1. Assessment

The subject grade will be determined as follows:

Individual Participation

Syndicate-based case write-up (4,000 words maximum).
Deadline: see syllabus.

Final examination (two hours, open book)

1.1 Examinations (50%)

One week prior to the final exam, a case will be handed out. The final exam will be open book, worth 50% of the total grade for the course. It will test your understanding of (a) concepts covered in class and (b) analysis of the case.

Important: the examinations are a hurdle requirement. You must pass the exams to pass the subject.

1.2 Syndicate-based case write-up (35%)

A case with associated assignment questions will be handed out as the basis of the syndicate-based case write-up. A strict word limit of 4,000 words will be applied.

  • The title page and appendices are not included within this limit, but tables and exhibits are. The title page should include: the name of the subject, the name of the author(s), the name of the case, a statement of the word count for the body of the report, and the date.
  • The appendices should include only supplemental information such as calculations and assumptions (the document must make sense without the appendices).

These limits are to encourage you to concisely express your opinions, as would be expected of a CEO.

1.4 Individual participation (15%)

This is NOT class attendance. You are expected to analyze the readings and cases prior to each session, and to contribute to the discussion.

You can earn class participation score in several ways:

  • In class. Each week several students will be assigned to identify the 5 most insighful comments. I will also identify outstanding contributors.
  • Online: exceptional contributions to the online discussion board will improve your participation score
  • Contest: see below.


  • I will actively call upon students during class. Preparing should take 3-5 hours per week. Do not come to class unprepared. Every week, the final class slide contains a guide to help you estimate the effort to put into each reading.
  • Accidents and emergencies do happen. If you are not prepared, leave me a note at the front of the class or speak to me beforehand and we won’t call on you.
  • Students are graded for participation based on quality rather than quantity. Here are suggested rules of thumb:
    • Make points that are relevant.
    • Go beyond a mere recitation of the case facts.
    • Be clear.
    • Show evidence of critical thinking and analysis.
    • Link your comments to those of others (build upon them or constructively improve upon weaknesses).
    • Make your contributions further the class’s understanding of the issues

Important: No marks are subtracted if you say something "wrong". This helps other students clarify their misconceptions. However, if you don't say anything at all, it doesn't help you. If you have something to say, no matter how silly, raise your hand. Class participation is crucial because it helps you build self-confidence. As a manager, you must be able to articulate your case convincingly to others.

1.5 Contest

There is a contest! The aim of this contest is to encourage students to share interesting and useful applications of ideas/frameworks discussed in class. Each contest entry should be a brief example (1 or 2 paragraphs not exceeding 500 words). For example, you might want to share an interesting example of a "focused differentiation" strategy, or of disruptive technology in a "low-tech" industry, or of resource-based capability in a firm you are familiar with. Or anything else that is interesting & relevant to the class. Lets have some fun!

Two top prizes to be won, one for the full-time class, and another for the part-time class.

  • Prize: AU$70 cash plus a certificate recognizing your prize.
  • Counts towards your individual participation score.

Deadline: To be determined. Students and former students will vote for the best entry. The purpose is to create useful examples for your others, so they will vote for the winners.

2. Expectations of students

2.1 Ground Rules

  • We have a fixed seating plan.
  • Don’t be late for class. Each session starts on time.
  • Turn your cellphones/pagers/blackberries to silent mode. If you need to take a call urgently, leave temporarily.
  • You may use a computer/ipad/netbook in class provided it is relevant and non-distracting. That rules out youtube, facebook, twitter, etc. If your classmates complain that you are distracting them, you will be penalized 5 points (which is roughly 1 course grade)
  • Feel free to disagree with me, or your classmates. But please be polite.

2.2 Honour Code

By enrolling in this subject, a student is expected to comply with the Student Honour Code, available on the student intranet.
Warning: Plagiarism will be severely penalized.

Relevant footnotes and references should be included to credit original sources of ideas other than yourself (or your syndicate). This helps distinguish your thoughts from those of others, showing how you used various sources of materials around you to build up your own arguments and analysis. For examples and details visit http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/llsu/resources/referencing/

2.3. Submitting Assignments

Assignments are to be submitted via the Learning Management System.

Do not submit your assignment in print or via email.

2.4 Late Submission

The MBS teaching code states that:

  • If (assignments) are not in on time, they are regarded as not submitted.
  • From the Course and Subject Guide) “Students are reminded that only in exceptional circumstances will the School grant permission for assignments to be handed in after the due date or for examination and tests to be taken at times different from those set out.”. Thus, Late assignments will only be graded if (i) the student has applied for special consideration; and (ii) that application is considered acceptable. Applications for extensions must be made before submission date, and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.


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