Management 4650-03
Strategic Management 
Summer Quarter 2009
Kurt Martsolf

CC 268
Wednesdays6:30 to 10 p.m.

Offices: Tr 907 (Hayward)
LB 247 (Contra Costa)
Hours:  Mondays:  12:50 to 1:50 p.m. (Hayward)
Wednesdays:  5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (Contra Costa)
Phones:  (510) 885-3798 (Hayward)
(925) 602-6747 (Contra Costa)
(925) 787-0248 (mobile)
Home Page:

Additional office hours may be made available by appointment with the instructor.

Required Materials

Course Objectives

Expected Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

Grading Schedule and Weights

Midterm Examination
July 29
Case Presentation #1
(see attached)
Case Presentation #2
(see attached)
Class Participation
(see attached)
Final Examination September 2



Keeping pace with the state of modern business Internet access to the World Wide Web and e-mail is required for the duration of the course.  If you do not have access away from campus there are several computer labs on campus that are available without charge.  This syllabus, class updates and a variety of CSUEB related links will be posted on the web site  In addition, each student should maintain and regularly check an e-mail account to receive urgent updates.  In the first week of class each student should visit the home page above and follow the links to the CSUEB pages or log on to and click on the “Add to E-Mail” button under “Management 4650, Section 03.”  This e-mail only needs to be sent once, and within a few days you will receive a confirmation that you have been added to the mailing list.

Grading Policy

The final letter grades for the course will be determined through the use of a modified curve.  The examinations, the case presentations and overall individual class participation will each count as 100 points.  The total points accumulated during the course will be the primary input for assigning final grades.  However, trends in performance, both individually and in comparison to the class at large, may have a positive effect on the final grade.  In general, the grades may be expected to fall within the following distribution:

Final Grade
93 to 100
90 to 92
87 to 89
83 to 86
80 to 82
77 to 79
73 to 76
70 to 72
60 to 69
59 and below


Case Presentations and Examinations

Students will be organized into groups for case research and presentations.  Each group will consist of two to six students and will analyze and present two separate cases.  Results of the group research and analysis must be submitted in both a written report and an oral presentation.  Each member of the group is expected to participate in the research, preparation and oral presentations.  The written report must be submitted to the instructor at the class meeting before the day of the presentation.  If additional equipment is required for the oral presentation the request must be made to the instructor at least one week in advance of the presentation date.  The oral presentations will be limited to 30 minutes, including time for class discussion.  Research reports and oral presentations will be graded as a team effort for each group.  In addition, each presenter must submit a separate "Group Evaluation Form" at the time of the presentation.  The Group Evaluation Form may be downloaded from the "Subject Review" page.

Examinations will be closed book.  However, to prevent unnecessary memorization it is recommended that each student bring an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper containing notes to the examinations.  No other notes, scratch paper or other study aids will be permitted.  The examinations will be based on readings from the text, the lecture material and the oral presentations. Examinations will focus on students' comprehension of the material through multiple choice, true-false and essay questions.

Make-Up Examinations

Make-up examinations will not be given, except in cases of illness or other extenuating circumstances.  A make-up examination will be authorized only if the student notifies the instructor prior to the scheduled examination, and provides a written explanation on the first day back in class.  If the instructor cannot be reached during office hours, please send an email explaining the circumstances as soon as possible.  

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades are assigned only in accordance with University policy as specified in the CSUEB Catalog.  In addition, the Department of Management and Finance requires a "Report of Incomplete Grade" form to be filed with them before an incomplete grade will be accepted.  This form must be completed by the student and given to the instructor, along with any supporting documentation, prior to the final examination.


Classroom attendance carries no direct weight in assigning the final course grade.  However, it will be difficult to obtain a good grade if classes are missed.  About 10-20% of the lecture material will not be covered in the assigned reading.  In addition, a significant portion of the overall grade will be derived from class participation.  Therefore, to maximize performance students would be well advised to attend and participate fully in each class meeting.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, or if you would need assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation, please contact me as soon as possible. Students with disabilities needing accommodation should either speak with me or SDRC. 

Policy on Academic Dishonesty

It is assumed that each student in the class is interested in obtaining the best possible education.  To do so requires honest, individual effort.

The University has a published policy on cheating and academic dishonesty.  Students are expected to be familiar with the policy and to abide by it. Cheating will result in: 1) a zero score on the test and the loss of all grading options; and/or 2) an "F" grade for the course; and/or 3) referral to the Academic Vice President for expulsion from the University.

If you are concerned about your grades, contact me.  I will do everything I can to help you earn the grade you want legitimately.

Case Groups

Case #1
Case #2
XM vs. Sirius, et al.
Sara Lee
Abercrombie & Fitch
Zune C-166
New Balance
Electronic Arts C-212
Queensland Resort
Sun Microsystems C-236
Smithfield Foods


Case Oral Presentations

Case 1:  (6:30 p.m.)
Case 2:  (7:25 p.m.)
Case 3:  (8:20 p.m.)
Case 4:  (9:15 p.m.)
August 5
Costco XM vs. Sirius, et al CoachNucor
August 12
YMCA Zune Electronic ArtsSun Microsystems
August 19
Toyota Pepsico Sara LeeEnterprise
August 26
Abercrombie & Fitch New Balance Queensland ResortSmithfield Foods

Class Participation

Class participation is an important part of the grading for the course.  It is expected that each member of the class will have researched each of the cases presented, and participation in the question and answer period following each case will be counted toward the final grade.  Points will be awarded according to both the quantity and quality of participation.  Each group of students will prepare an analysis of the managerial issues for each case being presented each day.  All case analyses shall comprise a minimum of 3 typed pages of analysis, double-spaced and will be due at the end of the case presented.  Attached to the analysis should be at least 6 incisive questions for the presenters.  Students will receive one point for each case analysis (excepting their own), and one point for each "good" question that is asked of the presenters.  There are a possible 20 participation points that are required to earn full credit for class participation (100 percentage points).  So, if you if you submit a synopsis for each of the cases (not including those that your group presents) and you ask 6 "good" questions you will earn full points for class participation. 

Only questions that demonstrate a command of the case under discussion, an independent analysis of the facts and issues, will earn points. Questions that focus on historical detail and speculation will likely earn no points.


"You recommend that XYZ Company diversify into the widget market while noting that the firm has suffered declining revenues and profits in the last three years. I notice that they also had a shortage of working capital two years ago, indicating potentially serious financial problems. How do you propose that XYZ finance the expansion into widgets in the long term, and how do they return to financial health in the short term?"  - Good question:  demonstrates the questioner has read and understood the case and the strategic issues involved.  (question earns points)

"Do you think XYZ will offer a deluxe widget?"  - Calls for speculation:  demonstrates no independent analysis or insight.  (question earns no points)

"What is a compound widget?"  - Calls for a clarification of facts:  demonstrates no independent analysis or insight.  (question earns no points)

Each student should be prepared with questions for every case, since it is unlikely that time will permit all who have questions to participate in each case. However, as a rule of thumb you should ask at least one good question for most, if not all, presentations.

Emergency Information

California State University, East Bay is committed to being a safe and caring community.  Your appropriate response in the event of an emergency can help save lives.  Information on what to do in an emergency situation (earthquake, electrical outage, fire, extreme heat, severe storm, hazardous materials, terrorist attack) may be found at:

Please be familiar with these procedures.  Information on this page is updated as required.  Please review the information on a regular basis.