GBUS 8468 Organic Growth: A Challenge For Public Companies



This course focuses on how operating managers identify growth opportunities, create focused growth strategies, and execute them successfully. Organic growth is primarily nonacquisitive growth resulting from geographic, product, service, concept, and customer expansion or from increased operating efficiencies and productivity. Growth will be studied from the strategic, process, and general management perspectives. Students will learn about internal growth systems: how growth is enabled; how growth initiatives are created, managed, and tested; how public companies create diversified growth portfolios; how some managers are able to generate growth in large organizations in spite of corporate restraints; how large companies create environments that enable and foster growth; how consistent organic growth is difficult for public companies; and how good growth managers identify and manage the risks of growth. Primary teaching methodology will include discussion of cases about companies that have experienced organic growth (e.g., Best Buy, Starbucks, Sysco, UPS, Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Tiffany & Co., Harley Davidson, Proctor & Gamble, and Levy Restaurants) and chapters from books written by Professors Jeanne M. Liedtka and Edward D. Hess.


Academic course objectives:


·               Show how growth ideas are created, evaluated, tested, and processed

·               Examine the role of culture, structure, leadership skills, management processes, employee engagement, measurements, and rewards in enabling growth

·               Show how successful growth leaders in large organizations are able to drive results in spite of corporate restraints

·               Teach students how to create organic-growth strategies

·               Instruct that growth is a change process and how to manage the risks

·               Expose students to academic empirical research findings and theories dealing with the scarcity of consistent organic growth of public companies

·               Examine common organic growth progression, growth stalls, and growth resiliency


Elements of the course grade:


Class participation                   40%

Course paper                           30%

Final exam/paper                     30%