Review: COMM 491/493 — Strategic Management

Professor: Adam Pankratz

This course is taught from the perspective of senior management. Sauder’s curriculum describes it as a capstone course that builds on the foundational knowledge of all the required courses we have taken in the past. I personally found the course extremely rewarding, particularly because I had a chance to work in an professional environment before taking the class.

My professor, Adam, is an experienced consultant with substantive knowledge in business strategy. He is also a politician with valuable insight on career development and personal growth. I think that having Adam teach this course added to my learning experience because he facilitated interactive discussions about the topics we cover in the course. One of the most memorable discussions we had involved the global economy and the ethics that affected the business environment. We talked about why companies choose to globalize their operations, the practices they undertake, and the working conditions in other countries. I am grateful to have been in such an interesting course taught by a marvelous professor and highly recommend Adam to all students taking this course.

The course is divided into both lectures and cases that go hand in hand with each other. The lectures talk about frameworks to help with situation analysis, and Adam adds examples of companies that have experienced similar situations in the past. For example, McDonald’s has to consider various factors when considering their global franchise strategies. The cases are opportunities for us to practice what we learned in class. I have found that the best way to prepare and succeed is to read the cases before class. It is impossible to understand discussion without first knowing what issues and decisions are at stake.

Full list of cases covered:

There are two projects in the course that require analysis of companies recently in the news. The purpose of these projects are to evaluate the use of frameworks and design a reasonable strategy. You can read my analysis on Coast Capital Savings and their national expansion strategy here.

I found the course to be a great summary of Sauder’s Bachelor of Commerce degree. I was able to use knowledge from various areas including finance, accounting, sale and marketing, as well as supply chain and logistics. Adam is helpful and knowledgable in the field and added significant value to my learning. My only suggestion is to gain some work experience before the course in order to get the most from it.

Good luck!

Originally published at on April 13, 2017.