Module Details

BE431-6-SP-CO: Business Strategy

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2016/17
Department: Essex Business School
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: Yes
Pre-requisites: (BE400 or IA711)
Pre- or co-requisites: BE410

Supervisor: Christina Volkmann
Teaching Staff: Christina Volkmann & Marina Michalski
Contact details:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description


The business world is increasingly global, complex and fast changing. While some organisations are consistently successful over a long period of time, many fail and are forgotten forever. Since capital, labour and management are increasingly mobile, in theory it should become consecutively easier to imitate the strategies of winning companies and dissipate their profits. In practice, however, only a few firms become long-term leaders. Why?

While there appears to be clear link between successful industry performance and superior strategy there is little agreement on what a strategy really is or how to develop a good one.
This module introduces students to the concepts and tools of business strategy making. It encourages a critical appreciation of how firms make sense of their business environment and how they position themselves in their market. It also critically examines the process for making strategic choices and how firms turn strategy into action.

Module aims
- To provide an overview of the different approaches to strategy, and bring you in contact with the corresponding literature.
- To enable you to connect these approaches to business situations.
- To train you in strategic thinking, and in analysing and making sense of the complexities of the business world around you.
- To enable you to critically analyse strategy from a political, cultural and ideological perspective and work with approaches to strategy, whether in the future you will have to make strategy yourself or whether strategy will be imposed upon you by organisations or superiors.

Module outcomes
- Recognise and understand the principles and practices involved in business strategy making
- Link a specific case to general theoretical issues and approaches.
- Make sense of a business situation, analyse it using relevant models and develop a strategy
- Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the different tools and techniques used in strategy making

Learning and Teaching Methods

Teaching Delivery

The module consists of nine weekly lectures, five fortnightly tutorials and a revision session. The lectures introduce you to key strategic management concepts and theories, and the tutorials are aimed at demonstrating the application of the concepts to contemporary business practice. Lecture slides will be posted on Moodle.
In the seminars you will be working on a group project and be given a task to work through. Your class tutor is there is a facilitutor. As a result of the classes you are asked to produce a poster for a poster presentation to be held in the last lecture.


40 per cent Coursework Mark, 60 per cent Exam Mark


A group project on which you will work on in the classes with a poster presentation worth 10 % and an individual written report worth 30 %.

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 during Summer Examination period.


  • A significant proportion of the material on this module, including all of the case studies, is drawn from the following publication. It is recommended that all students taking this module purchase or otherwise gain access to this essential title:
  • Clegg, S. Carter, C. Kornberger, M. And Schweitzer, J. (2011) Strategy Theory and Practice, London: Sage

Further information