mgehd2140  2019-2020  Mons

Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
6 credits
30.0 h
Ducarroz Caroline;
Main themes
This course is organized around a strategic business game, in which groups of students (4 or 5 students on average - each group managing a virtual company), compete on one or two competitive markets (Markstrat environment). The course underlines strategic marketing aspects of company management. The business game is far from being an end in itself: it helps as an exploration field, in order to go deeper in theoretical concepts linked to strategy, and put them in perspective with the situation of their virtual company.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Competencies
Given the « competencies referential » linked to the LSM Master 120 in Sciences de Gestion et in Ingéniorat de Gestion, this course mainly develops the following competencies:
  • 2. Master multidisciplinary body of knowledge;
  • 6. Integrate and work in a team; exercise enlightened leadership;
  • 7. Define and manage a project to completion;
  • 8. Communicate effectively and convincingly;
  • 9. Be able to adapt to new settings.
Learning outcomes
At the end of the class, students will be able to:
  • analyze the potential strategic options for a company/organization, especially linked on its positioning on a market and the customer market segmentation;
  • build the most adequate strategy for a company/organization, in a competitive and moving environment;
  • Put in perspective theoretical concepts on Strategy and managing a virtual company, by applying theoretical constructs linked to strategic management to the situation of the virtual company;
  • master advanced marketing studies, and connect the results provided by these studies;
  • point out and focus on pieces of information that enrich their thoughts and allow them to reach their goal, while they get overwhelmed by information;
  • develop and implement ideas around a product portfolio;
  • develop critical point of views;
  • reconcile the different points of view expressed by the members of the team;
  • anticipate and organize their work, under pressure of time;
  • summarize their thoughts in a clear way, provide arguments for each choice, and communicate them in an efficient way, verbally as well as in written reports.
  • Evaluate and appreciate the relevance of their choices, a posteriori.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
After a session devoted to an introduction to the business game Markstrat, each group acts as a company active in a specific industry, in order to maximize the value of products for customers and the value of the company for shareholders.
During each session, students present the evolution of the strategy of their company, argue for their choice (depending on the changing competitive environment), and state their strategy on an operational level.
Students interact with the professor and/or a teaching assistant during each session, about their strategic analysis of the market and the situation of their company.
Feedback is given during each session on the decisions made during previous sessions, and on the theoretical concepts used by students. Theoretical points are underlined by the teacher at the beginning of sessions, and also after sessions, through a system of inverted classes (videos, tutorials, etc).
Teaching methods
This course alternates verbal interactions between the professor and each group of students (discussions), carrying out written reports (with “challenges” to fulfil), a system of inverted class (short tutorials/videos on some theoretical concepts, to be viewed between sessions), feedback provided to groups and global theoretical deepening. So, students have to make preparation work, individually, before some of the sessions, and have systematically to carry out group work after each session (intermediate reports and final report).
The course is organized around 4-hour sessions, in rooms whose design is appropriate for group thinking and interactions.
Evaluation methods
Student evaluation will be determined by:
(1) a group on-going evaluation. More specifically, the evolution of the following elements will be assessed:
  • Progression in terms of results (company performance)
  • Thorough understanding and application of the theoretical concepts
  • Strategic reasoning (consistence in decisions, relevance in the positioning of brands in the different markets, attitude towards risk, learning from mistakes);
  • Group dynamics;
  • Challenges and intermediate reports.
  1. An individual on-going evaluation, based on oral interactions.
  2. A written final report.
More information on team work and individual report instructions and on grade repartition will be provided during the first class session.
La liste qui suit est loin d’être exhaustive. Les sources citées peuvent s’avérer intéressantes pour tout étudiant désireux d’en savoir davantage sur les sujets abordés.
Attention : il est demandé aux étudiants de lire, en préparation du cours, les chapitres 6 et 7 de « Stratégique » (auteurs : G. Johnson and K. Scholes, 8ème, 9ème ou 10ème édition – notez que le nombre d’auteurs varie selon l’édition), portant sur « Les Stratégies par domaine d’activité » et « La stratégie au niveau de l’entreprise ». Ce livre est disponible à la Bibliothèque de l’UCL-Mons.
[1] D. A. AAKER (1998), Strategic Market Management, Sixth Edition, John Wiley & Sons.
[2] G.G. DESS, G.T. LUMPKIN, M.L. TAYLOR (2005), Strategic Management: Creating Competitive
Advantages, Second Edition, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
[3] J.-P. HELFER, M. KALIKA, J. ORSONI (2002), Management : Stratégie et Organisation, 4ème
Edition, Librairie Vuibert – Gestion.
[4] G. HOOLEY, J. SAUNDERS, N. PIERCY (2004), Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning,
3rd Edition, Pearson Education Limited.
[5] G. JOHNSON, H. SCHOLES, F. FRERY (2014), Stratégique, 10ème Edition, Pearson Educ.
[6] R.S. KAPLAN & D.P. NORTON (1996), The Balanced Scorecard, Translating Strategy into Action,
Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Massachusetts.
[7] J.J. LAMBIN, R. CHUMPITAZ, C. de MOERLOOSE (2005), Marketing Stratégique et Opérationnel:
du Marketing à l’Orientation Marché, 6ème Edition, Dunod, Paris.
[8] E. METAIS (2004), Stratégie et Ressources de l’Entreprise: Théorie et Pratique, Ed. Economica.
[9] M. E. PORTER (1998), Competitive Strategy, Second Edition, The Free Press.
Quelques sites et publications intéressants:
McKinsey Quarterly -
Mastering Strategy : supplément du lundi du Financial Times.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Management (shift schedule)

Master [120] in Management (shift Schedule 2)

Master [120] in Management (shift schedule)