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21602 Strategy: Theory and Practice

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 2018 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): 21630 Global Strategic Management AND 21632 Business Strategy and Scenario Planning


This subject, incorporating extensive case studies, offers an intellectually rigorous exploration of strategic theory and practice. Drawing on established disciplines such as sociology, economics and other social science disciplines, the subject takes an encompassing critical knowledge–interrogating view of the strategy literature. Students are required to engage with political, ethical and sustainability issues that the next generation of managers are likely to encounter.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. interpret, explain and constitute strategic thinking for organisations
2. critically analyse mainstream approaches to strategy in terms of their analytic deficiencies
3. examine the social and ecological implications of corporate strategies
4. discuss the historical, contextual and organisational flows and processes that contribute in some contexts to the globalising of strategies

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject explores strategy by interrogating the constitutive intellectual roots of common approaches deployed in many textbooks and the literature. Ensuring that these approaches are understood and covered in the teaching, the subject adopts a critical knowledge-interrogating orientation to the study strategy. Students are exposed to key theoretical debates and dialogues, while also being exposed to how these might inform management practices.

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject will be taught using a combination of lectures and tutorials. The lectures provide insights into key concepts and theories in strategy as applied to management. Tutorials allow discussion of ideas, issues and the practical application of strategy theory. This is intended to encourage students to think in a creative manner, exploring strategic approaches to opportunities and problems in business settings. Extensive use is made of the UTS web-based communication tool UTS-Online, which will be used to share information, provide feedback and encourage interaction between staff and students.

Content (topics)

  • The context and emergence of strategic thinking
  • Strategy and competitive performance
  • Strategy discovers uniqueness: the role of resources and knowledge
  • Strategy as process and practice
  • Marketing and branding as strategic forces
  • Strategy and innovation
  • Strategists, top management teams and governance
  • Strategic decision-making
  • Organisational politics and strategy
  • International and collaborative strategies
  • Financialisation, risk and accountability
  • Globalisation and strategy
  • Strategy and corporate social responsibility


Assessment task 1: Project (Group)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2 and 3

Weight: 30%

Recommended length – 10 pages, excluding Executive Summary (1-2 pages), Table of Contents with page numbers and relevant appendices.

Assessment task 2: Strategy Report (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 50%

Report: Up to 10 page report (absolute maximum 11 pages) in at least 11 point font – Times New Roman preferred. (No specific word limit – but useful charts, diagrams, other visual elements and well-presented tables encouraged as part of high quality report. Report page limit does NOT include Executive Summary, Table of Contents and any relevant appendices to the report (no specific word limit – just a page limit! And a minimum font size).

Assessment task 3: Strategy Presentation (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 4

Weight: 20%

Minimum requirements

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

Required texts

No required text. All compulsory readings will either be made available as e-readings via the UTS Library Website or in the Other Resources folder on UTS Online.


Johnson, G.,Whittington, R., Scholes, K., Angwin, D., Regner, P. (2016) Exploring strategy, text and cases. eleventh edotion. UK: Pearson Education Limited.

Carter, C., Clegg, S. R., and Kornberger, M. (2010). A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about studying strategy. UK: Sage.

Grant, R. (2010). Contemporary Strategy Analysis, 7th Edition. UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., and Lampel, J. (2009). Strategy Safari, 2nd Edition, UK: Prentice Hall.

Other resources

Electronic resources are available on UTSOnline for this subject including articles from UTS library databases.