1.What are the strengths and weaknesses of the mission statement?
Which of these statements are effective guides to decision-making within an organization? Which, if any, of these mission statement examples risk becoming nothing more than "motivational tools"?
What features of Johnson & Johnson's "Our Credo" made it so effective in guiding J&J's response to the Tylenol tampering crisis? Where was J&J's "Our Credo" in the run-up to the Tylenol recall of 2010?
Effective mission statements must meet three criteria: 1. They must express aspirations (goals/ideals). 2. They must provide practical guidance for strategic decisions and choices that face the organization. 3. They must express objectives that can be tested -- there has to be some way to determine whether or not an organization is meeting its goals. Absent any of these three requirements a mission statement is incomplete at best and vacuous (mere grand-sounding words) at worst. Comments and reactions?
2.Cognitive biases in decision-making: share examples of biases that have distorted decisions in your place of employment. What can middle managers do to moderate the distortions introduced by such biases?
3.What influence (if any) can organizations exercise to encourage 'innovation-friendly' regulations? (You might wish to comment in this regard about regulatory proposals in response to the worldwide financial crisis of 2008 and following) • Several major corporations have recently launched major 'green' initiatives. What do you make of GE's EcomaginationTM initiative? What do you make of BP's new 'green' logo and Environment &
4.If a SWOT analysis reveals that an objective is unattainable, apart from changing the objective, what other changes might make the goal attainable? • Discuss the limitations of SWOT presented in the textbook. How serious are these limitations in the practical application of SWOT analyses? • What is your experience in dealing with SWOT analyses? In what ways they useful and effective?In what ways not?
5.How might focusing on the four perspectives of the balanced scorecard benefit an organization? Give examples. • Why and how does the balanced score card shift the focus from control to strategy and vision? • How effective can a balanced scorecard actually be if net profit remains the 'bottom line' standard for evaluating business performance?
6.Do you think that in most cases the trench warfare of the Alpha company is more or less effective than the Guerilla warfare of the Beta company? Why? What examples can you provide to support your argument? • To what extent is the Hamel &Prahalad article a restatement and development of the Resource Based Theory (Grant) and to what extent is it a new and/or independent theory of strategy? • To what extent is the Hamel &Prahalad article a development of Porter's "What is Strategy?" article and to what extent does it represent an independent approach?
7.Ansoff identified four different types of diversification. What is one of the types of diversification? How would you describe that type of diversification? Provide examples of organizations that made use of one of these types of diversification.
8.What is a 'blue ocean' strategy? How does it differ from brainstorming? • How do organizations maintain continuity and purpose with a 'blue ocean' outlook? • Provide examples from your experience if you have worked in an organization with a 'blue ocean' outlook?
9.Provide examples of companies that have improved their market position market leader by dramatically shifting customer choice patterns? • What is Sony's core competence and how is it incorporated in to their products?
10.How, according to "The Functions of the HQ Unit in the Multi-Business Firm," economies of scale and economies of scope provide cost advantage opportunities to firms? • What considerations would be relevant to a firm's deciding which strategy (scale or scope) to adopt? • How does the choice of executive focus - strategic planning, strategic control, financial control - influence HQ functions and approaches in a multi-business firm?
11.Define 'global' and 'international regional' strategies. • What features, issues and challenges distinguish global strategies from domestic strategies? • Are there generic global strategies? For example, applications of Porter's low cost, differentiation and focus strategies? • Discuss the implications of global and international regional strategies for different departments and functions. For example, finance & budgeting; human resources; legal counsel; operations & production; marketing.
12. Is Global Branding important to consumers? Why (or why not) and how? What characteristics do consumers associate global brands with when making purchase decisions? Give examples of how global branding affected a purchase decision you have made. • What challenges do global markets pose for brand management? • What strategies can transnational companies take to create positive perceptions of their global brands? • What strategies can transnational companies use to protect their trademarks and patents?
13.Drivers of globalization potential include Cost Drivers, Customer Drivers, Competitive Drivers and Government Drivers. Over which of these do organizations have greater (or lesser) control? What actions can be taken to exploit certain drivers? • Provide examples of companies that fall under the multi-domestic or global strategy. Briefly identify their strategies. • What characteristics do international managers need? How can companies prepare managers for international assignments? How can managers position themselves for international experience and careers? • Discuss the roles, characteristics and challenges faced by Country Managers. • What strategies can transnational companies employ to mitigate the complications of multiple reporting structures? (Consider, for example, a marketing manager that reports to both a country manager and a marketing executive at corporate HQ.)
14.Strategy formulation presupposes a set of goals and objectives. Why aren't goals and objectives obvious? What characteristics of people and organizations can make setting goals and objectives difficult? • Objectives function at various levels of scope and specificity. Objectives need to be prioritized, or ranked. What techniques assist managers in ranking objectives? What obstacles stand in the way of achieving agreement as to the ranking of objectives and prioritizing tasks?