Welcome to your course

This is the first post for MAN540 Strategic Management Spring Semester 2018 2019.

This blog is where you will find all your course materials, powerpoint slides, assignments, and extra readings.

Please follow the blog, so that you will be notified of any new posts.

Here is the course outline

man540-course-outline spring 2019


MAN540 Final Exam Sample Questions

Read the following case study, and then answer the questions.

Case Study: Syrian Bakery

A specialist bakery that produces Syrian bread has doubled its manufacturing space and is set to increase its product range.

Taza Bake, based in Stewartfield, Edinburgh, has also just been added to Heritage Portfolio’s list of corporate event suppliers for its Khobez or Syrian bread made to a 5000-year-old recipe.

The business, which was launched by Abdullah Razzouk after he used advice from Business Gateway Edinburgh, has now expanded into a second unit immediately next door to its current bakery, increasing its floor space to 2200sqft.

The expansion allows a second production line to open making Manakesh, traditional Syrian pies, and will house the business’ first retail outlet.

Abdullah, who runs his bakery while working full-time in the financial services industry, predicts his six-figure turnover could increase by up to 70% next year if current talks with two leading supermarkets are successful.

He said: “Since launching two years ago, the business has seen demand soar as shops and restaurants respond to customer demand for healthy breads that are chemical-free and freshly stone baked like ours. This process kills off bacteria and yeast and in turn limits bloating and other digestive issues. We’ve also seen an increase in orders from Syrian nationals who have recently arrived in Scotland.

“Although we do distribute our product to Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, there is still a huge market here in Scotland and I am working with Business Gateway Edinburgh to plan how best to tap into it. Right from the start Business Gateway has given me invaluable advice, including the market research that not only saved me a lot of time, it gave me the confidence to invest the initial £140k to buy ovens and kick-start the bakery. Since then my adviser has connected me with marketing consultants, IT experts and organised a strategy workshop that has helped me move my business forward. Without that input and guidance, I would have found setting up much more time-consuming.”

Al Bryce, Adviser, Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “By engaging with us at the very start, Abdullah has benefitted from our knowledge and connections to establish and grow his business. The market for the company’s products continues to grow, sparking interest from across the country and into England. As the business expands, undoubtedly it will create more jobs and attract interest for well-known names looking to put its products on the shelves. We will continue to provide Abdullah with guidance and ensure he gains access to further support as and when needed.”

Having left Syria in 2009, Abdullah worked in corporate finance in Abu Dhabi and Aberdeen before finally settling in Scotland two years later. Missing a taste of home he began searching for producers of Syrian bread, finding just three bakeries in London and Manchester that supplied the traditional bread to Scotland.

In 2014, he decided to launch Taza Bake. The following year production began and he sold 500 packets of bread each week. Now the company ships thousands of packets per week, with each packet consisting of five flatbreads that are made using no additives or chemicals to restaurants, wholesalers and shops. The firm now employees 14 part-time people.

Abdullah said: “Because of the situation back home I couldn’t get the ovens I needed from Syria so bought directly from a supplier in Lebanon. Once they arrived I spent a few months getting the recipe just right and began selling to local shops and takeaways, using customer feedback to perfect our processes. After the Edinburgh Fringe and Festival in 2015, and with a greater number of Syrians now living in Scotland, sales rocketed. We then began fulfilling orders from Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Stirling and Inverness as well as from the North East of England, Manchester and Liverpool. With Heritage Portfolio now on our books I hope more doors will open with other catering outlets. I’m delighted with the success of the business and am very proud to bring a taste of home to the Scottish market.”

Brian Canale, Executive Development Chef of Heritage Portfolio said: “We’re delighted to add Taza Bake breads to our corporate offering. The bakery is home-grown and offers such a unique product that we’re sure our conference clients are going to be thrilled.”

Our Business:

We are a baking factory, distribution company established on August 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Our operation has started on March 2015.


Our name:

Taza means Fresh, and that is our aim to deliver a freshly baked products on daily basis.


Our Products:

We are specialized in Mediterranean wrap bread (Khobez),

We produce it in different sizes, and different kind of flour (Wheat flour, Whole wheat flour).

As well as Mana’eesh, Fatayer, and Ma’moul,

We are proud that we are currently the first & only producer for these kind of products in Scotland,


Our production line:

Our machineries were shipped to Scotland from thousands of miles away to ensure the production of best quality Khobez. and another production line for Fatayer and Manaeesh,

The production line is considered safe for the environment and for the workers, designed to be suitable for work as per European Standards, and most important it reduces the direct contact between the dough and the humans to the minimum.


Our aim

To supply our freshly baked bread directly to your shop or restaurant all over Scotland,

and to sell our bread baked specialities directly to retail customers in Edinburgh and deliver them locally.



  1. Perform a SWOT analysis for Taza Bake.
  2. In your opinion, what was the main catalyst for Abdullah to start this company?
  3. What is the Unique Selling Point of Taza Bake?
  4. Show the journey of Abdullah and Taza Bake in the context of strategic planning. From which strategy did he start, and what strategy is he implementing now?
  5. What could be the most useful strategy for Taza Bake in the future?
  6. What were/are some of the major challenges for Abdullah in terms of strategy implmentation?
  7. How often should Abdullah check his strategy for Taza Bake?
  8. What items should be checked when monitoring strategy?





Videos for chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10

Here are the videos (made for the flipped learning students) for chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10

Chapter 7



Chapter 8



Chapter 9



Chapter 10



Mergers and Acquisitions as Strategy

Using Google, try to find out who acquired the following companies in 2016 and 2017.

In your opinion, was this a good strategy?

  • Jimmy Choo
  • Popeyes
  • Kate Spade
  • Yahoo!
  • Alcatel Lucent
  • Dreamworks
  • Lexmark
  • LinkedIn
  • Krispy Kreme
  • MySpace

Why do mergers and acquisitions fail?

What are the benefits of mergers and acquisitions?

Which strategies are most risky?

Identify three local businesses in your city. What three strategies do these three firms pursue? List the strategies in order of prevalence.

You can answer in the comments section below.

[This is not an assignment.]

Videos of chapter 1,2 and 4

Here are the links to videos made by your instructor for the Strategic Management online course.

Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 4 part 1


Chapter 4 part 2



The Book

The text for our course


The PowerPoint slides

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Case Study example for Final Exam

MINI CASE STUDY TWO: Creme brulee man

Food from street carts have become a foodie favorite for San Franciscans. Food carts travel from neighborhood to neighborhood, offering their delicacies to  range of local foodies. But without a set location, how do these carts let consumers know here they will be? Well, through Twitter of course. Curtis Kimball, the man behind the enormously popular Creme Brulee Cart in San Francisco, has quickly amassed over 12,000 followers in a little over a year. He knows that most of his business comes from people who follow him on witter because Twitter is the only way you can find the cart’s location for the day, says Kimball, a former construction worker turned creme brulee expert. “It gives people a valid reason to follow me,” he says.

The other use of Twitter for Kimball is to tell people what flavor of creme brulee he is serving in a given day. And Kimball says that Twitter gives him the ability to develop a personal relationship with his followers and others. He says he tries to engage his followers by asking for suggestions of what type of custard to serve or where he should park his cart, and he always tries to keep things humorous.

Kimball says he has no marketing budget and Twitter has been a great way to amass fans. He doesn’t have as much of a presence on Facebook, and he’s not sure the model is as efficient as Twitter. “Twitter can absorb more than Facebook with very little effort,” Kimball adds. Yelp has also been a valuable source of referrals for the entrepreneur. The cart has 224 reviews and is rated with 4 and a half stars.


Make a SWOT analysis based on the organisation in the given case study.

Make a Boston Consulting Group matrix analysis based on the organisation in the given case study.

What is the importance of social media in the strategic marketing?

What type of market segmentation would work well for this organisation?

Imagine this organisation decide to market their product/service in your home country. What cultural differences do they need to be wary of?

Give three alternative strategies that the organisation could follow?

Are these strategies feasible?

Is there any possibility for the following strategies at Innocent Drinks? If so, give your ideas.


    1. Forward integration
    2. Backward integration
    3. Horizontal integration
    4. related diversification
    5. unrelated diversification
    6. market development
    7. product development


  1. Which of Porter’s five generic strategics would be most successful do you think? and why?