Course Unit Outline
Unit Code
Unit Name
Strategic Thinking and Decision Making
Unit Weighting
9 credit points
Type of Unit
Prerequisites, co-requisites or exclusions
Academic Staff
Stephen Smith, DipCouns (AustInst Prof Counsellors 1997), MBA (UWS 1998), DMgt (Southern
Cross University/IMC 2002), Sessional Lecturer
Curriculum Objectives
This course unit aims to develop strategic thinking for organisational planning. It focuses on the
role of leaders as strategic thinkers whose influence will impact the future of an organisation and
its stakeholders
Learning Outcomes
At the end of this unit students will be able to:
1. display perceptive understanding of individual and organisational purpose and mission in the
light of a Christian worldview
2. research and analyse an organisation and its environment
3. generate creative and effective organisational plans
4. anticipate, identify and solve organisational problems
5. show a critical appreciation of the need for strategic thinking for organisation
Threshold concept to be acquired in this unit
1. Christian worldview and its implications for individual and organisational purpose
2. Strategic conversations and maps
3. SWOT analysis
4. Turning ideas into plans and plans into strategy
5. Making decisions in the light of organisational strategy
6. Models of problem solving
7. Resourcing good ideas
Learning Activities
Seminars, Tutorials, Lectures, Student Presentations.
Required Specialist Facilities or Equipment
Assessment Profile
Assessment tasks are designed both to help students attain the unit outcomes and to enable
teachers to assess student attainment. In this unit, the required assessment tasks will enable
students to demonstrate how successfully they can:
1. Present an argument for the value of strategic thinking in a Christian organisational context,
e.g. short essay, seminar presentation or student debate. [Outcomes 1 and 5]
2. Critically evaluate alternative models of planning and decision-making, e.g. long essay.
[Outcomes 1, 2 and 5]
3. Implement a strategic planning process involving others in an organisational context, e.g.
portfolio or written report. [Outcomes 3 and 4]
Representative References
1. Allison, Michael & Jude Kaye. Strategic Planning for Non-Profit Organizations. 2nd ed. Hoboken,
NJ: Wiley, 2005.
2. Bryson, John M. Strategic Planning for Public and Non-Profit Organizations. San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass, 2004.
3. Fogg, C. Davis. Team-Based Strategic Planning: A Complete Guide to Structuring, Facilitating
and Implementing the Process. NP: CreateSpace, 2010.
4. Ford, Leighton. Transforming Leadership: Jesus' Way of Creating Vision, Shaping Values &
Empowering Change. Downers Grove IL: IVP, 1993.
5. Grant, R. Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Concepts, Techniques, Applications. Malden MA:
Blackwell, 2002.
6. Malphurs, Aubrey. Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry. Grand
Rapids MI: Baker Books, 1999.
7. Mintzberg, Henry, James Quinn., Joseph Lampel & Sumantra Goshal. The Strategy Process:
Concepts, Contexts, Cases. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.
8. Oster, Sharon M. Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organisations: Theory and Cases.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
9. Plous, Scott. The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making. New York NY: McGraw-Hill,
10. Shelley, Marshall. Renewing Your Church Through Vision and Planning: 30 Strategies to
Transform Your Ministry. Minneapolis MN: Bethany House, 1997.