University of Technology Sydney

32562 Strategic Business Management

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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Information Technology: Information, Systems and Modelling
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Recommended studies: as required for admission to the IT Management program


Focused on creating sustainable value, strategic management practice is fundamental to the survival and growth of an organisation. It is not only the core concern of the organisation's executive leadership team, but also requires coherent execution by all members of the organisation. This subject examines the theories and practices of strategic business management. It explores emerging theories and frameworks that interlink strategy, innovation and leadership to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and organisational growth in the face of continuous environmental change.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Assess the effectiveness of a firm’s strategic management process / practice, and analyze the strategic issues confronting the firm.
2. View a firm’s competitiveness from the knowledge- and capability-based theories perspective; and how the firm must continually reconfigure its knowledge/capability components in line with its corporate/business strategy and in harmony with the changing external environments to enhance its innovation capabilities to consistently co-create maximum value with the customers so as to sustain its competitive advantage.
3. Analyze and propose improvements to the design of a firm’s business model in line with its espoused business strategy.
4. Propose an innovation-oriented strategy and the attendant leadership practices and governance processes to ensure successful implementation of the strategy.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Socially Responsible: FEIT graduates identify, engage, and influence stakeholders, and apply expert judgment establishing and managing constraints, conflicts and uncertainties within a hazards and risk framework to define system requirements and interactivity. (B.1)
  • Design Oriented: FEIT graduates apply problem solving, design thinking and decision-making methodologies in new contexts or to novel problems, to explore, test, analyse and synthesise complex ideas, theories or concepts. (C.1)
  • Technically Proficient: FEIT graduates apply theoretical, conceptual, software and physical tools and advanced discipline knowledge to research, evaluate and predict future performance of systems characterised by complexity. (D.1)
  • Collaborative and Communicative: FEIT graduates work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams, communicating effectively and operating autonomously within cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural contexts in the workplace. (E.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is intended to be a complete and realistic preparation of students for more senior business management responsibilities. It provides a practical explanation of the relationships between strategy, innovation and leadership within an organization, from a value-creation perspective, whether in the private or public sector. It suggests ways by which strategic business management can be implemented which ensure dynamic alignment of the organization’s strategies with changing markets and technologies.

This subject will be offered in accordance with the Schedule outlined below.

Each student is to apply the concepts, principles and theories of strategic business management using the extant literature to conduct a case study analysis of their organization and propose, with justification, the correspondingly enhanced (innovation-oriented) business strategy and associated business model(s) to sustain its competitive advantage.

Students are required to engage and interview their organization's executive leaders to make this a practice-based assignment. Interview data should be documented in an appendix of the assignment report (see assessment criteria below).

Assignment reports will only be reviewed by the lecturer to preserve company confidentiality.

Students are to present their organizations’ case analyses and proposed new corporate/business strategies (including new business models, leadership and organizational models required for the innovation-oriented strategies) on the last day as part of assessment. Sensitive information should be sanitized at the presentation to preserve company confidentiality.

Content (topics)

The key topic areas include:
1. Business strategy for customer value creation – basic principles
2. Strategic management process / practice
Vision/mission/values as the overarching strategic guides
Analysis to gain competitive advantage
• Industrial (external) organization view – Porter’s five forces
• Internal organization view – resource-based view
• Value chain/network analysis
Strategies and competitive advantage
• Strategy hierarchy (strategy types)
• Cost/differentiation strategy
• Adaptive strategy
• Value discipline
• Blue ocean
• Cooperative (integration) strategies – partnership, alliance, joint venture, M&A
Strategy Implementation and execution
• Customer value propositions
• Resource allocation
• Leadership & Organizational Culture
• Corporate Governance
Strategy (value-creation) performance evaluation, monitoring new developments, and initiating feedback for corrective adjustments
3. Knowledge- and capability-based frameworks for strategy renewal
• Organizational capabilities
• Core competencies
• Absorptive Capacity
• Dynamic capability for organizational renewal
4. Business model principles and design for value creation/capture in line with espoused strategy
Business model canvas
Business model innovation
5. Exploitative and exploratory innovations in the face of market and technology changes
Innovation-oriented strategy
Exploitative – incremental innovation
Exploratory – radical innovation
Simultaneously exploitative and exploratory – ambidexterity
6. Ambidextrous organization design to execute innovation-oriented strategy
Structural ambidexterity
Contextual ambidexterity
7. Strategic leadership to craft & execute innovation-oriented strategy


Assessment task 1: Class contributions


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, D.1 and E.1

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 10%

Assessment task 2: Project Part 1


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, D.1 and E.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

Assessment task 3: Project Part 2


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, D.1 and E.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 45%

Assessment task 4: Individual Project Presentation


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, D.1 and E.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 15%

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more.

Required texts


Thompson, A., Strickland, A. and Gamble, J. (2009) Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.


Business Model

Achtenhagen, L., Melin, L. & Naldi, L. (2013). Dynamics of business models – strategizing, critical capabilities and activities for sustained value creation. Long Range Planning 46, 427-442.

Zott, C. & Amit, R. (2010). Business model design: an activity system perspective. Long Range Planning, 43, 216-226

Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2005). Clarifying Business Models: Origins, Present, and Future of the Concept. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, Vol 16, 1-25

Organizational Capabilities / Core Competencies

Collis, D. J. (1994). Research note: how valuable are organizational capabilities? Strategic Management Journal 15 (Special Issue), 143-151

Stalk, G., Evans, P. and Shulman, L. E. (1992). Competing on capabilities: the new rules of corporate strategy. Harvard Business Review, March-April, 57-69.

Spender, J. C. (1996). Making knowledge the basis of a dynamic theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal 17 (Winter Special Issue), 45-62

Absorptive Capacity

Zahra, S. A. and George, G. (2002), Absorptive capacity: a review, reconceptualization, and extension, Academy of Management Review 27 (2), 185-203.

Dynamic Capabilities

Harreld,J. B., O’Reilly III, C. A., Tushman, M. L., 2007. Dynamic capabilities at IBM: driving strategy into action. California Management Review, Vol. 49, No. 4, 21-43, Summer 2007.

Teece, D. J. (2007), Explicating Dynamic Capabilities: The Nature and Microfoundations of (Sustainable) Enterprise Performance, Strategic Management Journal, 28: 1319–1350

Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18, 509–533

Organizational & Managerial Ambidexterity

O'Reilly, C. A. & Tushman, M. L. (2008), Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the innovator's delimma. Research in Organizational Behavior 28, 185-206

Raisch, S., Birkinshaw, J., Probst, G. & Tushman, M. L. (2009), Organizational Ambidexterity: Balancing Exploitation and Exploration for Sustained Performance. Organization Science 20 (4), 685-695

Andriopoulos, C. & Lewis, M. W. (2009), Exploitation-Exploration Tensions and Organizaational Ambidexterity: Managing Paradoxes of Innovation. Organization Science 20 (4), 696-717

Mom, T. J. M., van den Bosch, J. & Volberda, H. W. (2009), Understanding Variation in Managers' Ambidexterity: Investigating Direct and Interaction Effects of Formal Structural and Personal Coordination Mechanisms. Organization Science 20 (4), 812-828

Other resources

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