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Corporate Strategy and Competitive Strategy

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1. Why are corporate strategy and competitive strategy separated in diversified companies but not in single-business line companies? Do not define each. Why are they separated?

2. What is the single, primary underlying purpose of corporate strategy?

3. Define "inflection point" as it applies to the Product Life Cycle. Why is it important to strategists?

4. Is the portfolio analysis an analysis of industry or does it represent an analysis of a firm's product?

5.What determines how we apply our individual ethical standards?

6.What is the one, underlying asset necessary for building a capable organization?

7.Should a company's accounting department be centralized or decentralized? Why?

8 If our company were selling laptop computers out of the same building to the city government, select businesses, and end-user consumers for home use, which alternative organizational structure would be most effective? Why?

9.Is the use of Total Quality Management as a tool for improving business performance more about strengths? Or, is it more about opportunities? Why?

10.How is leadership "different" from management? Do not define each. How are they different?

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Why are corporate strategy and competitive strategy separated in diversified companies but not in single-business line companies? Do not define each. Why are they separated?

They are separated because in diversified companies every business unit belongs to a different industry. In every industry there are different rules of competition. For, instance in one industry it may be necessary to compete on price whereas in another industry it may be necessary to compete on differentiation. So, a common corporate strategy cannot be imposed on all business units. This is possible in a single line business.

2. What is the single, primary underlying purpose of corporate strategy?
The purpose is to lay down the processes, methods and techniques that will allow the company to attain its objectives. For example, the objective of a company may be to become the largest retailer in the USA. How will this goal be achieved? The strategy will indicate the manner in which this objective will be achieved.

3.Define "inflection point" as it applies to the Product Life Cycle. Why is it important to strategists?
This is important to strategists because once an inflection point is reached there is a need to change the strategy. For example, if the ...

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This case is brief and focused as it is presented by the text/authors. However, there is much more to it than meets the quick first reading. For this case analysis, use the information in the text to define the part of McDonalds' business you will examine. Use the company's Internet site to supplement your understanding of the issues presented in the case - which still exist today.

Using APA format and succinct commentary, prepare a 6 to 7 page analysis of this case by addressing the following questions: (You can use attachments to supplement the paper)

1. What business level strategy does McDonalds appear to be using? (ref Chapters 5 & 6) What niche (cost, differentiation, focus) do they fill in this highly competitive industry, and is it sustainable?

2. Using the Porter's 5 Forces model, explain the new venture's relative position in relationship to industry competitive forces.

3. Identify McDonald's corporate strategy as it applies to McCafe in terms of (i) direction (ii) composition and (iii) size, explain McDonald's corporate strategy.

4. How does McDonald's corporate strategy create value? Identify the factors that fueled McDonald's growth.

5. Is McDonald's current corporate strategy the best one it can have? Justify your answer.

6. Assume that McDonald's McCafe initiative hit a plateau in terms of its growth. What should McDonald's do to overcome such a roadblock?

7. Summary - summarize what this case has illustrated in terms of the strategic principles you have been learning.

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