Below are the essay questions for your first take-home exam. The exam is intended for you to work independently. Each question is worth a total of 20 points. Please answer each question as thoroughly as possible, providing rich detail from our lectures, readings, and discussions. The organization of your answers, the complexity of your analysis, and the clarity of your critical thinking are the key elements of your evaluation.1
1. On the Basics –
a. We have said that strategic management is an evolution and a destination. What does this mean? Discuss it in detail.
b. Provide three examples of how your team company is or is not a ‘strategic management’ firm.
c. Lastly, clearly and succinctly describe your team company’s mission statement as well as the 2020 goals and objectives of the firm.
2. On Corporate Governance –
a. Discuss three traditional roles of the board of directors. Also, identify and discuss the most urgent governance issue impacting your team company’s board – what are they doing to manage this important issue?
b. Lastly, identify and evaluate a major philanthropic initiative/program to which your team company contributes or leads that aims to do good while also helping the firm do well.
3. On Competition – The Five Forces & The Blue Ocean
a. We have said that competition forces society to be better by providing superior value.
Identify and discuss your team company’s competitive advantage and core competency –in essence, the magic sauce that makes the company stay in the game.
b. Provide a descriptive discussion of the Porter’s Five Forces Model of your team’s company and include what Wheelen and Hunger call the sixth force in your analysis.
c. Kim and Mauborgne argue that sustaining a “competitive advantage” is to make the competition irrelevant – hence, the blue ocean metaphor. Identify and discuss what must be done to achieve or sustain your team company’s position in a ‘blue ocean’. Pull from the readings to support your response while including a ‘four actions framework’ model.
4. On the Value Chain –
a. Identify and discuss the business model that best describes your team company.
b. Provide a descriptive overview of the various components of Porter’s value chain model as they apply to your CEO company. Identify the areas within the value chain needing to be strengthened. Ultimately, what is the profit/margin goal of your firm?
c. Lastly, what are the central pillars of your CEO company’s corporate theory? Identify the company’s assets and activities that are rare, distinctive, and valuable.
i. Pull from Zenger to support your response while providing an illustrative model of the company’s corporate theory as well.
5. On General Strategy –
a. Define and discuss the current business and corporate strategies of your team company using the language from our readings.
b. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current strategies?
c. Lastly, identify the most urgent decision needing to be made to ensure the competitive sustainability of the company or to move toward a sustainable competitive advantage.
1 Recommendations on excellence – ten pages is your minimum target; dig deep into the readings and lectures; provide unique insight; reach for high-level analysis, presentation, and formatting; use 12-point, Times New Roman font; doublespace; use endnotes to cite your sources using full APA bibliographic formatting including page numbers; pay attention to details; put some time into this assignment; teach me something new.
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