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GSZ405 Strategic Management

To view more information for this unit, select Unit Outline from the list below. Please note the teaching period for which the Unit Outline is relevant.

Unit Outline: Flexible Period - 02A 2022 Gardens Point Block (Start Date: 21 Jan 2022)

Unit code:GSZ405
Credit points:6
Coordinators:Timothy Donnet | timothy.donnet@qut.edu.au
Disclaimer - Offer of some units is subject to viability, and information in these Unit Outlines is subject to change prior to commencement of the teaching period.


In a complex environment where change is occurring with increasing frequency, the practice of strategy has never had greater significance, nor has it been more challenging. The unit provides you with an introductory overview of key concepts involved in the study and practice of strategic management and to introduce you to a range of strategic management models and tools of practical value to managers. Strategic frameworks guide overall direction, decision-making and alignment within the competitive business environment.

This unit is designed to provide you with knowledge and understanding of the nature of strategy, its role and purpose within the business setting and the contribution of strategic management tools and frameworks for the implementation of strategy.

This unit is the first unit in the MBA program and is designed to provide an introduction to strategy and strategic thinking that will lay a solid foundation for other units in the program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and apply advanced strategic thinking and management theory to a variety of organisational contexts. KS 1.1
  2. Work collaboratively with others to critically evaluate strategic models and tools to determine their benefits and limitations in specific organisational contexts and situations. HO 2.1, PC 3.2, SL 4.2
  3. Research and critically analyse organisational strategic contexts to identify strategic issues and opportunities. HO 2.1
  4. Generate creative, effective and well-justified recommendations for the development and implementation of strategy. HO 2.2, PC 3.1


  • What is Strategy?
  • Value, Positioning & Business Strategy
  • Strategic Enablers - Resources & Capabilities
  • Business Models
  • What Environment Are We In?
  • The Strategic Mindset

As one of the first units to be completed in the MBA program, this unit provides specialised support sessions run by the Student Success Group's Language and Learning Educators (SSG). Students participate in an academic writing skills workshop specifically catered to the assessment task and are further provided with group and individual drop-in sessions to help support student learning.

Course Learning Outcomes (Postgraduate - Executive)

The Graduate School of Business has established the Assurance of Learning (AoL) Goals to meet contemporary industry needs and standards. Achieving these learning outcomes will assist you to meet the desired graduate outcomes set at QUT - aligned with other internationally renowned business schools. Students will develop the following capabilities relevant to a contemporary global and sustainable business environment:

Knowledge and Technological Skills (KS)
1.1 Demonstrate and apply integrated and advanced theoretical and practical knowledge (including systems thinking approaches, multidisciplinary frameworks and knowledge of research principles and methods) that incorporate recent development in business disciplines and professional practice.
1.2 Apply advanced technical and technological knowledge and skills to critically reflect on, evaluate and contribute to developments that enhance innovative, sustainable and effective business performance in local, national and global business environments.

Higher Order Thinking (HO)
2.1 Provide evidence of effective analysis, interpretation, evaluation and synthesis of complex data, theories, ideas, issues and situations and demonstrate knowledge of how research and inquiry can be used to interpret, contribute to and create theoretical and practical knowledge. 
2.2 Provide evidence of higher order thinking including creativity, judgement, cognitive flexibility and critical reflection in designing, planning and implementing strategies and solutions for effective performance in complex business environments.

Professional Communication (PC)
3.1 Demonstrate advanced use of language and argumentation in written communication, including digital communication, to frame strategic and influential responses to engage, persuade, negotiate, collaborate and lead in diverse and complex contexts and for diverse audiences.
3.2 Demonstrate advanced use of language and argumentation in oral communication, including digital communication, to frame strategic and influential responses to engage, persuade, negotiate, collaborate and lead across diverse and complex contexts and for diverse audiences.

Self and Leadership (SL)
4.1 Demonstrate adaptive personal leadership and accountability, including self-awareness, reflective practice and foresight in adapting and applying knowledge and skills to inform and influence effective and innovative practice.
4.2 Lead, manage and foster the development of collaborative teams that value and leverage the diverse knowledge and skills of others to contribute to the development of robust, adaptable and sustainable courses of action.

Social, Ethical and Cultural Understanding (SEC)
5.1 Demonstrate and apply knowledge of ethical and legal principles and practices of business, to contribute to responsible organisational governance and citizenship in local, national and global business environments.
5.2 Apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate, interpret and critically reflect on, appropriate culturally and socially inclusive and responsible decisions and actions across diverse social and cultural contexts.

Learning Approaches

This unit adopts a blended learning approach and as such, includes a variety of teaching and learning approaches.

Intensive face-to-face class sessions and/or webinars are the primary methods of teaching this unit. A textbook and/or readings and a range of digital materials that are designed to support and extend learning prior to, during and after class sessions available in the unit Blackboard site supplements the classes and/or webinars. Where appropriate, social media tools and forums will be used to extend learning and build connections with students outside the class or webinar sessions. Given the importance of the unit Blackboard site to the teaching and learning strategy used in this unit, a computer and tablet device with internet access is strongly recommended for all students.

The principal purpose of the classes, webinars and readings is to build upon the key concepts that were introduced through the Preparation for Class activities and readings. The purpose of the case study work, experiential learning tasks and assessment tasks is to help the student develop their understanding of the concepts and enable them to be applied within a range of business contexts.

There is an expectation that the student will participate in class sessions and/or webinars, to take advantage of the opportunity to discuss important issues with their instructor and their peers.

It is expected that students have completed all Preparation for Class activities and readings identified in the unit Blackboard site prior to coming to class and/or webinar to be able to maximise the learning opportunities of the class sessions.

A variety of learning activities designed to engage students in their learning will be incorporated into the lectures/workshops and webinars. Such learning activities may include short lectures, class discussions, debates, role plays, group work, guest speakers, student presentations, simulations, case study analysis, videos, readings, wikis, media/current events reports, web searches, etc.
There is a commitment to critical inquiry and intellectual debate in regard to the material covered. Students are encouraged to relate the theories and research discussed to situations known to them and will be encouraged to share their experiences relating to the topics explored in this unit with the class to enrich the overall learning experience of all students.

Expanding the awareness of Australian management policies and practices into intercultural and global perspectives is fostered within this unit. Typically, students enrolling in this unit have extremely varied backgrounds. There is diversity of professional background and socio-cultural background. Students are reminded that this is to their advantage and they have much to learn from one another. To this end, students are strongly encouraged to be sensitive to cultural, gender-related and international issues.

Feedback on Learning and Assessment

Students will receive feedback in various forms throughout the semester which may include:

  • Informal: worked examples, such as verbal feedback in class, personal consultation
  • Formal: in writing, such as checklists (e.g. criteria sheets), written commentary
  • Direct: to individual students, either in written form or in consultation
  • Indirect: to the whole class


Unit Grading Scheme

7- point scale

Assessment Tasks

Assessment: Presentations

This assessment piece is designed to assess your understanding, application and integration of a number of strategy tools, frameworks and models explored in the first four modules of the unit.

Presenting to your cohort, your group will justify the use of the various strategic analysis tools in the interrogation of an assigned case.

The individual contribution of each team member to the final product will be taken into consideration in the grading of this assessment task. A peer feedback and evaluation process will be used to moderate the final mark of each individual team member
Formative/Summative: Formative and Summative

Postgraduate Executive (AoL goals): KS (1.1), HO (2.1), PC (3.2), SL (4.2)

Weight: 40
Length: 10-minute presentation plus supporting documentation
Individual/Group: Group
Due (indicative): As timetabled
Related Unit learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Assessment: Report

Strategic Recommendations Report
You are required to identify a strategic initiative that delivers 'organisational value' to your own organisation, which will be used as a case analysis for this task. If you do not have a suitable strategic initiative within your organisation, your facilitator will supply you with a case study for this task.

Drawing upon what you have learned in the unit, you are required to critically analyse the strategic initiative, generate options and provide a series of well-justified strategic recommendations, which are supported by the application of various strategic frameworks, models and/or tools. Recommendations should include identifying the operations management tools and techniques that would contribute to the implementation of strategy in this context.

Formative or Summative: Summative

Postgraduate Executive (AoL goals):  KS (1.1), HO (2.1, 2.2), PC (3.1)

This is an assignment for the purposes of an extension.

Weight: 60
Length: 2,500 words
Individual/Group: Individual
Due (indicative): As timetabled
Related Unit learning outcomes: 1, 3, 4

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to engage in learning and assessment at QUT with honesty, transparency and fairness. Maintaining academic integrity means upholding these principles and demonstrating valuable professional capabilities based on ethical foundations.

Failure to maintain academic integrity can take many forms. It includes cheating in examinations, plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, and submitting an assessment item completed by another person (e.g. contract cheating). It can also include providing your assessment to another entity, such as to a person or website.

You are encouraged to make use of QUT’s learning support services, resources and tools to assure the academic integrity of your assessment. This includes the use of text matching software that may be available to assist with self-assessing your academic integrity as part of the assessment submission process.

Further details of QUT’s approach to academic integrity are outlined in the Academic integrity policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Breaching QUT’s Academic integrity policy is regarded as student misconduct and can lead to the imposition of penalties ranging from a grade reduction to exclusion from QUT.


Resource Materials

Prescribed text(s)

Cummings, S. & Angwin, D. (2015). Strategy builder: How to create and communicate more effective strategies. John Wiley & Sons: United Kingdom.


GSZ405 Blackboard site

Risk Assessment Statement

There are no out of the ordinary risks associated with this unit. You should, however, familiarise yourself with evacuation procedures operating in the buildings in which you attend classes and take the time to view the Emergency video.


This unit is designed to support your development of the following standards\competencies.

QUT Business Capabilities (Postgraduate Executive)

HO (2.1): Critical Analysis

Relates to: ULO2, ULO3, Presentations, Report

HO (2.2): Independent Judgement and Decision-Making

Relates to: ULO4, Report

KS (1.1): Advanced Discipline and Professional Practice Knowledge

Relates to: ULO1, Presentations, Report

PC (3.1): Professional Communication (Written)

Relates to: ULO4, Report

PC (3.2): Professional Communication (Oral)

Relates to: ULO2, Presentations

SL (4.2): Leading and Developing Teams

Relates to: ULO2, Presentations

Course Learning Outcomes

This unit is designed to support your development of the following course/study area learning outcomes.

GS50 Executive Master of Business Administration

  1. Demonstrate, apply and integrate contemporary, advanced multidisciplinary knowledge, business practices, and research principles underpinned by a systems thinking framework to respond to global, complex real-world challenges.
    Relates to: ULO1, Presentations, Report
  2. Critically analyse, interpret, evaluate and synthesise complex data, research, theoretical knowledge, ideas and situations to lead and support decision-making in global complex business environments.
    Relates to: ULO2, ULO3, Presentations, Report
  3. Demonstrate holistic thinking, creativity, problem solving and critical reflection to design, plan and implement strategies and solutions for strategic leadership in global complex business environments.
    Relates to: ULO4, Report
  4. Demonstrate advanced professional written communication skills in a variety of genres to clearly communicate strategic and complex thinking, engage, persuade, influence and lead diverse stakeholders in a range of contexts.
    Relates to: ULO4, Report
  5. Demonstrate advanced professional oral communication skills and media to clearly communicate strategic and complex thinking and to engage, persuade, influence and lead diverse stakeholders to achieve a strategic outcome.
    Relates to: ULO2, Presentations
  6. Apply advanced knowledge and skills to lead and foster innovative teams using approaches that value and leverage diversity to maximise team and organisational performance.
    Relates to: ULO2, Presentations

GS89 Executive Graduate Certificate in Business Administration

  1. Demonstrate and apply integrated discipline knowledge and skills in the critical understanding of complex real world challenges
    Relates to: ULO1, Presentations, Report
  2. Exercise critical thinking in analysing, interpreting, evaluating and synthesising theories, ideas and practices to support decision making in complex business environments
    Relates to: ULO2, ULO3, Presentations, Report
  3. Demonstrate strategic planning, critical thinking and creative problem solving to generate and evaluate real word business issues
    Relates to: ULO4, Report
  4. Exercise written communication and persuasion skills with diverse stakeholders for a variety of purposes
    Relates to: ULO4, Report
  5. Exercise oral communication and persuasion skills with diverse stakeholders for a variety of purposes
    Relates to: ULO2, Presentations
  6. Apply knowledge and skills to manage teams effectively by using approaches that value diversity and foster collaboration
    Relates to: ULO2, Presentations

Staging Enabled