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Online · School of Business · Graduate Business

Strategic Thinking for Decision-Making

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 02/07/2020

Contact Information

See detailed faculty information in Blackboard.

Course Description

The advanced study of the process of business strategy (for both profits and nonprofits), including the decision traps to avoid and the most effective ways to develop and implement strategy.



BUSI 700 and BUSI 710


BUSI 770, building upon the advanced concepts and techniques learned in the preceding courses, provides an advanced perspective on strategic thinking as applied to business strategy, and how to evaluate business strategies—in terms of effectiveness and efficiency—in for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental organizational environments.

The mission of the DBA program is to provide an opportunity for qualified students to attain academic,  professional,  and  practical  competence—within  the  Christian  worldview—which prepares students for opportunities, and corresponding additional responsibilities beyond the master's degree level. The DBA program emphasizes practical and real-world applications in both the course work and the major applied doctoral research project requirements. The vision of the DBA program is to produce graduates wit intellectual and professional competencies in the following areas: 

  • the ability to demonstrate the capacity for reflective and analytical business thinking;
  • the ability  to  draw  together  relevant  concepts  and  theories  from  different  business disciplines in order to gain a better understanding of the organizational context in which particular problems or opportunities arise;
  • the ability to analyze problems and issues arising in business and management contexts, utilizing relevant theories, concepts, and empirical findings;
  • the ability to identify and analyze questions and issues in business; and
  • the ability to design, implement, and successfully conclude empirical research

Each of the above will be considered in light of biblical principles, and be integrated within the Christian worldview.

The DBA program philosophy supports both the program mission and vision, and is as follows. PhD programs in business focus intensively on preparing candidates for academic careers and to conduct highly specialized academic research, i.e., the development of new theory in business and other related business fields. Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs focus on the application of theory rather than on the development of new theory. While also intended to prepare graduates for academic careers, the DBA, by virtue of its focus on application of theory, has more practical application in managerial settings than the PhD.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Compare the differences and the similarities of strategic thinking business models as they apply to business strategy (Analysis, DBA PLO 2).
  2. Evaluate business strategies selected from any of the following: for-profit, nonprofit, or governmental organizational environments (Synthesis, DBA PLO 1).
  3. Integrate the strategic decision making process in business with a Biblical worldview (Synthesis, DBA PLO 4).
  4. Develop a doctoral-level literature review relating the key course concepts of decision making, strategic thinking, and business strategy (Synthesis, DBA PLO 2).

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Gamble, J., Peteraf, M., & Thompson, A. (2019), Essentials of strategic management, McGraw - Hill Higher Education (6th ed.), New York, NY. ISBN: 9781259927638.

Keller, T. (2014), Every good endeavor, Riverhead Books, Penguin Group, New York, NY. ISBN: 9781594632822.

Krogerus, M., & Tschäppeler, R. (2018), The decision book: 50 models for strategic thinking., W. Norton & Company, Inc. (Revised ed.), New York, NY. ISBN: 9780393652376.

Rumelt, R. (2011), Good strategy/bad strategy: The difference and why it matters., Crown Business, New York, NY. ISBN: 9780307886231.

Recommended Resource 

American Psychological Association. (2010), Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), Washington, DC

Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Office Suite

Course Assignments

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module 1.

Discussion Board Forums (7)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences, and this course requires seven distinct discussion forums. The specific requirements, point weightings, and due dates are listed in the Course Content section of Blackboard.

Literature Review

This course requires a doctoral level literature review. The specific requirements, point weightings, and due dates are listed in the Course Content section of Blackboard.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (6 @ 100 and 1 @ 125 points ea.)


Literature Review Outline


Literature Review




Course Policies

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is strictly prohibited. See the Graduate Catalog for specific definitions, penalties, and processes for reporting.

Drop/Add Policy

Consult the Graduate Catalog for drop/add policies.


Feedback on each phase of the Applied Doctoral Research Project will be conducted. Due to the extensive amount of work that students are placing into each submission, faculty take extreme care to provide substantive feedback to each student. Consequently, students should expect feedback on smaller assignments within seven (7) days. For larger assignments that require more feedback from the faculty member, feedback will be returned within fourteen (14) days. Each assignment has been notated as to the maximum amount of time a student may expect to have feedback returned.


Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at

Grading Scale

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1000 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.



Gamble, et al., Essentials of Strategic Management (6th ed., 2019). Keller, T., Every Good Endeavor (2012).

Krogerus & Tschäppeler, The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking (Revised ed., 2018). Rumelt, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters (2011).








Krogerus & Tschappeler, review decision models Keller: Introduction, chs. 1–3 Gamble, Petraf & Thompson: ch. 1

Rumelt: chs. 16–17



Course Requirements Checklist

DB Forum 1








Krogerus & Tschappeler, review decision models Keller: chs. 4–6

Gamble, Petraf & Thompson: ch. 2

Rumelt: chs. 1, 3–7



DB Forum 2

Reply to Forum 1








Krogerus & Tschappeler, review decision models Keller: chs. 7–9

Gamble, Petraf & Thompson: ch. 3

Rumelt: chs. 11–14


DB Forum 3

Reply to Forum 2







Krogerus & Tschappeler, review decision models Keller: chs. 10–12, Epilogue Gamble, Petraf & Thompson: ch. 4

Rumelt: chs. 2, 8, 12, 14



DB Forum 4

Reply to Forum 3







Krogerus & Tschappeler, review decision models Gamble, Petraf & Thompson: chs. 5–8

DB Forum 5

Reply to Forum 4






Krogerus & Tschappeler, review decision models Gamble, Petraf & Thompson: ch. 10

Rumelt: chs. 9–10

2 articles


DB Forum 6

Reply to Forum 5

Outline of Literature Review








Krogerus & Tschappeler, review decision models Keller: Review all Chapters Gamble, Petraf & Thompson: ch. 9

DB Forum 7

Reply to Forum 6






Review all texts

Reply to Forum 7

Literature Review





DB = Discussion Board


NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.