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Unit information: Critical Issues in Strategy in 2020/21

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Unit name Critical Issues in Strategy
Unit code MGRCM0005
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Humphrey Bourne
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of the units Leadership, Strategy and Organisations and Understanding Change and Uncertainty.



School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit builds upon the Strategy and Organisations unit. It contrasts the economics-influenced perspective of classical strategy by introducing process and practice perspectives that draw from organisation theory. It introduces key concepts including neo-institutional, complexity, network, ethical and stakeholder theories to explore strategy as an uncertain, negotiated, social and political practice that extends across organisational boundaries. In doing so, the unit covers topics including globalisation and international strategy; innovation and entrepreneurial strategies; corporate social responsibility; and strategy evaluation and control. The overall aim of the unit is to develop a critical understanding of complexity and variety of strategy development in contemporary organisations.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, students should be able to:

  • understand competing and complementary perspectives of processes and practices in strategy development;
  • evaluate critically environmental, institutional, historical and internal influences on organisations’ abilities to develop strategies;
  • appreciate the political and social practices that shape strategy development in organisations;
  • critically evaluate strategy practices and systems of control in a different organisational and environment contexts;
  • have developed a critical understanding of the interface between ethics, corporate social responsibility and strategy; and
  • apply learning to practice

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions including lectures, seminars, drop-in sessions, discussion boards and other online learning opportunities

Assessment Information

Summative assignment by individual essay of 3,000 words (100%)

Reading and References

Clegg, S., Carter, C. Kornberger, M. & Schweitzer, J (2011) Strategy: Theory and Practice, London: Sage Publications

De Wit, R. & Meyer, R. (2010), Strategy: Process, content, context. 4th ed. Andover: Cengage.

Jenkins, M., Ambrosini, V., & Collier, N (2007) Advanced Strategic Management: A multi-perspective approach, 2nd Ed, Palgrave MacMillan

Johnson, G., Scholes, K & Whittington, R. (2011) Exploring strategy, 9th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Education.

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., & Lampel, J. (2009) Strategy safari, 2nd Edition, Harlow: Prentice Hall

Relevant journals include:

Academy of Management Journal; Academy of Management Review; Strategic Management Journal; Journal of Management Studies; Organization Studies; Long Range Planning