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Management strategies

1. List four of the primary specific benefits of strategic management that we have addressed in some element of this course. [Bullet List is fine]

2. We talked about the importance of management ethics in today's business climate. We discussed a distinction in strategic management decision-making between that which is "legal" and that which is "ethical". What is the difference? As a second part of this question, do you see the difference/distinction between these two concepts as broadening or narrowing and to what specifically in our on-campus discussions do you point to support your position? [One sentence on the distinction and two on the second part]

2. In terms of strategic analysis, what do we mean when we say that an industry is "highly fragmented"? [Two sentences]

3. Why do many firms seek to globalize as a key part of their long-term strategic planning horizon? As an additional discussion point in this are, how can ethnocentric thinking potentially negatively impact this process? [Three sentences]

4. What is "benchmarking" and what can a firm use for sources of benchmarks? As a second part to this question, what are "milestone meetings" in the context of how in our course we discussed using them? [Four sentences]

5. We talked about speed as one possible competitive advantage in business. What is "first mover advantage" in the context of this strategic issue and why did we discuss it can be important? [Two sentences]

6. Why are elements like "vested consumers" and "brand equity" important in strategic management planning? [Two sentences]

7. What is meant by "core competency" and why is it important for a firm to clearly define same for itself? As a second part to this question, we discussed that firms can change this from time to time....and that can be dangerous if done for the wrong reasons. Why? [Four sentences]

8. We talked about using worst-case, most-likely case, and best-case models. Explain how a firm might use these in the setting of firm strategy, particularly in light of the competitive landscape in which the firm competes. [Four sentences]

9. Characterize several major differences between a joint venture and a strategic alliance that we have touched upon in this course. [Three sentences]

10. Describe the relationship between rivalry and an industry's driving forces. [Three sentences]

11. Describe two significant ways that a company can know if its strategy is working. [Three sentences]

12. Pick one pair of competitors from the list below and describe where in the value chain one of them might have the best chance to gain sustainable competitive advantage, and why. [Four sentences]
McDonalds v. Burger King
- Ford v. Toyota
- Coke v. Pepsi
- Rolex v. Tag Heuer
- Wal Mart v. Target

13. Contrast a major benefit and a major risk of a vertical integration strategy. [Three sentences]

14. We talked several times about the potential role of consultants in a business entity's strategic management process. Do they have a role or are they a waste of firm resources in light of our class discussions on same? If they have a role, how would you selected them and for what example purpose? We talked both sides of this issue in class so the best answer will support your position with a specific reference(s) to our class discussions to show you understood our examples and discussion.

Each answer needs no more then 3-5 sentences each.

Solution Preview

1. List four of the primary specific benefits of strategic management that we have addressed in some element of this course. [Bullet List is fine]

? Strategic management helps predict what is going to happen and reduces the level of surprise.
? The firm can increase its strengths and can gain competitive advantage.
? The firm has a better chance of achieving its goals.
? The firm can plan its future and it knows the strategy it will use to make the plan successful.

2. We talked about the importance of management ethics in today's business climate. We discussed a distinction in strategic management decision-making between that which is "legal" and that which is "ethical". What is the difference? As a second part of this question, do you see the difference/distinction between these two concepts as broadening or narrowing and to what specifically in our on-campus discussions do you point to support your position?

The legal requirements are compulsory and are followed because of the law; ethical issues are followed because of their moral values and to an extent are optional.

The distinction between the two is narrowing in the context of strategic management as new laws are being promulgated to achieve ethical objectives. For example, the enactment of the Sarbanes Oxley Act 2002 has led to a narrowing between the differences.

2. In terms of strategic analysis, what do we mean when we say that an industry is "highly fragmented"?

The industry is "highly fragmented" means that there is no single firm that can influence the industry's direction. This means that no firm in the industry is large enough to influence the direction of the industry.

3. Why do many firms seek to globalize as a key part of their long-term strategic planning horizon? As an additional discussion point in this are, how can ethnocentric thinking potentially negatively impact this process?

Many firms seek to globalize so that they grow because of larger marketing opportunities. In addition, these firms are able to source their products at low costs gaining competitive advantage. Ethnocentric thinking leads to false assumptions about cultural differences and misguides firms in their globalization process. ...

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