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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: NPK017
No such Code for pgprog: N1KP17
No such Code for pgprog: N1KD17
No such Code for pgprog: N1KB17

Department: Management and Marketing


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to NPK017
Tied to N1KP17
Tied to N1KD17
Tied to N1KB17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To deepen student understanding of the strategic management of organisations. The module builds on prior material in that it adopts the point of view of the executive team and considers the entire firm as a single entity. Strategic analysis has its own theoretical principles, which will be reviewed and applied.


  • Organisational Design and Strategy.
  • Strategic Positions vs. Organisational Capabilities.
  • Capabilities for Exploitation and Exploration.
  • Leveraging Human Resources and Culture for Capabilities.
  • Organisational Culture in High-Tech Firms.
  • Position and Capabilities: Resource Partitioning Issues.
  • Position and Capabilities: Limits to Organisation, Identify and Status.
  • Position and Capabilities: Semi-Autonomous Subunits.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will have:
  • developed an advanced understanding of the nature of strategic action, based on current theory and research;
  • developed a critical appreciation of the problems associated with change in organisations, in particular, inertia and the unintended outcomes of change efforts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will have:
  • developed the advanced analytical and communication skills to critically analyse companies and industries with respect to their strategies and those of competitors.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 28
Preparation and Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University