Strategy for Sustainable Success

This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester. 

Module Co-ordinator

Professor David Mackay





Credit value


Contact hours

25 hours


100% coursework 


Strategy is at the core of any reputable MBA programme. A strategic perspective and understanding is widely recognized as a key attribute that employers expect MBA graduates to possess. A strategic perspective and understanding includes confidence and familiarity with the language, the theories, the application of those theories in practice, as well the ability to understand their limitations. In addition, strategy is one of the main subjects that integrates the functional subjects taught on an MBA, helping students to understand the strategic goals, objectives and competencies of an organisation, how these are supported by the organisation’s functions, and how it is intimately linked to the processes of organizational change. 

In this context, Strategy for Sustainable Success provides students with an overall understanding of the widely-accepted approaches to strategy, through a process of strategic analysis, critical reasoning and potential strategic option generation and evaluation that is intended to ensure future viability and sustainability. 

The module aims to develop students’ ability to work as managers within modern, complex organisational environments by providing them with structured opportunities to explore and understand the major strategic management and economic theories. By doing so, students will be confident with the language and practice of strategy and strategic management. Strategy for Sustainable Success introduces alternative strategic frameworks in which to critically analyse organisations’ and their strategies, the forces within their contextual and transactional environments that influence and determine the choice of strategy. In addition, Strategy for Sustainable Success will help students’ to analyse a range of strategic options and business strategies and policies that are proposed to be adopted by organisations, relating these to the concept of the business idea (their theory of success) sustainable competitive advantage as key to ongoing organizational adaptation and change.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have:

  • The ability to conduct wide-ranging business / organisational analysis and use appropriate presentational methods to communicate the outcome of the analysis;
  • The ability to analyse an organisation’s resource base to reveal rent generating competencies within existing organisational routines and activities;
  • The ability to employ knowledge of economic theory on supply and demand to identify market forces that determine an organisations’ competitive position;
  • The ability to identify and utilise alternative frameworks to categorise the position of organisation’s and their products / services in their appropriate market and competitive space;
  • The ability to employ knowledge of economic theory to understand the significance of organisational cost structures, market structures and opportunities to disrupt such structures;
  • The ability to generate and evaluate proposed strategic options that respond to identified opportunities and threats to support organisational adaptation;
  • The ability to understand the concept of the “Business Idea” as the main approach to understanding value-creating activities and processes of the organisation, and thus appreciate the role of organisations systems in determining organisational success;
  • The ability to understand the implications of multi-business organisations, with a portfolio of businesses in terms of corporate strategy and portfolio management;
  • The ability understand the processes that influence the way in which individuals and groups approach strategic problem identification and decision making in ambiguous and complex environments; and
  • The ability to identify the individual’s dominant style and characteristics and their impact on strategy development in organisations.
  • Research skills, analytical skills, presentation skills, oral and written communication skills, argument building, and team working skills.
  • Current terminology – concepts and theories (including an ability to understand their strengths and weaknesses), cross functional knowledge and links, problem solving and critical reasoning.



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