Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to NPK017
Tied to N1KP17
Tied to N1KD17
Tied to N1KB17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To deepen student understanding of the strategic management of organisations. The module builds on prior material in that it adopts the point of view of the executive team and considers the entire firm as a single entity. Strategic analysis has its own theoretical principles, which will be reviewed and applied.


  • Organisational Design and Strategy.
  • Strategic Positions vs. Organisational Capabilities.
  • Capabilities for Exploitation and Exploration.
  • Leveraging Human Resources and Culture for Capabilities.
  • Organisational Culture in High-Tech Firms.
  • Position and Capabilities: Resource Partitioning Issues.
  • Position and Capabilities: Limits to Organisation, Identify and Status.
  • Position and Capabilities: Semi-Autonomous Subunits.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have:
  • developed an advanced understanding of the nature of strategic action, based on current theory and research;
  • developed a critical appreciation of the problems associated with change in organisations, in particular, inertia and the unintended outcomes of change efforts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will have:
  • developed the advanced analytical and communication skills to critically analyse companies and industries with respect to their strategies and those of competitors.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 24
    Preparation and Reading 126
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

    Formative Assessment:


    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University