Programme PGP Term IV Academic Year 2021-22

Course title Strategy Capstone Area Strategy Credits 1.00

Prof. Anish Sugathan

Course Description & Objectives
The Strategic Management (SM) course taught in IIM-A PGP Term IV1 is designed to develop an integrated view of the several functional areas of management and foster general management and leadership orientation in students. The SM course -- similar in pedagogical approach to other strategy capstone courses introduced towards the end of traditional MBA programs -- is designed to assimilate prior course work to show students how functional areas fits together. The current SM course structure is a blend of the two traditional strategy teaching paradigms of external-internal environment analysis and the formulation-implementation analysis, which forms the conceptual basis to understand functional interrelatedness at the organizational level.

Taking a critical perspective on the traditional Strategy Capstone courses in general, Kachra & Schnietz (2008), argue that such courses “do relatively well at developing theoretical and applied integration skills but do poorly in developing practical integration skills”. In the IIM-A PGP curriculum, the emphasis of SM course -- in a similar vein -- is to develop an understanding of theoretical and applied integration at the end of the first year, while little emphasis is laid on developing practical integration skills.

Thus by the end of second year of the PGP program, there arises an opportunity to makeup the deficit in developing practical integration skills by tying together the multitudes of practical experiences accumulated by the student during their internship, field visits, events organizing, club activities, independent project and consulting undertakings along with the functional area courses and SM theoretical integration training in the first year. 

This opportunity to improve student learning outcomes focused on practical integration skills underlies the Strategy Capstone (SC) course.

The observations made by the PGP Review Committee & the PGP Review Implementation Committee draws the broad contours of expectations from the course. The stated course objective is “to provide the students an opportunity to integrate the learning that happened over a two-year period”, emphasising on “enabling a portfolio of experiences to achieve the objective.”, and by the recommending that “experiential learning approaches that will help achieve the objective of integrating learning should be incorporated.”

The course aims to train students in effective decision making in complex business scenarios under limited time and information by integrating functional knowledge and analytical prowess. The course aims to train on integration skills by posing multiple decision scenarios in a rich business/social problem context setup as an experimentation sandbox. The integration sandbox is designed to foster experiential learning by a process of trial and error experimentation -- take multiple strategic decisions, analyse consequences through dialectical inquiry, and record reflections.

The principal objective of the course is to better prepare student’s practical managerial skills to effectively lead organizations. 

- The SC course design philosophy draws upon the synthesis of a vast body of research on experience driven learning models into a process-structure developed by Klob & Klob (2005), Klob (2015).

- The SC course is administered in three modules along the four learning quadrants of the Klob (2015) learning cycle as shown in Figure 1. The learning style emphasized in each of the quadrant is derived from the Klob Learning Style Inventory (KLSI 4.0) Klob (2011)