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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: School of Management Short Name: MAN3057
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: AGYEI-AMPOMAH S Dr (SoM)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability

Semester 2 

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment 

Weighting towards Module Mark (%)

Achievement of the learning outcomes for this module is assessed in two ways: 
·              via a coursework assignment; and 
·              via written examination. 



Coursework assignment x 2 tests: 
The focus of the assignment will be on exploring the particular external environmental issues that impact upon financial services organisations' strategic planning, and the methods of analysing the internal environment with a view to strategic management decision making. 




A variety of question styles and approaches may be included in the examination requiring responses that involve both discursive and quantitative elements. 
The paper will be structured as follows: 
·              section A, one compulsory question worth 40 marks, based on a case study covering contemporary issues within strategic management. 
·              section B, four 30-mark questions, any two of which must be answered, covering the remainder of the syllabus. 
Time allowed: 2 hours 




Module Overview

The module’s main focus is the strategic management of financial service organisations and it will cover both strategic management concepts and skills with reference to case studies and empirical evidence.  The module aims to give students an understanding of the nature of strategic management, by providing a comprehensive analysis of pertinent issues, both theoretical and practical, on the topic.  Specifically it aims to build an appreciation of the relationship between the external and internal context of a financial service organisation and their combined impact on strategy development, choice, appraisal and evaluation.  The module will not only broaden students’ knowledge and understanding of the financial services industry but also further develop their intellectual and practical skills via the analysis and evaluation of the strategic management process. 

Module Aims

This module has been designed to enable students to build on previous studies relating to both the day-to-day management and operations of an organisation internally, the concept of broad business strategy, and the external commercial environment within which financial services businesses have to operate.  As a result of earlier studies, students will be familiar with various aspects of managing operations and risk in a competitive environment.  This syllabus aims to draw together the student’s knowledge of these issues and encourage them to reflect on and analyse in some depth how such issues inter-relate in the overall strategic management of a financial services organisation and specifically in managing change in the fast moving financial services markets.  The first section of the syllabus examines key strategic concepts and issues.  The main external and internal drivers of change are analysed, then the syllabus moves on to the process of strategy development, choice, appraisal and evaluation.  Subsequent sections consider issues of control and contemporary topics with specific reference to financial service organisations.  

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to: 
·              analyse different strategic management concepts and explain their specific application to organisations within financial services. 
·              evaluate the main internal and external drivers for change in financial services. 
·              assess the corporate and business level strategies of different financial service organisations. 
·              evaluate strategic options and justify selection. 
·              implement, monitor and evaluate strategy. 
·              analyse the issues of control within diversified financial organisations. 
·              evaluate contemporary issues that impact upon the strategic management process within the financial services industry. 

Module Content

·              An Introduction to Corporate and Business Strategy: This section of the syllabus links the learning undertaken in the generic Business Strategy module in Semester 1 with the specific internal and external environments of the financial services industry.  It covers the strategic management process, the planning ‘loop’ and the alternative origins of strategy, and the concept of the mission statement is explained and evaluated within a financial services context.  The different levels of strategy within an organisation are analysed, along with the alternative schools of strategy and empirical evidence. 
·              The External Environment: This section of the syllabus analyses the various external drivers for change and focuses specifically on those drivers that particularly relate to the financial services industry, e.g. changes in regulatory, competitive and international environments.  Emphasis is placed on managing and planning strategically within the dynamic PESTEL environment.  The inter-linkages between the drivers for change and the complexity that such inter-relationships produce for the strategy manager are evaluated. 
·              The Internal Environment: This section the syllabus examines the various ways of analysing the organisation itself, its resources and competencies.  This section focuses specifically on the competencies that relate to the financial services industry by virtue of its important role in the economy and its financial intermediation role.  The inter-linkages between the drivers for change and the complexity that such inter-relationships produce for the strategy manager are evaluated. 
·              Competitive Positioning: This section of the syllabus builds on the stakeholder analysis and the balanced scorecard approach to goal setting.  It evaluates generic strategies that financial service organisations can adopt in light of the foregoing external and internal analyses.  Overall analysis of resources, competencies and capabilities.  The organisational value chain.  Strategic audit and the evaluation of competitive advantage and competitive positioning within financial services. 
·              Evaluating Strategic Options: This section of the syllabus evaluates the strategic options available to a financial service organisation using the SFA framework (suitability, feasibility and acceptability).  Analysis of the mission statement, goals, aims and values off the organisation and the strategic importance of setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed (SMART) objectives. 
·              Implementation of Strategy: This section of the syllabus focuses on the various considerations involved in the implementation of different aspects of a particular strategy within a financial service organisation.  It analyses business level strategies and competitive strategies; the portfolio approach and strategic outsourcing; competitive advantage and generic strategies; strategic planning and forecasting; monitoring implementation, progress and review with reference to benchmarking and empirical evidence. 
·              Managing the Diversified Organisation: This section of the syllabus focuses on the issues of control of multiple strategic business units (SBUs) and the role of the centre with the SBUs.  Issues of control, coordination, communication and motivation are analysed with reference to case studies and empirical evidence relevant to financial service organisations. 
·              Contemporary Issues within Strategic Management: This final section of the syllabus identifies and evaluates contemporary issues that impact upon the discipline of strategic management. It examines global issues to understand their relevance and possible impact upon strategic decision making within financial service organisations.  It particular it seeks to assess and evaluate issues as to their specific influence. (i.e. Corporate governance/Business ethics/mergers & takeovers/strategic alliances/globalisation of markets). 

Methods of Teaching/Learning

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to ensure that the students achieve the learning outcomes by the end of the module.  The teaching and learning methods include formal lecture and tutorial, private study of text and other supporting materials, a formal coursework assignment, informal exercises, both individual and group-based and pooling of experience and knowledge through class and individual discussion. 
Assessment Strategy 
 The assessment strategy is designed to achieve a balance between testing the student's skills of knowledge recall and understanding and those of evaluation, analysis, research, reflection and application.  This distinction is reflected in the different assessment instruments and the balance between the coursework assignment and the final written examination. 

Selected Texts/Journals

Essential Reading 
Johnson, G., Scholes, H.K. and Whittington, R. (2005) Exploring Corporate Strategy.  7th edn.  Prentice Hall. 
Background Reading 
De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2004) Strategy – process, content and context.  3rd edn.  Thompson Business Books. 
Maister, D. (2003) Managing the Professional Service Firm.  Simon and Schuster. 
Nankervis, A., Miyamoto, Y., Taylor , R. and Milton-Smith, J. (2005) Managing Services.  Cambridge University Press.
Thompson, J. Martin, F. (2005) Strategic Management: awareness and change. 5th edn. Thompson Learning. 
Additional reading sources (and links thereto) will be available through ifs Knowledgebank. 

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