Welcome to Week One

Getting Started (BUS499)

Getting Oriented

This course is the capstone course for the Bachelor of Business Administration program. We will be discussing the processes by which businesses formulate strategy, implement policy, evaluate outcomes in the highly competitive and dynamic global environment and the ethical implications of those decisions.

This class includes a substantial volume of research based writing - significantly more than you will have experienced in previous classes. A minimum six page paper will be due every other week. The descriptions for all of the written assignments are available in the Course Guide. I strongly suggest that you start working on these assignments as soon as possible.

Assignment Summary

Weekly Discussion

Each week of the course has two discussion boards. You are required to respond to the initial question posted in each discussion as well as making an additional response to other students' comments in each board for a total of four posts. Throughout the class, we'll be discussing a variety of topics about which many of you will feel strongly. There are a few things you should keep in mind when making posts in the discussion.

  1. You're welcome to disagree with your fellow students - a variety of viewpoints is what makes the discussion interesting. However, it's imperative that you do so in an appropriately professional tone throughout the discussion. You should always take the time to review a post before you click the submit button. Ask yourself how the post is likely to be received? Did you take the post to which you're responding personally? A post rarely suffers from being gone over one more time or from having you take a break before you submit it.
  2. When posting, you should focus on making a "business case" type of argument. There will be times in your career when you have to make an argument to decision makers on a course of action about which you feel strongly. You should resist the urge to engage in flowery or emotional language. Managers are looking for logical, analytical arguments. Appearing to be emotionally involved with a situation or decision will only weaken your argument.
  3. On a more practical level, when you respond to the initial questions you should be sure that you're responding explicitly to all parts of the question. You won't get full credit if you leave out parts and filling in something that you missed in a follow up post won't count toward the required additional post that you have to make in each discussion board.

There are a couple of things that I often see students say in the discussion board and in their assignments that you should avoid at all costs:

  1. Accusing business or people of being "greedy". 99% of the time this is purely a statement of personal opinion with no factual basis. If you post anything like this, you can count on my challenging you to provide proof of your assertion.
  2. Accusing businesses or people of "only being interested in profit". This assertion may or may not be true in specific cases but I don't see how it can be the accusation that the people who post it obviously intend. Businesses should be interested in profit. If they aren't then they won't be around very long.
  3. Describing a behavior as illegal. If you think someone's behavior is illegal be prepared to cite a specific law that you think was broken. Accusing a business of illegal behavior in a classroom will get you called out by your professor. Doing it in a professional environment will get you sued.

Written Assignments and Plagiarism

This class includes multiple written assignments that will involve a substantial amount of research. The descriptions for all of the assignments are available in the Course Guide. I strongly suggest that you review all of them and that you not leave starting them until the last minute. There are several things that you should keep in mind while researching and writing:

  1. These are intended to be formal analyses, not personal narratives or discussions of your personal opinions. In any kind of formal writing, you should avoid any use of personal pronouns like "I", "me" and "we".
  2. Your positions and analysis should be based on rational argument. You will lose points for engaging in overly emotional language, e.g. words like "heinous", "greedy", "unthinking", etc.
  3. If you make a factual statement, you should support it with evidence, i.e. some kind of reference. For example, if you assert that all corporate executives are immoral and greedy, you should proceed to back up that assertion with specific facts in the rest of your analysis.
  4. Avoid asking rhetorical questions, e.g. "Does this suggest a balanced response?"

If an assignment doesn't meet the minimum length requirement, your grade will be based on the percentage of work that you completed. For example, if the minimum length is eight pages and you only submit six then your final grade will be 6/8 or 75% of the total points earned.

Each assignment's description includes a number of specific topics that you're asked to cover. Be sure that you cover each topic completely. For example, the first assignment asks you to discuss how your chosen company could use the I/O and resource based models. Your submission should explicitly address both of those models in that section. Using the individual items from the assignment description as the basis for headings within your paper is a good idea but you should not use the exact wording from the assignment description. That's going to make your work read like a term paper rather than a business analysis. Instead, recast the assignment's text into a more business-like description. For example, "Discuss how your chosen company could utilize the I/O and resource based models of above average returns." as a heading could become something like, "Application of I/O and Resource Models".

Plagiarism, in simple terms, consists of presenting someone else's work as your own without giving the original author appropriate credit. There are three fundamental points that you should keep in mind when you're writing to avoid this:

  1. Work that is directly copied from another source must be in quotation marks.
  2. Work that is copied or paraphrased must have an appropriate inline citation and a corresponding reference at the end of the assignment.
  3. Copied/paraphrased work should make up not more than 10% of anything that you submit.

These rules apply to everything that you post in the classroom including written assignments and discussion board posts. If I determine that something submitted has been plagiarized, I'll assign a 0 for that assignment and report the incident to the University. Repeat offenses can result in receiving an F for the class and being expelled from the University.


There are no quizzes in this course.

Additional Resources

Each week has a section called Instructor Insights. That's an area where I'll post supplemental resources each week. That's going to include additional written materials, links to videos that I've created and links to additional examples and dynamic practice areas on the White Crane Education website.