Seminar 5: General Management and Strategy

– 2 days –


This course is intended to be a showcase and an introduction to basic general management and strategy issues. It is designed for an audience of high and medium level managers in Central China Grid Company ltd.

The course objectives are to provide managers with an overview on the key challenges of General management, on the basics of strategy analysis, and on the role of managers. The emphasis is on the ability to coordinate and integrate activities across different functions. Since the situations to which managers are exposed are situations of cooperation within a joint-venture, the perspective deliberately adopted here is the perspective of organizational processes. The emphasis will therefore be on how organizations function and how they can generate the behaviour expected.

Although theoretical development will be used to provide anchors and references, the course is intended for practitioners and therefore is bent to be practical and useful. It emphasises the development of analytical skills. In addition, the managers involved are expected to leave the course with a set of analytical tools that they could use in their activities. As a consequence, the teaching methods used include mostly practical examples and case discussion. The cases may be written or filmed.

More specifically, the course bypasses the traditional management framework, such as the Planning, organizing, directing, controlling, framework developed by such people as Fayol in the early times of this century. Rather, it focuses immediately on the important issues of strategy-based management. Simple, technical issues such as planning will be addressed during the case studies, around which the course is designed.

The important knowledge, skills and attitudes, which will be targeted in this course, are intended to favour:

  1. Developing a broad perspective on business dynamics and facilitating the understanding of issues related to managing an organization as a whole;
  2. Understanding the issues related to coordinating and integrating the various activities of an organization;

The basic concepts, which are the backbone of this course, are:

  • The nature of organization,
  • The managers’ roles and competences,
  • Strategy as a walking stick : an introduction,
  • Environmental forces and their effects on strategy
  • Competitive advantage,
  • Strategy implementation issues,

The course uses a variety of pedagogical tools and methods. In particular, we shall use three important ways to address the issues mentioned:

  1. Case studies,
  2. Discussion of Guodian strategy
  3. Theoretical articles and texts, relevant to the issues addressed.

The participants to the course have to devote time to preparation. In particular, they should read and prepare all the cases.

The format of this seminar is the following:

This is a two-day intensive course, including about 14 hours of class meetings.

Day one A – Management and Strategy: An introduction
Day one B – Environmental forces
Day two A – Developing a Competitive Advantage
Day two B – Implementing Strategy


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