Seminar activities

Chapter 1: Introduction

A useful exercise that I deploy to get students started is to ask them to visualise the definition of strategy. There are a couple of ways of doing this relatively easily. First is to use Lego. Put the students into groups of between 4 and 8. Give them Lego of some kind. In my last session, I had three boxes of “classic Lego” which has a series of packets of coloured Lego and a variety of additional shapes and fixtures. The boxes also contain guides as to what can be built with the bricks. I also have some childhood Lego. It is much simpler, just bricks and bases.

The second way – and I usually do this in hybrid form – is ask students to draw their definition of strategy on a sheet of Ao paper with coloured marker pens. They can also do it on a Whiteboard (that saves on the paper).

When they have done this – usually about 30 minutes of teamwork – we promenade everyone visits each table and someone explains how what has been built or drawn defines strategy. My experience is that the artefacts are often quite unimaginative in the first instance. The drawings tend to be flow diagrams and the Lego towers or some variation on what is in the instruction guide. By the end of the module if the exercise is repeated, then what is produced can be very different.

Chapter 4: Stakeholders and purpose: comparing and contrasting The John Lewis Partnership, BP and GSK

Chapter 6: Growth

Chapter 8: Internationalization/globalization

This is a big topic. Depending on the structure of the module, at least two teaching weeks should be given over to the topic. Some issues around internationalization can be covered in growth/diversification themed weeks. However, I offer four activities.

  1. I use the case of French Cakes to examine entry modes.

2. e-Waste and GPNs

I have always used the work of Peter Dicken. His book Global Shift is available through my university library and I ask my students to read Chapter 3 and Chapter 9 (7th edition, 2015). I then ask them to answer a series of questions:

3. regenerative business models

As business management students, I expect an understanding of business models. So, I then ask them to map the current business model for their smartphone (other products are available) and then try the same for a zero waste smartphone.

4. Rodrik’s Trilemma

Dani Rodrik is such an accessible economist of international trade. His trilemma is a great tool for developing an understanding of the relationship between states, citizens and free trade. Try the following (the solutions are on page 129 of my text):