DT349 MSc in Strategic Management Programme Content/Module Outlines
Strategy and Leadership 1
Strategic management is concerned with the overall purpose purpose and scope of the organisation to meet the expectations of major shareholders and add value to different parts of the enterprise. As it takes a resolute general manager / chief executive perspective of the firm, the module Strategy & Leadership 1 is offered as an important key focus of the programme.
Analytical Tools for Business Management
Analytical Tools for Business Management allows the participant to apply a number of analytical techniques to management situations. It is a practical module that applies a diverse range of methods to a wide variety of problem areas. It encompasses a number of mathematically oriented techniques that have either been developed within the field of management science/operational research or have been adapted from other disciplines, such as the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics and engineering.
The approach to decision making followed in this module involves approaching a problem in a logical manner. This logical, consistent and systematic approach to problem solving is of great benefit to the student of management as it encompasses the use of data from practical scenarios. These are commonly applied to strategic, tactical and operational problems. The student will have the opportunity to apply operations management analytical and decision making tools to a range of cases.
This module introduces students to the key concepts of Corporate Finance. Core areas of finance will be covered by a mixture of analytical and descriptive work, thus giving students knowledge which can be further developed in the other financial specialisms on offer not only in this programme but also as a foundation for further study. It gives the student an appreciation of how a company finances enterprise and also an understanding of the financial process in organisations. As students have not studied corporate finance to this point the course is designed to “fast-track” these same students from a non-specialised to a specialised level of knowledge of corporate finance.
Strategic marketing seeks to deepen the student’s knowledge of marketing principles and practice from the perspective of the strategic management of the firm. It takes a resolute strategic perspective in order to comprehend the allocation and development of marketing resources in challenging market contexts. It analyses the complexity of marketing decision making at a senior level in the firm and encourages the student to understand the role of the marketing manager and, in a more integrated context, the work of the general manager.
Project and Consultancy Management
Competencies in planning and managing projects are now seen as an integral aspect of the work of many managers. This module aims to give participants the necessary theoretical understanding and practical expertise in this area to successfully manager projects. The module is taught using a combination of practical lab sessions where students will learn project management software combined with lectures where the principles are explained. Students will undertake a group project on an actual project.
This module covers the key processes and skill sets that a project manager needs to be conversant with in order to manage projects effectively. The context is set against a typical project life-cycle and the topics covered will be based on best practice from project initiation through to project closure including the use of PMBOK.
Business Research Methods
Participants can select to undertake research on either an individual Dissertation or Company Project on an area of interest within the field of strategic management. Academic supervisors will be appointed to help you during the process.
In preparation for the dissertation or company project we provide a module on Business Research Methods. This module is structured to give you a systematic understanding of the different forms of research available during the research process. This module will help you comprehend and have an appreciation of the philosophies of research, in addition to data collection and analysis approaches.
Students will prepare a proposal for their individual piece of research during this module.
Strategy and Leadership 2
Strategy and Leadership 2 integrates and extends the knowledge acquired throughout the programme, particularly the Strategic and Leadership 1Module, and applies these concepts to the multifaceted organisational and external environment. Maintaining the CEO / senior management perspective adopted in Strategy and Leadership 1, the primary issues of integrating diverse and complex functions and divisions to deliver organisational strategy under conditions of economic and international turbulence are identified and analysed.
Understanding and Leading Organisations
This module explores different approaches to ways in which organisations are understood. It contrasts the approach of the scientific method with that of the phenomenological in order to challenge the traditional and classic view of organisations, which is broadly representative of American and British academic thinking. The module matter will draw on a large variety of discourses in order to open the mind of the student to the fact that there are many ways in which organisational activity can be perceived.
The module will explore topics such as how managers make sense of what is happening in their organisations especially in times of uncertainty and complexity. It will look at ‘text book’ models of decision making and compare these to what actually happens in organization. The nature of emotions in organisations is explored and the traditional view that managers should take decisions using logic, but not emotion, is debated. Another topic of growing importance is that of personal values and what happens when a conflict arises between personal and organizational values. This module also looks at how strategic planning and implementation differ in private sector versus public sector organisations and asks the question – do they differ and if so, how? The module will also allow participants to consider the nature of leadership using various case studies of actual companies. Opportunities will also be provided to reflect on their own characteristics and how these might impact on their leadership style.
Financial Services Stream
The financial systems of the World are undergoing unprecedented challenges. Understanding the nature of these challenges and their impact at an organisational level is of benefit to all involved in strategic planning.
The aim of this stream is for students to develop core skills in finance initially, before going on to expand their knowledge of the financial services branch of finance. The stream is designed to highlight the importance of Central Banks and Financial Intermediaries, not just to the financial sector, but to the economy as a whole. Attention is also paid to the legal and regulatory issues faced in Corporate Finance, with particular focus placed upon regulatory issues in the Irish market. The stream also offers students the opportunity to engage with the strategy aspect of Finance, while also exposing the student to the roles of ethics and research in Finance.
Modules currently offered
The three modules comprising this stream have been selected for the purposes of:
- Financial Institutions – providing the background to how markets function and the roles of key market participants.
- Financial Services, Regulation and Governance – provide understanding of the legal and regulatory issues faced in the Financial Services markets.
- Advanced Corporate Finance – ensuring that students are aware of the ‘roles of ethics, strategy and research in Finance.
Innovation is a key challenge in today's organisations. Whether large or small, manufacturing or service, public or private sector, organisations increasingly rely on innovation in all areas of their business to give them a competitive edge in the products or services which they offer, and the processes they use to create and deliver them. With this reliance come many problems requiring effective solutions. The management of innovation involves putting in place and operating the strategies, structures, staffing and systems needed for the effective development and commercialisation of products and services, together with their associated production processes and delivery systems, and for the acquisition, development and timely embodiment of their constituent technologies and supporting knowledge bases.
The Innovation stream of the M.Sc. Strategic Management is designed to support the strategist who is or aims to be responsible for driving innovation activities in their organisation. The programme provides a comprehensive coverage of the key knowledge and competence areas relevant to this important business area. It provides a unique bridge between the strategy of the organisation and the market.
Modules currently offered
Entrepreneurship - The purpose of this module is to enable the participant to perceive entrepreneurship within its strategic context and to understand both the influence on organisational context on entrepreneurial orientation and the outcomes of an entrepreneurial posture. The module provides an holistic perspective of the organisation. The module provides an understanding of the key elements of entrepreneurship and how it interacts with the broad aspects of the organisation, integrating the main conceptual frameworks provided by the commercialisation, strategic management and organisational behaviour modules within the context of today’s global economy.
Commercialisation - This module focuses on the Commercialisation of new technology products and Innovation. Traditionally regarded as the 'final' step in the new product development process, commercialisation is intimately linked with the other stages of the innovation process. Like these other stages it must be carefully managed to ensure that the new market offering is given every opportunity to succeed. The module therefore takes an 'outside' in perspective focussing primarily on the market and marketing related considerations (including internationalisation) of the commercialisation process. In this sense it complements the related innovation module on the course. In addition to studying the commercialisation process, students will be required to apply this learning to developing a commercialisation plan for 'live' pre-commercialisation project from invention through the delivery of customer value. Innovation extends beyond the capability to develop and renew product offerings, to encompass how they are created and delivered to market.
This module, building on the Strategic Marketing module, focuses on the practical, legal and functional aspects of the commercialisation of technology and innovative products. Through a range of topics, students will understand the complex processes required to commercialise products backed by theoretical models and practical tools. Case studies, readings and examples from a variety of industries spanning low, medium and high technology constitute a major element of the module.
Innovation Management - Innovation is recognised as critical to the achievement of competitive advantage in both manufacturing and service organisations however managers face many challenges if they are to innovate successfully. Innovation covers a range of activities from the development of new product/service offerings through to the improvement of operational processes and business models. Successful commercialisation distinguishes innovation from invention through the delivery of customer value.
The module focuses on key thematic areas namely: innovation strategy, idea generation, prioritisation, implementation and people/organisation. Through the themes, students will gain an understanding of the complex processes needed to derive and commercialise products supported by theoretical models and practical tools. Because innovation is context dependent, emphasis is placed on the application of models and analytical tools that clarify the interplay between competition, new ideas, patterns of technological and market change and the structure and development of internal capabilities to manage innovation successfully, regardless of the organisation or sector.
The retail industry is a prime example of how global business interfaces with local markets. The retail sector today is global in its reach and has a key role in interpreting local consumer demand and in determining what products get to be offered to consumers. Thus the sector plays a pivotal role in the supply chain and is the business to which manufacturers of consumer goods sell their products. Thus the study of strategic management is enhanced by examining, in some detail, the influence of the retail sector and the management issues with which that sector deals.
Modules currently offered
Contemporary Issues in Retailing - is the overview module which introduces students to the retail sector and its place within the economy and to the issues of strategic management with which the sector has to deal.
Marketing the Retail Brand - has a focus on marketing and branding strategy for retail enterprises. Thus it is complementary to both the core module on Strategic Marketing and on the above Contemporary Issues module.
Experiential Retailing and Location Strategy - deals with two separate but related issues that retail managers have to tackle: store design and branch location. The module has a practical orientation but is grounded in the extensive academic literature on these areas of research.
Human Resource Management Stream
The aim of this stream is to furnish students with a solid grounding in the key theoretical and practical dimensions of the subject of Human Resource Management. It is designed to ensure that students appreciate the importance of the contribution of employees to business success, together with the key means deployed to ensure such success. The module exposes students to all of the more essential H.R.M. practices, whilst providing a foundation in H.R.M. concepts, policies, practices and procedures. Accordingly it shall provide students with a solid base in and substantive insight to this crucial subject area.
Modules currently offered
Human Resource Management – gives a comprehensive overview of all of the key dimensions of the subject (i.e. strategy, policy, procedures and practices).
Performance Management & Reward – underlines essential ‘best practice’ for the attainment of a ‘high performance’ organisation.
Employment Law – ensures that managers are fully aware of the ‘Does’ and ‘Don’ts’ (imposed by statute and case law) associated with the management of staff at work.
Supply Chain Management Stream
The world is changing. The lifting of trade barriers and advances in technology present businesses with many global opportunities. Yet sourcing products from the world’s best suppliers and the capability to reach new markets create major logistical challenges for companies. This is especially important in the face of ever-increasing consumer demands for quality, choice and value. This means that businesses are reappraising the way they manage their supply chains – the complex sequence of events and decisions which connects sourcing raw materials with manufacturing and the end consumer. Supply chain management is the management of this end-to-end supply chain, and companies are increasingly using supply chain management to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Today logistics and supply chain management are critical boardroom issues, and companies in every type of industry are seeking people at all levels with the vision and drive to deliver continuous improvement in their supply chains. We have moved through the ages of finance, production, sales and marketing and are now in the age of information technology. Many predict that the 21st century will also be the age of logistics and supply chain management.
The aim of the Supply Chain Management stream of the M.Sc. Strategic Management is to provide an intellectual formation and a path to personal development which will develop a graduate equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the key supply chain, philosophies, theoretical perspectives and strategic frameworks to drive successful implementation of supply chain objectives within the overall business strategy.
Modules currently offered
Strategic Operations Management – Strategic Operations management is a crucial element for any organisation to survive in the global market. Approaching this module from a truly supply chain management perspective, this module aims to provide a clear and concise coverage, whilst the updated case study gives an opportunity to highlight on practice and further explore the concepts and techniques.
Supply Management – Purchasing and Supply Management, as a discipline, has changed considerably for many companies over the last few years. It is recognized that adoption of effective supply strategies has the potential to contribute to or drive corporate strategy, thus impacting on the competitive success of modern organisations. The need for effective Supply Management continues to grow in line with increasing global competition, global sourcing and strategic outsourcing.
This module seeks to generate an understanding of supplier management, strategic outsourcing and partnering within a supply chain context. It will highlight the challenges involved, and route maps for success and the potential rewards.
Strategic Supply Chain - As the challenges of matching supply and demand have increased steadily, the necessity for a single paradigm for understanding the flow of material, information and cash has become paramount. Decreasing levels of vertical integration show an increased willingness on the part of organisations not only to adopt different supply-chain models, but to change the existing model rapidly as internal and external factors vary. The awareness of the supply-chain as an element of overall strategy together with the reward for accurately making timely management decisions are core capabilities of the modern firm.
This module seeks to give the student an insight into the integrative nature of supply-chain management, the skill to design an optimal supply-chain to achieve a given level of performance and the capability of assessing supply-chain performance in different business contexts.
Organisations are seeking to carve out space in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The field of marketing is shifting under the evolution of new technologies which are placing the customer in a more powerful position. Software to assist with data analysis is increasingly being deployed by organisations. This stream aims to provide students with a broad appreciation of the changing nature of marketing at both a local and global level.
Modules currently offered
Contemporary issues in marketing - The landscape of marketing, and its management in real-world practice, has evolved significantly over the last number of years. The digital revolution, and other drivers, have reshaped considerably theory and practice, and made redundant much existing, conventional approaches to the discipline.
This module seeks to move beyond traditional conceptions of marketing and to provide a clear comprehension of this new world of marketing, to convey an understanding of the challenges facing marketing managers, consumers, and citizens, and to encourage the development of the participant’s analytical and decision-making expertise in this novel context.
Marketing in a Global Environment - Marketers are facing unprecedented challenges from the global environment – marketers from the developed world are reassessing their strengths and marketers from the developing world are finding their feet and voice in the global market. The factors that play a role in the global environment are exogenous to the home environment of marketers. Therefore, it is useful for marketers to understand the constantly changing global environment in order to be competitive. This module is particularly designed to achieve that objective. It is also important for marketers to understand some current issues, such as the relationship between foreign direct investment and democracy in international marketing. The module is also designed to enhance learners’ knowledge on the 4Ps of international marketing in the global context.
Analysis for Marketing Decision Making - Today’s strategic manager is called upon to marshal and leverage data by engaging timely and appropriate analysis and reporting tools to effect optimal decisions. A fast-paced and dynamic management and marketing landscape with competitive and budgeting pressures means that strategic decisions, planning and resource allocation needs to be predicated on high quality analysis with good normative and actionable implications.
Being equipped and conversant with a range of sophisticated and proven analysis tools confers the holder with a strategic advantage and role in guiding a company through the complex terrain of strategy, decision and performance appraisal processes particularly in a Marketing context.
This option encapsulates a distinctly marketing oriented flavour as applied to strategic management contexts; with the issues and analyses being representative of and aligned with common and contemporaneous strategic management and marketing issues.
A carefully blended range of strategic Marketing Analysis tools are presented, developed and exemplified through an applied approach; engaging appropriate software and theory towards the goal of strategic Marketing Analysis.