Type of module:

Summary module description:


The module enables practising managers to:

  • develop an understanding of current thinking and approaches to strategy and the field of strategic management

  • think strategically and apply this to analysis and sense making of their organisation and its context

  • demonstrate competence by identifying relevant issues and develop managerial insight through sensitive applications of appropriate tools of strategic analysis; to ‘think organisationally’ and address complex managerial challenges

  • demonstrate knowledge, understanding and competence in advanced strategic analysis, strategic options formation, and critical evaluation of options within a strategic context.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module the expectation of students will be to:

  • understand and apply the contents of a strategic thinking process to their context

These outcomes are achieved through the acquisition of high levels of cognition, understanding and intellectual skills. They will help programme members to develop and demonstrate personal and team competence and behaviours expected at a senior executive level within an organisation

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • assess in detail how the organisation’s internal value-creating resources create a sustainable strategic advantage

  • demonstrate high level abilities and skills in strategic thinking, strategic analysis, synthesis and generation of insight for shrewd strategic decision-making

  • demonstrate skill in applying the core elements of strategy taking into consi deration the central role that the concept ‘value’ plays in strategy; demonstrate how organisations sustain superior performance by virtue of their ability to conceive and create a meaningful offer to stakeholders

  • analyse and understand the organisation and its external competitive environment using a holistic strategic perspective – where opportunities for value creation exist, or alternatively, dangers to the firm’s competitive position

  • i dentify and evaluate appropriate strategic options, assess their impact on the organisation’s strategic position and choose a direction to support future performance

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The module looks into the variety of issues and challenges faced by the managers of firms, considering both country-level issues and firm-specific characteristics, focusing on conceptual frameworks related to choosing the optimal strategy. The aim is for programme members to develop an ability to understand the complexity of stakeholders and markets, and the capacity to successfully manage issues related to strategy. Therefore, two parallel lines of thinking will be developed. First, the cour se material will help you to understand internal business capabilities, the role of political and economic systems, the importance of the competitive environment, and the relevance of other stakeholders. Second, the course presents conceptual frameworks that make sense of the nature and extent of strategy as a multi-dimensional construct. We address the five strategic perspectives of strategy as a pattern, plan, perspective, ploy, and position. We consider what managers of firms do in order to l everage their company-specific advantages in across different environments. The module also sheds light on the most recent developments in strategy.

Module contents by sub-heading;

  1. Defining strategy

  2. Strategic thinking and the value proposition

  3. The organisation’s external context

  4. Organisational resources and capabilities

  5. Strategy dynamics

  6. Appraising the value proposition

  7. Strategic options and evaluation

  8. Strategic contexts

Global context:

The module deals with international issues in the specific subject, perhaps utilises global case studies or speakers giving a global or overseas perspective.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module uses a blended-learning approach, incorporating self-study, face-to-face workshop(s), group work and online tutor support. Key module content will be delivered in a series of one-day workshops. These workshops comprise a mixture of content delivery, discussion in class and break-out into group sessions. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Practicals classes and workshops 21
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 10
    Wider reading (directed) 89
    Essay preparation 30
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 150

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1 x 5000 word written assignment. Deadline dependent on cohort entry.


Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment by 100% assignment (capped at 50%); to be submitted within 6 weeks of notification of module failure, date dependent on cohort entry and to be advised by the Programme Administrator.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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