Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI55830: Leading and Managing the Strategic Process

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI55830: Leading and Managing the Strategic Process

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1KG07
Tied to N1DL07
Tied to N1DE07
Tied to N1DB07
Tied to N1KG12
Tied to N1DL12
Tied to N1DE12
Tied to N1DB12
Tied to N2K107
Tied to N2K112
Tied to N1KB07
Tied to N1K512
Tied to N1KR07
Tied to N1KH12
Tied to N1KS07
Tied to N1KJ12
Tied to N1K214


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Students will analyse the external and internal environments to anticipate how the organisation will meet the competition both now and in the future. They will obtain a more holistic view of the organisation and its competitive environment and set a realistic and pragmatic strategy with clearly identified Critical Success Factors and projects to support it.
  • For strategic management students need to be able to predict the financial consequences of their decisions and to be able to respond quickly to any indication that the strategic targets are not being met. This module introduces predictive financial models and key financial indicators to meet these needs.
  • In medium sized organisations and departments leaders and managers need to be more aware of the financial consequences of their decisions and the impact of these on all three financial statements.


  • The content of this module is set with a Medium Enterprise perspective and covers the following areas:
  • Strategy definitions, processes and challenges
  • Using, analysing and synthesising a number of traditional strategic models in a medium sized organisation or department context: Environmental Analysis; Value Chain analysis; Resource Audit; SWOT; Growth/Share Matrix; Product/Market Matrix; Competitive Forces Analysis.
  • Developing an effective Mission Statement
  • Identifying Critical Success Factors and developing appropriate projects to achieve them, for example using matrix mapping methodologies
  • Key financial indicators and the nature of costs
  • The impact of strategy on profit, working assets and operational cash flow
  • Visual Representations of key financial indicators including trend analysis
  • Predictive models and target calculation for key financial indicators for changes in price, costs, volume, and working assets
  • Capital Expenditure Appraisal models e.g. Payback and DCF

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Critically understand the link between strategy and finance
  • Critically understand the role of computer modelling systems to predict and proactively manage the impact of cost, price and volume changes resulting from the strategic planning process.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Research and critically evaluate a variety of external and internal influences affecting competitive ability by using frameworks for strategic analysis.
  • Critically review the financial impact of strategic plans
  • Lead the process of cascading broad, company 'mission' into critical factors of success and key strategic projects.
  • Critically evaluate the need for a system of information analysis and decision-making consistent with designed time pressures.
  • Set overall strategy in a way that will guide month to month management and responses to events, which have not been anticipated.
  • Lead the communication of strategic and financial information in a way to reflect styles and needs of differing groups in their organisation.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Communicate the rationale behind strategy to organisational stakeholders
  • Communicate the intended financial outcome of the strategy using numerical and visual representations

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

  • Lectures and seminars, supported by guided reading, will be used to introduce and explore the key concepts and theories.
  • Group exercises, financial exercises and groups discussions will help them develop their own synthesised models which the assignments and mentor support will then help them adapt and apply to the specific needs of their own organisation.
  • A major Case Study exercise will allow students to develop the key financial indicators by translating existing financial information and the application of decision based computer modelling to assess the feasibility of their strategy.
  • The summative assignment will require the student to identify and / or formulate their own organisational strategy. They will be asked to use, analyse and critique strategic models. They will be asked to consider the implication of strategic change on their organisational processes and people. They will then identify their own dynamic indicators. They will be asked to analyse these historically and, a result to set appropriate targets for the identified strategy. They will be asked to produce and interpret the visual representation of the financial performance of their business. The assignment also allows the students to reflect on the learning from the certificate stage of the programme and to combine this with their strategic analysis and financial decision making.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 4 In two 2 day consecutive sessions (one residential) 36
Tutorials 2 Twice 5 hours 10
Mentor visit 2 Twice 5 hours 10
Visit by students to the place of work of one of the other students 2 Twice 5 hours 10
Preparation & Reading 234
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 6,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Case studies and exercises throughout the workshops will develop the skills needed to produce a critical reflection of their organisation in their summative assignment.

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