BUSI4900 Walden Week 3 Identifying Selecting and Implementing Strategies

Week 3: Identifying, Selecting, and Implementing Strategies

This week, you will identify, select, and implement strategies. One good way to look at this is from the perspective of an airline passenger. Imagine that you want to take a business trip to multiple cities. Schedules are important, but your firm has allowed you to choose every aspect of the trips.

Which do you prefer when you fly: a cheap, no-frills airline, or a more expensive operator with fantastic service levels and maximum comfort? And would you ever consider going with a small company which focuses on just a few routes?

The choice is up to you, of course. However, the point is that when you decide to book a flight, there are many different options available. These would be similar to strategic choices among five various “generic” strategies. Some are offensive; some are defensive. Each will have an impact on a different customer population and approach to conducting business. Once the generic strategy is selected for the business model, a “line of business” strategy must be selected for each operating business unit. You have 15 strategies to choose from, which allows for a lot of customization.

Finally, this week, you will examine the concept and possibility of adopting the new Blue Ocean strategy, which is a paradigm shift in strategic choice.

Important Planning Note

Much of the work for this course takes place in the Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation. Within this online program, time will be automatically calculated for the location of each student (e.g., Pacific Standard Time in California or Eastern Standard Time in New Jersey). However, all work that takes place in Blackboard (e.g., Discussions) is calculated in Mountain Time. Please make note of due dates and times for all assignments to be sure you stay on track.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Compare five Porter “generic“ strategies
  • Analyze the Blue Ocean strategy
  • Explain the appropriate use of the vertical integration strategy
  • Analyze the use of “grand” or “line-of-business” strategies in creating competitive advantage
  • Analyze concepts related to strategic planning and management implementation
  • Apply concepts related to strategic business management

Photo Credit: [Martin Barraud]/[Caiaimage]/Getty Images

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the
Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Thompson, A. A. (2014–2015).
Strategy: Core concepts and analytical approaches (3rd ed.) [BSG electronic edition]. Burr Ridge, IL: McGraw-Hill Education.

  • Chapter 5, “The Five Generic Competitive Strategy Options: Which One to Employ?” (pp. 90–109)
  • Chapter 6, “Supplementing the Chosen Competitive Strategy–Other Important Strategy Choices” (pp. 110–130)

Document: Week 3 Discussion 1 Template (Word document)

Document: Week 3 Discussion 2 Template (Word document)

Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation website:

Thompson, A. A., Jr., Reidenback, M. A., Stappenbeck, G. J., Harms, C. C., & Thrasher, I. F. (2014). The Business Strategy Game: Competing in a global marketplace. Retrieved from

Visit this website to read Chapters 1 and 2 of the course e-book course and to begin the Business Strategy Game (BSG) SIM. This simulation provides opportunities for you to make some of the difficult decisions often encountered by managers as they seek to execute the strategy that has been established by senior executives who are responsible to the shareholders.

Required Media

Minh, T. Q. (2013a).
Michael Porter on competitive strategy, Part 1 [Harvard Business School series] [Video file]. Retrieved from

Minh, T. Q. (2013b).
Michael Porter on competitive strategy, Part 2 [Harvard Business School series] [Video file]. Retrieved from

Discussion 1: Learning Objectives for Identifying, Selecting, and Implementing Strategies

Please see the Discussion Guidelines in Week 1, and use them as a guide for Weeks 2–6.

By Day 3

Post to Discussion.

By Day 6

Complete your responses.

For Week 3, Discussion 1, choose one of the following three discussion topics. Your post should be 225–250 wordsand APA formatted.

  1. Compare the attributes of each of the five generic competitive strategies and the type of competitive advantage each can produce. Also, explain the impact of the “Blue Ocean” strategy on the classic generic strategy approach.
  2. Explain when a company should consider using a vertical integration strategy to extend its operations to more stages of the overall industry value chain.
  3. Analyze the uses of the various “grand” or “line-of business” strategies in achieving competitive advantage.

Please use the Week 3 Discussion 1 Template located in the Week 3 Learning Resources to draft your post.

Discussion and Participation Guidelines

Weekly Class Discussion Participation

Weekly discussion participation with your colleagues students and the Instructor for each question occurs over a minimum of three different days. You are required to engage in discussions with a minimum of three different colleagues. To be sure you are addressing all of the Learning Objectives for the week, respond to colleagues who selected different questions than you did for their initial post. Each response should be 100–125 words. One-line responses will not earn any points.

After your initial post, engage with colleagues and the Instructor in clarifying and mastering any concepts not fully understood. Points to explore in the first discussion topic could include:

  • How is the concept(s) used in your current or past place of employment and/or career?
  • How does the concept(s) relate to other concepts in the Learning Objectives?
  • Why is it important for you to know and master these concept(s)?

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 3 Discussion 1 Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6

To participate in this Discussion:

Week 3 Discussion 1

Discussion 2: Research Weekly Concepts for Identifying, Selecting, and Implementing Strategies

By Day 4

Post to Discussion.

By Day 7

Complete your responses.

For Discussion 2, please visit the Walden Library databases or select a recognized business publication such as Forbes, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, and so forth. Select an article addressing the use of generic strategies in achieving competitive advantage; how to select an effective “line of business”; “grand” (operational) strategy; the concept and use of the “Blue Ocean” strategy; or another topic that relates to these ideas and this week’s Learning Objectives. For example, you could explore topics such as strategic group mapping; evaluating the use of various competitive strategies; the connection between generic and “grand” or “line-of-business” strategies; etc.

Following APA style and formatting guidelines, summarize the article into approximately 300 words (do NOT copy the article), and explain the knowledge you gained from it. Post to Discussion 2 by Day 4. Include a link to the original article so your colleagues can read it.

Please use the Week 3 Discussion 2 Template located in the Week 3 Learning Resources to draft your post.

Engage in class discussions of the article, starting no later than Day 4, and continuing until Day 6. All discussion posts must be complete by Day 7. In addition to your initial post, respond a minimum of three times (100–125 words) over a minimum of three days.

To earn full points, full engagement in this discussion requires an initial post and active substantive responses with colleagues over a minimum of three days and preferably every day.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 3 Discussion 2 Rubric

Post by Day 4 and Respond by Day 7

To participate in this Discussion:

Week 3 Discussion 2

Weekly Quiz, Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation, Midterm Exam

Weekly Textbook Tutorial Quiz

This week, you will complete a tutorial quiz for each of the two assigned chapters of the course text. You have up to three attempts per quiz to achieve a perfect score. There are two quizzes each week.


  • All quizzes and exams (located under Assignments in the SIM) are completed in the SIM and are automatically graded.
  • The quizzes are tutorial in nature and are worth 10 points per week.
  • At the end of each final quiz attempt, you may open the quiz and see the correct answers.

Business Strategy Game (BSG) SIM: Graded Years Continue

This week, you will meet with your group and decide on the strategy that your company will implement for the second week of the graded activity in the SIM. A total of two Annual Operating Year decisions are required weekly. The first must be posted by midnight on Day 3, while the second must be posted by midnight of Day 6.

A SIM company annual performance grade is posted to every SIM participant in the SIM e-mail, following the end of the SIM Decision Year. The report will indicate the company’s performance against the predetermined goals for the SIM. You will repeat this procedure on a weekly basis during Weeks 2–6.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam is worth 100 points. Be sure to complete the Midterm Exam by Day 7 of this week. You can access the Midterm Exam in the Textbook area designated for this purpose (50 questions). You have up to 3 hours to complete the Midterm Exam, one attempt only. It is automatically graded in the SIM.

Week in Review

In this week, you identified, selected, and implemented strategies. you examined the concept and possibility of adopting the new Blue Ocean strategy, which is a paradigm shift in strategic choice.

In the next week, you will examine what it takes to change a company from a primarily domestic stance to an international or global presence.

Looking Ahead

Once you have completed the Midterm Exam, you are finished with Week 3. The focus now shifts to diversification, the management of diversified companies, and the relationship among strategy, ethics, and social responsibility. Please proceed to Week 4.

To go to the next week:

Week 4

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