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Major environmental changes

1. Describe two major environmental changes that you expect to have a major impact on the wholesale food industry in the next 10 years.

2. Choose an industry which interests you (perhaps one in which you have work experience, or would like to gain work experience in the future). Use Porter’s five forces model of industry analysis as shown in Exhibit 4.9 to explain what about the industry interests you.

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3. Refer to Exhibit 5.8: Compare and contrast the foreign market entry options available to firms wanting to start doing business internationally. In particular, comment on the amount of control over the business activity that is retained for each option, as well as the complexity and/or cost of each option.

4. The first hand-held mobile phone prototype was demonstrated by Motorola in 1973, and the first commercially available hand-held mobile phone products were available starting in 1983. Now-standard functions such as text messaging did not appear until 1992, and hand-held mobile phones did not develop into a mainstream mass-market product for several more years. Provide and discuss three reasons from the remote environment for the very long market development time required for hand-held mobile phones to become a successful product and industry.

1. What is benchmarking? What role can benchmarking play in determining a product’s competitive position? What role can benchmarking play in determining a product’s pricing strategy?

2. Compare and contrast value chain analysis (VCA) and the resource-based view (RBV) of a firm. What are the objectives of each? Refer to Exhibit 6.5 (VCA) and Exhibit 6.7 (RBV).

3. What are three ways resources can become more valuable? Provide an example of each.

4. Developing and maintaining a successful brand is a commonly accepted goal for most businesses, and indeed is the subject of continuous discussion both academically and professionally. What is a “brand”? Frame your answer in terms of intellectual property (IP).

5.1. Select a company (domestic or international) and analyze its strategy and explain in detail which of the 15 grand strategies it employs.

5.2. What are the differences between horizontal and vertical acquisition? Between a joint venture and a strategic alliance? Between product development and innovation?

5.3. Is it possible for a firm to implement both low-cost leadership and differentiation strategies simultaneously for the same product? Can you present an example?

. 5.4Do you think it is better to concentrate on one source of competitive advantage (cost versus differentiation, versus focus, versus speed) or to nurture multiples in a firm’s operation? Does your answer depend on the size or age of the company? Does your answer depend on the company’s market share?

6.1. How does strategic analysis at the corporate level differ from strategic analysis at the business unit level? Frame your answer for (a) a small concentrated growth company and (b) a large multi-business company.

6.2. What is the portfolio approach? Give an example of a company that uses portfolio management methods and explain what are the limitations and weaknesses of this approach?

6.3. How do functional tactics differ from business strategies?

6.4. What key concerns must functional tactics address? Referring to the Chapter 10 Appendix, choose one of the core disciplines (marketing, finance, production/operations, R&D, and human resources) and one of the key decision areas listed in the corresponding table (Exhibit 10.A1-A5) and explain how the questions posed can help develop functional tactics for the given activity.

7.1. How do simpler organizational structures (such as those shown in Exhibit 11.3) differ from more complex organizational structures (such as those shown in Exhibits 11.4 and 11.5)? What are the pros and cons of each?

7.2. What is outsourcing? Review the functional activities outsourced in Exhibit 10.7. Identify three functional activities listed in Exhibit 10.7 where outsourcing presents a potential benefit(s), and explain the benefit(s); identify three functional activities listed in Exhibit 10.7 where outsourcing presents a potential problem(s), and explain the problem(s).

73. From your own experience, describe what you consider to be essential qualities for a good leader and a bad leader, and give an example of how each affects leadership.

74. How do you think corporate culture develops: ‘trickle down’ (from top management down to entry level employees), or ‘grass roots’ (entry-level up to top management)? How can organizational culture be created, influenced, and changed?

8.1. Why are budgets, schedules, key success factors, and identified people in charge of each of these essential to operations control and evaluation? How does operations control relate to strategic planning?

8.2. Why do most breakthrough innovations occur in smaller firms?

8.3. What is the difference between continuous improvement and breakthrough innovation? What are the risks and rewards associated with each approach?

8.4. What is the relationship between risk and reward? In other words, when evaluating a prospective business idea (new product, investment, etc.), how does increasing risk affect the required financial return expected for the business prospect to be favorably consider

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