What makes our company or organization unique? In what arenas will we be active? How will we get there? What sequence of moves will we take? How does it all work together?

This course introduces the topic of strategic management, the process of iteratively developing and implementing an overarching, market-oriented concept of how an organization can best achieve its objectives, in concert with its mission and values. Strategy is inherently integrative. Well-defined strategy empowers managers to make logically consistent tactical decisions across the primary functional areas of business: R&D, Operations, Sales and Marketing, Finance, and HR.

In this course, while we primarily focus on strategy in the context of for-profit firms, many of the principles in this course can be applied to other sectors of society, namely, government, military, and not-for-profit organizations. In this way, this course emphasizes strategic thinking, in general. And that is a valuable skill for any who would seek to possess it, regardless of vocation.

A key feature of the course is a team-based business strategy simulator which will help us bridge the gap between strategic management theory and practice.
Entrepreneurship is defined in this course as the process of undertaking new ventures, whether for-profit or not-for-profit. Key topics to be covered include idea generation, opportunity recognition and cultivation, industry and market analysis, business planning (including the creation of a marketing plan, operations plan, and proforma financial statements), pitching the plan to secure financing, business formation, and – ultimately – the launch of the new venture. To blend entrepreneurial theory with practice, an important feature of this course is a business planning project.

This course also serves as an introduction to small business management. Whereas
entrepreneurship is the process of undertaking new ventures, small business management can be viewed as the process of nurturing, sustaining, improving, and growing firms once they are established. All businesses are resource-limited. Small businesses are, generally-speaking, especially resource-limited and, as such, the entrepreneur must typically double as general manager (and technician) once the organization is funded and launched.