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21510 Introduction to Strategy

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 21632 Business Strategy and Scenario Planning


This subject is designed to give students a broad overview of the complexity of developing and implementing strategy in a local, national and international business environment. Students are encouraged to explore the context of wicked problems, contemporary challenges, ethical dilemmas and sustainability issues in different business and organisational environments. Students gain an understanding of how changes in the business and organisational environment, business modelling, competitive intelligence and scenario analysis inform and affect strategic decision-making and managerial processes.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Analyse the connections between and impacts on an organisationís strategy and innovation processes of social, technological, economic and environmental changes
2. Plan for major business uncertainties using scenarios and scenario planning to design flexible strategic plans
3. Apply strategic management principles, analytical tools and concepts in the construction and/or critique of a strategic plan
4. Justify strategic recommendations and actions in a challenging business context

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following program learning objectives:

  • Access and analyse relevant management knowledge and concepts to understand management practice in a global workplace (1.1)
  • Apply relevant management knowledge and concepts to decision-making in professional practice (1.2)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject builds on the students’ knowledge of the organisational and business environment. It provides an opportunity to further develop and deepen their understanding of contemporary issues and how they affect business and organisational strategy, decision-making and the ability to innovate. Students develop analytical thinking, critical thinking, and problem-based learning skills for addressing wicked problems and organisational and business issues in complex and dynamic business settings.

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Business knowledge and concepts
  • Critical thinking, creativity and analytical skills
  • Attitudes and values

This subject also contributes specifically to develop the following Program Learning Objectives of the Bachelor of Business:

  • 1.2: Demonstrate inter-relationships between differing business and related disciplines
  • 2.2: Apply critical and creative thinking to address issues in business
  • 4.1: Critically analyse business decisions in terms of ethical practice and social responsibility
  • 4.2: Critically analyse sustainability principles for various stakeholders in relation to business contexts

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will comprise of a 1.5-hour lecture and 1.5 hour tutorial session each week. Students will be required to undertake substantial directed readings prior to class. Content for this subject will be supported by UTS Online. Guest lecturers may be incorporated where relevant.

Lectures: Students are expected to attend all lectures. While lecture notes will be posted on UTS Online, the PowerPoint slides act as a reference point for teaching and learning, not as a substitute for attending the lectures. Much of the detail is provided only during the lecture.

Tutorials: The prime objective of the tutorials is to encourage an overall understanding of the content and issues addressed in each week’s lecture. Students should come to tutorials prepared to actively participate in the learning process. This means having attended the weekly lecture. Directions for the tutorials and other exercises will be given the week prior if not stated in the subject guide. Readings and tutorial tasks must be completed. The tutorial activities form part of this subject’s assessment items (see section on Assessment Items).

UTSOnline: This subject will use UTSOnline, which can be found at: Various resources will be made available through UTSOnline including the subject guide, lecture notes, weekly readings, tutorial exercises, announcements and any supplementary resources. It is your responsibility as active learners to make sure that your UTSOnline email is checked regularly - non-receipt of any message or announcement will not be accepted as an excuse for any shortcoming.

Discussion Board: You are encouraged to use Discussion Board as a forum to discuss the lecture topics and other current issues pertaining to subject. This is also a site for enquiries about readings, assessments and other subject requirements. You are encouraged as peers to answer any questions posted on the Discussion Board that you feel confident in answering. The lecturer will clarify any answers provided by a student if required. Remember, if in doubt read your subject guide thoroughly before posting a question. Note: lecturers will not accept e-mails directly from students unless it is in relation to a confidential matter.

Content (topics)

  • Competitive Business intelligence and competitive analyses
  • Management strategy selection
  • Entrepreneurial strategy and competitive dynamics
  • Business planning
  • Industry analysis
  • Scenario planning
  • Sustainable business development
  • Workplaces of the future
  • Business environments of the future
  • Strategic innovation
  • Socially responsible business


Assessment task 1: Research Report (Group)


This assessment comprises of two parts

  • Part A: Research Report (Group) - 15%
  • Part B: Group Presentations (Group Marked) - 15%

This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 3 and 4

Weight: 30%

Assessment 1a: 2000 (+-10%) word. This excludes, executive summary, references and appendices

Assessment 1b: 10minutes presentation per team and 5minutes to for Q&A

Detailed Information available in the assessment brief on UTSOnline.

Assessment task 2: Report (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

This addresses program learning objectives(s):

1.1 and 1.2

Weight: 30%

2500 (+-10%) words excluding Executive Summary, reference and any supporting Appendices

Assessment task 3: Final Exam (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 40%

The exam is two hours plus 10 minutes reading time.

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

The prescribed textbook for this subject is:

1. Johnson, G., Whittington, R. & Scholes, K. 2013, Exploring Strategy: Text & Cases, 11th edn, Prentice Hall, Harlow, England.

It is essential that you have access to a copy of this book. The text will be used extensively in both lectures and tutorials. Many of the tutorial exercises are taken from the text and the material in the text is examinable.

The text book is available both the bookshop (for hard copies) and eBook available through the following link:

This subject assumes that students will have a comprehensive understanding of the contents of the UTS:Business Guide to Writing Assignments, available to download for free from the UTS:Business website:


David, F. (2005) Strategic Management: Cases 10th ed. Pearson Education, New Jersey.

Evans, N., Campbell, D. & Stonehouse, G. (2003) Strategic Management for Travel and Tourism, Butterworth

Heinemann, Oxford.Harrison, J., & St. John, C. (2004) Foundations in Strategic Management, South-western, Ohio.

Hubbard, G. (2004) Strategic Management: Thinking, Analysis & Action, Pearson Education, Australia.

McKay, J. & Marshall, P., (2004) Strategic Management of eBusiness, John Wiley and Sons, Australia.

McMahon-Beattie U., & Yeoman, I., (2003) Sport and Leisure Operations Management, Continuum, New York.

Olsen, M., West, J., & Ching Yick Tse, E., (2009) Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry, Pearson Education, New Jersey.

Stead, W., (2004) Sustainable Strategic Management, M.E. Sharp, New York.

Viljoen, J. & Dann, S., (2003) Strategic Management 4th ed., Pearson Education, Sydney.