(Module Guide) Strategic Risk Management – 337 (University College Birmingham)


(Module Guide) Strategic Risk Management – 337 (University College Birmingham)

Strategic Risk Management (337)

MA International Tourism Business Administration

MA International Hospitality Management

Module Code: 337


This module examines the nature and complexities of decision-making in the service environment. It explores the challenges of operating in both stable and unstable environments, and considers the modernist, postmodernist and neo-modernist views toward strategic management. There is an emphasis on understanding the complexity and risk of strategic perspectives in both the internal and external environments. These considerations are made in the light of political decisions, bureaucracy and inconsistencies impacting on the future direction of service organisations.

Learning Outcomes:

The learning outcomes highlight the key skills and knowledge students should derive from this module.

On completion of the Strategic Risk Management Module, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate current thinking in organisational decision making in unstable, dynamic environments
  2. Evaluate techniques to understand the internal and external environment
  3. Analyse key challenges facing organisational decision makers
  4. Analyse and evaluate strategy options for organisational decision makers in order to manage enterprise-wide risk.

Teaching & Learning Methods

This module employs a range of teaching strategies including lectures, workshops, case studies, and guest lectures.  The study visit, whilst not assessed in this module, provides an opportunity to apply procedural techniques gained in commercial service development.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment plan for the module is designed to cover the learning outcomes.

AssessmentHand OutHand InWeighting
Individual EssayWeek 1Week 650%
Group Presentation and reportWeek 4Weeks 13 and 1550%
Assessment Strategy

Module structure.

The module is designed with three interrelating components: strategic analysis; risk analysis and management; and strategic development, formulation, and implementation. The delivery of each of these components will extend over three weeks. In each of these, the first and second week will consist of three-hour lectures, with the third week given over to group presentation workshops. In the workshops, students will deliver presentations based on their understanding of the foregoing lectures’ concepts and theories as they apply to their group case study. In this way, students receive on-going support for their learning and understanding of the module, together with the opportunity to incrementally build, and develop, their assignment presentations and reports.

Transferable skills covered in this module

The following transferable skills are developed as an integral part of the programme through:


An investigative written group report based on Strategy and Risk Management

Working with others

Negotiating and developing effective ways of presenting outcomes of the team in an investigative written group report

Application of number

An examination requiring analysis of financial data and completion of calculations relating to financial performance

Programme schedule:

Week NumberLecturer(s)Lecture ContentDate/Day
2DJIntroduction to module, and the identification and analysis of strategic riskMonday 10th February
3DJThe management of strategic riskMonday 17h February
4DJThe strategic management process and group formationMonday 24h February
5DJAnalysing the internal environment.Monday 3rd March
6DJAnalysing the external environment – 1Monday 10th March
7TBA*Analysing the external environment part – 2Monday 17h March
8TBA*Generating and selecting strategyMonday 24th March
        9                                      Residential trip               Monday 31st March
                                                  Easter break
10TBA*Managing strategic changeMonday 28th April
       11                                     May Day bank holiday
12TBA*Final presentation workshopsMonday 12th May
13TBA*Assessed presentationsMonday 19th May
       14                                    Spring bank holiday
15TBA*Assessed presentationsMonday 2nd June
Programme Schedule

TBA* = to be arranged

Lecture outline

Week 2:  Introduction to the module and the identification of risk

  • Introduction to module.
  • An introduction to strategic risk management
  • The characteristics of strategic risk management.
  • Challenges to the risk and return linear model
  • The typology of risk. Internal and external spheres of risk. What is uncertainty?
  • Stake and uncertainty. The relationship between an uncertain operating and remote environment and chaos theory.
  • The argument for a postmodernism perspective in handling change. Developing a structure for handling risk.
  • The centrality of the financial measurement of risk.
  • Introduction to risk management 


         Clarke, C.J. and Varma,S. (1999) ‘Strategic Risk Management:

          the New Competitive Edge’ Long Range Planning, 32 (4) 

Thomson (2002) Chap.24

Nader, J. S. (2002) The Manager’s Concise Guide to Risk. Wiley Finance.

www.  (current

articles on global risk)

Week 3:  The management of strategic risk.

  • Traditional types of risk management. The risk management process: Clarke and Varma (1999).
  • The Shell 7-stage model.
  • Risk response strategies, and the 4 ‘T’s framework.
  • Assessing the risks of investments in other countries.
  • Managing risks
  • Risk as the 4th. Dimension

      JOHNSON, SCHOLES & WHITTINGTON (2011), Chaps. 6, 10, &11

      THOMPSON & MARTIN (2005), Chaps. 20 & 23.

      ANDERSEN (2006) Chap. 3 & 6.

Week 4:  The strategic management process and planning direction (Group formation and case study assignment briefing)

  • An introduction to the modernist, neo-modernist and postmodernist paradigms as they relate to strategic risk management.
  • Mission Statements, Visions and business objectives.
  • Stakeholder analysis.
  • Power and politics in organisations.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility.


EVANS, CAMPBELL & STONEHOUSE (2003), Chaps. 3, 4, 5 & 6


LYNCH (2009) Chaps 1 ,2 & 6

THOMPSON & MARTIN (2005), Chaps 1 and 2.

WICKHAM (2000) Chaps. 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10

Week 5: Analysing the internal environment

  • Organisational culture and its effects on strategy.
  • Cultural web analysis.
  • Internal audit to include Resource Audit and Value Chain analysis.
  • The importance of unique resources and core competences.
  • Summary of the sources of competitive advantage.


Johnson, G. Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2011) Exploring Corporate Strategy,  8th. Edition. FT Prentice Hall Pearson Education, Harlow. Chapters 3 & 5.

Cole, G. A. (1997) Strategic Management, Second Edition. Letts Educational, London. Chapter 10.

Lynch, R. (2009) Strategic Management, 6th. Edition. Pearson Education, Harlow. Chapter 4.

Thompson, J. and Martin, F. (2005) Strategic Management – Awareness and change. 5th. Edition. Thomson Learning, London. Chapter 7.

Week 6:  Analysing the external environment (part 1)

  • What is External Strategic Auditing?
  • A firm’s scope of influence
  • The remote/macro Environment – PEST Analysis
  • Impact of the Macro-economic environment on firms and their strategies


See below

Week 7: Analysing the external environment (part 2)

  • The operating environment
  • Analysing customers (Segmentation)
  • Industry Structure (Porter’s 5 Forces Model)
  • Porter’s concept of competitive advantage
  • Industry Life-Cycle
  • The competitive environment and competitor analysis including strategic group mapping
  • Models:  Boston Matrix(BGM), G E Matrix, Product portfolio and Product Life Cycle
  • SWOT summary of internal and external audits

Reading for external analysis parts 1 and 2:

Johnson, G. Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2011) Exploring Corporate Strategy,  8th. Edition. FT Prentice Hall Pearson Education, Harlow. Chapter 2

Greenley, G. (1989) Strategic Management. Prentice Hall International (UK) Ltd. Hemel Hempstead. Chapter 3, pages 75 to 82.

Cole, G. A. (1997) Strategic Management, Second Edition. Letts Educational, London. Chapters 3, 4 & 5.

Lynch, R. (2006) Corporate Strategy, 4th. Edition. Pearson Education, Harlow. Chapters 3, 4, 5 & 20.

Thompson, J. and Martin, F. (2005) Strategic Management – Awareness and change. 5th. Edition. Thomson Learning, London. Chapters 3 & 4.

Joyce, P. and Woods, A. (1996) Essential Strategic Management – From modernism to pragmatism. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. Chapter 5.

Week 8 Lecture: Generating and evaluating strategies.

  • Generating strategic options.
  • Application of the TOWS model.
  • Resource-based options and constraints.
  • Porter’s Generic strategies.
  • Market/environment-based options and constraints.
  • Ansoff’s Growth Matrix.
  • Creative and innovative strategies.
  • Internal and external development. Mergers and takeovers.
  • Attitudes towards risk and strategic selection criteria
  • Strategic choice, and models of assessing suitability, acceptability, feasibility and risk.


AMBOSINI (1998), Chap 4, 5 & 17.


JOHNSON, SCHOLES & WHITTINGTON (2011), Chaps. 6 & 7.

JOYCE & WOODS (1996), Chap.6.

LYNCH  (2009), Chaps. 13 & 14.

WICKHAM, (2000) Chaps. 12, 13 & 19.

Week 9 Residential trip

Week 10:  Managing Strategic Change

  • Organisational structures and leadership typologies.
  • Implementation of strategies, and the management of change.
  • The role of culture in organisational change.
  • Barriers and resistance to change.
  • Incremental and transformational change.




THOMPSON & MARTIN (2005) Chap. 17

PETTIGREW & WHIPP (2004) Chap 4, 5 & 6.

Week 12: Final workshop presentations

Week 13: Case Study: group presentations (Assessed)

Week 15: Case Study: group presentations (Assessed)

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