 13
12 Sustainability and the Revision Class
13 Study Week
14 Exam Week *
* Please consult the academic calendar on blackboard for details regarding study week and exam week
To be eligible to pass this subject, you must complete all forms of assessment and demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. All assignments must be submitted electronically ONLY using a word processor, uploaded to Blackboard via the Final Check and Submission of SafeAssign.
Submission deadlines are strictly enforced and late submission incurs penalties of 5 (five) % of the assessment value per calendar day unless an extension and/or special consideration has been granted by the lecturer prior to the assessment deadline. Unless an extension and/or special consideration has been granted, no assessments are accepted after 14 calendar days of the due date, or the end of the trimester for assessments due later in a trimester. Students need to allow up to 24 hours for the Final Check of their assignment submission to SafeAssign to be available.
Results, including the final grade, can be viewed via the Grade Centre on Blackboard. Results for all assessments are usually published within two weeks of the due date of the assessment, and the final examination respectively. Students who wish to appeal their mark for any assessment are advised to do so within 14 days of the publication of results (please follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook).
Please note that students are eligible to view any of their assessments. For continuous assessments during the teaching period, students need to contact their lecturer immediately after the publication of results. For viewing of the final examination script, students need to complete the respective form (available on your Blackboard) and pay the applicable administrative fee. The form needs to be submitted within 14 days of the publication of the final/overall results. Please note that there is no review/remark option available for any student assessments.
Holmes Institute views any forms of academic misconduct as most serious offences. Academic misconduct in any form, including plagiarism, contract cheating and cheating in a class test or examination, is not tolerated and will be dealt with according to the policies and procedures set out in the Holmes Institute Student Handbook.
Plagiarism occurs when one uses another person’s ideas or manner of expressing them and passes them off as one’s own work by failing to give appropriate acknowledgement (that is, referencing the source). It is important that student reference their work appropriately. The Faculty of Higher Education at Holmes Institute uses the Harvard style of referencing. A detailed guide to referencing can be found in the Student Handbook and Resource Centres. It is expected that you will be familiar with the Harvard style of referencing.

High Distinction HD 80% and above
Distinction D 70 – 79%
Credit CR 60 – 69%
Pass P 50 – 59%
Fail NN 0-45% (did not meet the standard required according to the learning outcomes in the Subject Guide )
Faculty Pass* FP Awarded by Board of Examiners in exceptional circumstances
Supplementary Exam Granted (a temporary grade) NS Supplementary examination granted
Deferred Exam (a temporary grade) ND Officially Deferred examination
Fail NA Student did not submit any work according to the schedule in the Subject Guide
No results NR Student did not submit any assessments
Fail NX Student did not attempt supplementary assessment
Result Withheld RW Additional assessment and/or work required
Result Withheld WH Outstanding fees or non-return of Holmes Institute materials
* This grade is sometimes referred to as a conceded pass at other institutions
Explanation of Letter Grade
HD Outstanding work which exhibits sophisticated understanding and critical synthesis, analysis and evaluation of the subject matter. While the work utilizes opinions of others, judgements about the value of the subject matter are made and drawn together in an organized whole. Gaps in the subject matter might also be identified and the implications discussed.
D Substantial work of high quality, which demonstrates a clear understanding of the subject matter, in which the relationship between the constituent elements are identified clearly and discussed with some level of critical analysis. The work also applies abstract ideas in concrete situations.
CR Sound and competent work, which demonstrates a reasonable but not complete grasp of the subject matter. The work utilizes recall and paraphrases the work of others concerning the subject matter. Some basic level of critical analysis is evident. Originality in the work is rarely evident.
P Work that demonstrates a satisfactory engagement with the subject matter such that the student is said to have a general understanding of the field. Provides an adequate basis for further study.
NN Did not meet the learning objective of the subject
Holmes Institute uses Blackboard Learn as its online learning platform. All students enrolled have access to Blackboard and it is imperative that students log onto their Blackboard immediately after they enrol for the trimester. Blackboard Learn allows students to view and download their lecture material, grades, important announcements on their subjects and discussion rooms for selected subjects.
Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to check Blackboard on a regular basis. It is expected that students will have viewed lecture materials and additional readings before class. All students are advised to familiarize themselves with the use of Blackboard. Guides to Blackboard are available in the Resource Centre on each campus. Should you have difficulties accessing and/or using Blackboard, please contact your lecturer or the Holmes Institute Blackboard Helpdesk on:
As part of their degree studies, students are expected to engage in additional research. Textbooks and teaching materials available in the Resource Centre will be of use here. In addition, current students have access to a range of electronic academic journals via ProQuest, which is accessible once you log into Blackboard. Holmes Institute also supports students using Google Scholar.
Should you require any assistance with the use of ProQuest and/or online research, please contact your lecturer and/or the Resource Centre staff on your campus.
Students who have difficulties with their studies and/or specific forms of assessment are encouraged to contact their lecturer/tutor, academic mentor or the Student Engagement and Support Coordinator.
Holmes Institute offers regular Academic and Study Skills Workshops throughout the semester, which are useful addressing important academic skills and are free for any student to attend. Students with insufficient academic progress may be required to attend these workshops and sessions with the Academic Progress Team.
Academic and Study Skills Workshops are offered throughout the trimester for essay writing, doing research using ProQuest, giving business presentations, referencing and examination preparations. Announcements are made on your Blackboard and on noticeboards on campus.
Do I need to obtain 50% in each assessment to pass a subject?
NO, in order to pass any subject, you need to meet two requirements, namely achieve an overall mark of 50 or more AND obtain at least 40% of possible marks in the final examination (hurdle or threshold requirement). There is no hurdle or threshold requirement for assessments other than the final examination though and you may still be able pass the subject by achieving the overall 50% and at least 40% in the final exam, even if you got less than 50% in an assessment.
I missed an assessment for a subject, do I now fail the subject?
Whilst Holmes Institute requires that you attempt all pieces of assessments prescribed for any subject, there may be circumstances, where you can still pass a subject even if you have missed an assessment. When you miss a class test due to medical reasons and you submit a medical certificate within three working days, for example, you may be eligible to have the weight of the class test added to the final examination. Please see the Student Handbook for details.
Can I view my assessments?
As a student, you are entitled to view any of your assessments, that is any assignment but also the class test for any subject, and upon request/application also the final examination script. Please note that viewing any assessment is an administrative process and no academic advice is given and students are neither allowed to take pictures or notes of the assessment. Students are only allowed to view any assessment with an administrator present, and for a limited period of time (please check the Student Handbook for details). Other than assignments, the class test and examination script remains the property of Holmes Institute.
Where can I see my marks and grades?
All your results will be available via the Grade Centre on your Blackboard. You can access the results for each subject in the respective folder. Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with the letter grades, especially for the temporary grades of NS (supplementary examination awarded) and ND (deferred examination), which can be found earlier in this subject outline.
I got a final result of 52/NS. Have I passed the subject?
NO, since you didn’t achieve the required 40% minimum in the exam. The letter grade NS (supplementary examination awarded) indicates, you have not passed the subject, but you have been awarded the opportunity to pass the subject if you successfully pass the supplementary examination. Please familiarise yourself with the Supplementary Examination Policy in the Student Handbook.
When do I need to attempt a NS/supplementary or ND/deferred examination?
If you have been awarded a supplementary (NS) or deferred (ND) examination, you are required to sit the examination during the next examination period for these examinations, which is different from the final examination period at the end of the teaching period each trimester.
I missed to sit for a NS/supplementary or ND/deferred examination, do I have to repeat the subject? YES, if you do not attempt any supplementary or deferred examination during the designated examination period, you will receive a Fail/NN grade and you have to repeat the subject.
If I have a question about the subject material and/or assessments, who do I contact?
For any questions related to any subject you study, the first point of contact is always your lecturer. The subject outline includes the contact details of each lecturer on each campus. Please ensure that you use your Holmes Webmail for any email correspondence with your lecturer.
I did not submit my assignment by the due date, can I still submit and receive marks?
If you submit your assignment after the due date, penalties of 5% of the weight of the assignment apply per day that you submit late. A maximum penalty of 50% applies. Your lecturer may not accept your assignment if you submit later than 14 days after the due date. If you are late with your assignment, please contact your lecturer.
I am not a member of a group for my group assignment. What do I do, can I submit individually?
If you work on and submit a group assignment individually without prior approval from your lecturer, you may be penalized and only receive 50% of the mark of your assignment. If you don’t have a group to work with, please urgently consult your lecturer.
I have problems with members in my group. What can I do and who do I contact?
Each group is required to manage its members and contributions. In exceptional circumstances, however, and where initial negotiation attempts of the group members were unsuccessful, you should contact your lecturer.
Studying at degree level, you may experience a number of difficulties and/or challenges. These might involve academic, personal and/or professional issues. At Holmes Institute, we have a range of people who can help you with various challenges. The following table identifies contact points should you require any support.
Although we may be able to help on the spot, please note that we can help best if you make an appointment. Please use your Holmes webmail to communicate with staff at the institute at all times.
Information for Current Students Holmes Institute Student Handbook
Academic Probation / Mentoring Academic Mentors, Dean
Accommodation Holmes Institute Home Stay
Computers, Blackboard, Email IT and Blackboard Help Desk emails:;
Disability Needs Holmes Institute Campus Directors
Employment and Careers Career Development Team
Enrolment Registrar, Higher Education Coordinator on Campus
Exams Registrar, Higher Education Coordinator on Campus
Financial Issues Holmes Institute Campus Directors
Personal Issues Dean, Student Engagement and Support Team, Campus Director
Proquest Database Librarian on Campus
Study Skills Student Engagement and Support Team
Visa Issues, COEs etc. Registrar, Higher Education Coordinator on Campus
This subject outline was prepared by the Course Development Team for the Postgraduate Programs, Faculty of Higher Education, Holmes Institute. It was correct at the time of publication. Change to the Subject Outline may occur at any time. However, the Faculty of Higher Education endeavours to inform the students accordingly. This publication is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism, or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process or placed in computer memory without written permission. Enquires should be made to Holmes Institute Faculty of Higher Education. © Copyright 2017.
Analyse Show the nature of something identifying the essential elements and g how they are related.
Argue Present the case for and/or against a particular proposition.
Compare Identify the characteristics/qualities that resemble each other. Look for similarities but also differences.
Contrast Emphasize differences between things, events, problems, or qualities.
Criticise Express your judgement about the truth of factors or views mentioned. Come to conclusions and discuss the positive points as well as possible limitations.
Define Give clear and concise meanings of an item. Do not provide a detailed explanation but include limits of the definition and how the item defined differs from other items.
Describe Recount, characterise, outline, and relate in sequence.
Discuss Examine, analyse and give reasons for and against. Be comprehensive in your answer and give details, usually to assess how satisfactory something is.
Evaluate Carefully appraise in relation to some standard including advantages, limitations, the costs and benefits as appropriate; attempt to make a judgement.
Examine Investigate critically, appraise a subject or matter in detail.
Explain Clarify, interpret, and elaborate on the material presented. Give reasons for differences of opinion or results, and try to analyse reasons behind it.
Illustrate Use a concrete example, diagram, or figure to explain or clarify a problem or issue.
Indicate Identify and then focus attention so as to clarify.
Justify Prove or give reasons for particular conclusions or decisions.
Outline Present the main features or aspects showing main points and subordinate points. Do not include minor details and emphasize the classification of things.
Review Examine a subject critically, analysing and commenting on important or controversial statements.
State Present the main points in a brief and clear sequence. Do not give specific details or examples.
Summarise Give the main points or facts in a condensed, concise form.
(Source: Adapted from Monash University,, accessed 14 February 2013)
Academic Calendar 2018
2018 Trimester 1
12 – 16 Mar 2018 Orientation Week (New Students only)
02 Mar 2018 Last date for fees payment (continuing students only)
19 Mar 2018 Trimester 1 Lectures begin
09 Apr 2018 Census Date*
09 June 2018 Trimester 1 Lectures end
10 – 14 June 2018 Study Week
15 – 24 June 2018 Examinations Week (exams may be held on all days of the weekend)
24 June 2018 Trimester 1 ends
09 July 2018 Publication of results
24 June – 16 July 2018 Holidays
2018 Trimester 2
16 – 20 July 2018 Orientation Week (New Students only)
06 July 2018 Last date for fees payment (continuing students only)
23 July 2018 Trimester 2 Lectures begin
13 Aug 2018 Census Date*
13 Oct 2018 Trimester 2 Lectures end
14 – 18 Oct 2018 Study Week
19 – 28 Oct 2018 Examinations Week (exams may be held on all days of the weekend)
28 Oct 2018 Trimester 2 ends
12 Nov 2018 Publication of results
28 Oct – 12 Nov 2018 Holidays
2018/9 Trimester 3
02 Nov 2018 Last date for fees payment (continuing students only)
12 Nov 2018 Trimester 3 Lectures begin
05 Dec 2018 Census Date*
23 Dec 2018 – 4 Jan 2019 Lecture Recess
07 Jan 2019 Trimester 3 resumes
16 Feb 2019 Trimester 3 Lectures end
17 –22 Feb 2019 Study Week
23 Feb – 03 Mar 2019 Examinations Week (exams may be held on all days of the weekend)
18 Mar 2019 Publication of results
* Census Date is the last date for a student to change their enrolment, i.e. add or withdraw from units.

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