AEM 4480 – Executing Firm Strategy – Poczter & Schryver

Course Description:

Thomas Schryver

Thomas Schryver

Designed as a hands-on experience to prepare students for executive-level strategy execution, this class is a culmination of the completion of four years of Dyson courses in managerial economics, finance, accounting, marketing, and macroeconomics, in which students will use real-time strategic decision-making from each topic area to influence the success of virtual companies. Implemented via a computer simulation, the business decisions of these self-selected teams will then translate to performance via competition with the other teams within the same industry in the class. Assessment will be based on a strategic intent paper, written at the beginning of the semester by each team, an in-depth presentation of firm performance and strategy in a “board of directors” (BOD) meeting, and an individual post-operations analysis.

When Offered Spring. (7 weeks). Permission Note Enrollment limited to: Dyson seniors only. Prerequistes/Corequistes Must have taken AEM 2240 (Finance), AEM 2420 (Marketing), AEM 2601 (Managerial Economics), AEM 3230 (Managerial Accounting) and a course in macroeconomics. Taught by T. Schryver and S. Poczter.


  • Develop and implement a successful long-term business strategy.
  • Understand market dynamics and industry evolution.
  • Collaborate effectively across functions.
  • Allocate resources to meet strategic and operational goals.
  • Develop effective team processes.
  • Practice communication and interaction skills.

Comments from Professor Poczter:

Sharon Poczter

Sharon Poczter

Why is the course valuable to entrepreneurial students?

Future entrepreneurs cannot understand what it is like to make real-time decisions about competitive strategy without this course. It is one thing to discuss strategy in theory, and it is another thing entirely to make real-time decisions that must take into account competitors. This course is the closest students will get to understanding true decision-making outside of running a company. Further, it incorporates concepts from finance, marketing, accounting and other of the major disciplines in Dyson so students can understand how these topics link together to create firm strategy.

What kind of students should/ should not take this course?

Since this class incorporates concepts from many disciplines, this course is open to Dyson seniors only. That said, since it is one of the few courses that incorporates concepts from all courses, all seniors are highly encouraged to take it.

What will be the challenges associated with taking this course? 

The challenges will be that, just like in real life, teams may have to learn how to work well together. Also, as you do not know ex-ante what decisions your competitors are making, so this will make it difficult to make decisions without uncertainty regarding outcomes. Again, this is how the real world works though.

Are there any new updates or plans for this course?

No, information is located online.

Other points you’d like to share on the course?

It should be fun! Prof. Schryver has been teaching this at Johnson to much fanfare over the past couple of years. Because of this, students will be exposed to an MBA-level course, great preparation if that is something students think about potentially pursuing in the future.