MB601 Strategic Management Lesson 1: Strategic Management and Governance

DISCUSSION QUESTION 1-2 MB601 Strategic Management Lesson 1: Strategic Management and Governance

Discussion Question 2 (50 points)

Describe at least six (6) recommendations that you would make to improve the effectiveness of today’s boards of directors. Explain your rationale for the recommendations by discussing how your recommendations would improve the performance of the boards and the companies they oversee. Then give your opinion as to which of these would be the most important recommendation and justify your opinion. (50 points) (A 2-page response is required.)

ACTIVITY 2 MB601 Strategic Management Lesson 2: Scanning the Environments

Activity 2: Porter’s Industry Analysis (100 points)

For this activity, you must analyze General Electric (GE) using Porter’s approach to industry analysis. Obtain annual reports and financial reports from public sources as well as trade, business, and journal articles for information. Your Activity responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct, and formatted in the same fashion as the Activity itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. In addition, you must appropriately cite all resources used in your response and document in a bibliography using APA style. (100 points) (A 4-page response is required.)

Part A​Describe GE, what the company stands for (its slogan), what makes it unique, the direction of its market, its products, and the ways in which the company’s products and strategy are integrated. Include a bibliography of at least six (6) trade or journal sources that you use for your description and the analysis which follows.

Part B​Discuss Porter’s approach to industry analysis in relationship to GE using all six (6) forces.

Part C ​Provide one (1) suggestion for each of the following as it relates to the future of GE: what to watch closely (threats and weaknesses), what to assess for change (opportunities), and what to maintain and build upon (strengths). Then make one (1) recommendation for GE’s next strategic move.

ACTIVITY 3 MB601 Strategic Management

Lesson 3: Internal Analysis and Strategy Formulation

Activity 3: Coca-Cola Analysis (100 points)

Your assignment is to analyze the Coca-Cola Corporation and its economic performance over the last five (5) years. You should begin with the last available reference year. Your Activity responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct, and formatted in the same fashion as the Activity itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. In addition, you must appropriately cite all resources used in your response and document in a bibliography using APA style.(100 points) (A 4-page response and a table are required.)

Part A​Your paper should begin with a description of Coca Cola. Describe the company’s main competitors. Assess the company’s performance over the past five years and document Coke’s profit and market share position.

Part B ​Identify which resources, core competencies, and distinctive competencies have allowed Coke to reach its level of success. Be sure to consider different measures of performance in your analysis and to compare (benchmark) the results you highlight with those of Coke’s competitors.

Part C ​Using a VRIO framework, build a table that addresses the value, rarity, limitability, and organization for each of the items you have identified above. Be very explicit in your explanations.

Part D​Last, analyze whether the items discussed are likely to continue to yield a competitive advantage for Coke. Why or why not?

ACTIVITY 4 MB601 Strategic Management

Lesson 4: Strategy Implementation and Control

Activity 4: Differentiation vs. Cost Leadership

Your Activity responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct, and formatted in the same fashion as the Activity itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. In addition, you must appropriately cite all resources used in your response and document in a bibliography using APA style. (100 points) (A 4-page response is required.)

Part A​Identify two (2) companies, each pursuing a fundamentally different strategy: one diversification, the other, cost leadership. The two firms need not be in the same industry, but they need to be public and based in the U.S.

Part B​Explain why each firm has opted for its chosen strategy. Specifically, you should highlight the exogenous and endogenous factors that might have contributed to their choice. For example, is cost leadership the only feasible strategy in the industry in which the firm operates? If so, why? What makes diversification a poor choice? Or, if diversification is feasible and some of the firm’s competitors pursue diversification, what valuable, rare, inimitable resources do those companies hold that would allow them to successfully implement diversification instead of cost leadership?

Part C​Given the company’s level of success, should it continue to pursue its current primary strategy or look to change? State whether the fundamental strategies of the companies you have chosen have changed in the recent past. If they have, explain the drivers of the change. (For instance, has there been a change in leadership or in consumer taste?)

Part D ​Discuss the impact on performance of each company’s chosen strategy. Have these companies been successful relative to their competitors? Why or why not? If so, how? Please be sure to clearly identify the direct link between the company’s strategy and the economic outcome it yielded.

DISCUSSION QUESTION 6-1 MB601 Strategic Management

Lesson 6: Putting It All Together

Discussion Question 1 (50 points)

Select a publicly traded corporation. Review your corporation’s annual report and name three (3) specific changes that your corporation reported that you believe would be important to investigate for an industry analysis. Then provide a rationale for each of your choices; in particular, you should look at changes in top management, the board of directors, strategy, financial reporting methods, distribution of earnings and/or allocation of monies, etc. (50 points) (A 2-page response is required.)

DISCUSSION QUESTION 6-2 MB601 Strategic Management

Lesson 6: Putting It All Together

Discussion Question 2 (50 points)

Using the corporation you selected in Lesson 6 Discussion Question 1 and the financial analysis information in your text for reference, discuss the relevance of the prime interest rate, gross domestic product, and gross national product to your corporation and its industry. (50 points) (A 2-page response is required.)

STAND-ALONE PROJECT MB601 Strategic Management

Stand-Alone Project: Industry Analysis (200 points)

Each assignment in this course focuses on a different portion of an industry analysis. The activities and discussion questions serve as an introduction to the process of critically evaluating a corporation, one of its direct competitors, and the industry as a whole which constitute a thorough and complete industry analysis. Your MB609 Capstone Project will be a complete industry analysis including a publicly traded company, its industry, and two of its competitors. (Be sure that you keep your textbook from this course as well as all of the projects you write.)

This Industry Analysis project (MB601) is an introductory project to prepare you for the Capstone Project (MB609). At this time you will only analyze a publicly traded company and its industry (none of its competitors will be analyzed). To begin this project, select a publicly traded corporation to study. In other words, you should be able to purchase stock in the corporation you select. The corporation must be large enough for the business and trade press to have written about it, but not so large that the amount of available information is overwhelming making your ability to suggest innovative recommendations for the corporation’s survival and success. Consequently, make sure that you do not choose one in which any and all potential strategies and recommendations have been discussed at length in the press. A table of contents and a bibliography listing only those works that you cited in your analysis are required. Your Stand-Alone Project responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct, and formatted in the same fashion as the project itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. In addition, you must appropriately cite all resources used in your response and document in a bibliography using APA style. (200 points) (A 10-page response is required for the combination of Parts A through H.)

First, collect the following documents and information.

1. The corporation’s annual report

2. At least 15 business or trade articles concerning the current status of your corporation and predictions of its future success

3. Information on your corporation’s CEO and Board of Directors

4. Information about the industry in general, including major players, consumers, trends, etc.

Next, thoroughly read the information and documents you collected on your company and its industry. As you read, make notes on the topics listed below, synthesize the information, and analyze the current state of the corporation and its industry. This synthesis and analysis process is essential to build your conceptual skills which are to be further developed as you proceed through the MBA Program. It is the goal of an MBA program to build your conceptual skills which are required for management positions which oversee a variety of departments, specialists, and projects.

Following the outline below, write your analysis of your corporation and its industry.

Part A​CEO Profile and Assessment of Effectiveness

1. Profile your CEO’s qualifications (experience, education, etc.) as well as why this person was selected and the circumstances that created the CEO vacancy.

2. Students should relate the CEO’s qualifications as it applies to the type of strategy the company has elected to follow and the type of CEO that typically is successful in achieving that strategy.

3. Discuss the impact that the CEO has made on the organization thus far and why.

Part B​Board of Directors Profile and Analysis: This section includes a wealth of information regarding the role that the Board of Directors plays in your organization.

1. You should discuss the manner in which the Board of Directors is nominated and selected, the way in which the Board is organized and why, and the way in which the Board utilizes or matches the trends in corporate governance that are listed in the text.

2. You should also evaluate and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Board of Director’s composition with respect to their affiliation (who they really work for and that company’s relationship to your corporation), diversity, experience in the industry and the company, insiders/outsiders, etc.

3. Also, evaluate the changes in members to the Board in the last five years. If there have been changes, do those changes (new board members with different attributes and affiliations) suggest a change in your corporation’s strategy, target markets, etc.? Are these changes in any way indicative of a new strategic move?

Part C​Industry Assessment

1. Evaluate your corporation’s competitive position within its industry using Porter’s model: threat of new entrants, suppliers, buyers, rivalry, substitutes, and other stakeholders.

2. You should include a discussion of the other factors considered crucial to the industry’s survival. Suggestions include industry dynamics, industry structure, life cycle, strategic groups, and other elements as necessary.

Part D​Direct and Indirect Competition: Using the information provided in your text related to competitive intensity and the types of competitor information available, identify the competition with respect to your corporation. Identify the nature of their competitive relationship – similarity in products, strategy, etc. At least two (2) competitors for each category should be discussed.

Part E​Internal Strengths and Weaknesses: Evaluate your corporation using the VRIO provided in your textbook.

Part F​External Opportunities and Threats: Evaluate your corporation’s competitive environment for opportunities and threats using the TOWS matrix.

Part G​Overall Competitive Position: Briefly evaluate the state of your corporation’s competitive position within its industry.

Part H​Recommendations

1. Make two (2) recommendations for increasing your corporation’s shareholder wealth in the future. This includes ensuring long term survival as well as meeting and exceeding your shareholders expectations for the generation of their wealth in the short term and the long term.

2. Your two (2) recommendations should be well supported by information contained in your written analysis, and your supporting information should be specifically identified in this section to justify your recommendations.

3. Your two (2) recommendations should be accompanied by your expectations for your corporation and its industry if your recommendations were adopted. Your expectations should include the impact to the industry structure, the likely response of competitors, and both positive and negative consequences should be identified.


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Discussion 1 and 2 Putting it all together

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Lesson 4: Strategy Implementation and Control

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Lesson 2: SScanning the Environments

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Lesson 1: Strategic Management and Governance

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