The Strategic management – Focus on thoughts

Subject: Business / Management
Write a minimum of 100 words for each strategic management question in the
attachment. 6 questions total.

Focus on thoughts and reasoning. This is an opportunity for you to think and express your
thoughts. This assignment is a reflection of the degree to which you are engaged in the
course material, and how well you learned the topics assigned this week. The emphasis of
this assignment is synthesis – the connecting of dots – where you tie together in a
meaningful way (1) the assigned readings and videos, (2) current business and world
events, and (3) your previous knowledge and experience. There is no correct or incorrect
answer, but rather YOUR answer, based on YOUR thoughts and understanding of the
material/concepts. There are two fundamental mistakes students often make on these
assignments: (1) simply rambling unsupported opinions, and (2) failing to apply one’s
personal perspective (i.e. writing as if it were a research paper, with no personal
perspective applied).

Textbook 1: Ketchen, Dave, & Jeremy Short, Mastering Strategic Management, Flat
World Knowledge Publishers 2011.

Textbook 2: A.G. Lafley & Roger Martin, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works,
2013. Harvard Business Review Press.
Michael Porter on Competitive Strategy [20 min]
Competitive Strategy in 3 Minutes [3 min]
Strategic Intent & Core Competencies [4 min]

Question #1: Last week we took a brief, broad-brush, look at the Apple case, and you
were asked to identify the key issues and industry key success factors. Now it’s time to
expand our examination. Describe why Apple’s industry has been so profitable, describe
how the competition impacts Apple and the industry’s profits, and how you think Apple
can sustain its profits in the wake of a changing world and marketplace.

Question #2: Based on your experience, education (including materials assigned this
week), and knowledge, how would you best incorporate the following concepts into your
view of how to get the best performance out of an organization: Intellectual Property
Rights, Value chain, Transaction Cost Economics, Vertical Integration, Environmental
Determinism, Business-level Strategies, and Generic Strategies.

Question #3: Summarize and expand on Chapter #4 of the textbook (Managing Firm
Resources), and describe what YOU think about the internal analysis of an organization.
Do you feel RBV (Resource-Based View) is a better way to evaluate a firm’s strategic
positioning and potential – or a means by which to better manage a firm (navigate the
ever changing and turbulent waters of an increasingly competitive marketplace)? Explain
why and use personal examples/experience if you can.
Question #4: Summarize and expand on Chapter #5 of the textbook (Business-Level
Strategy), and explain the different generic strategies. Most importantly, explain which of
the generic strategies you feel is the best (most profit potential – or choose another
metric). There is often student confusion over the different levels of strategy: (1)
functional level, (2) business level, and (3) corporate level. Functional refers to functional
areas such as R&D, Production, Finance, Accounting, etc. Business level strategy refers
to the single firm, and this is what is discussed in Chapter 5. Corporate level strategy
refers to the strategy of an organization that owns MULTIPLE businesses. It is critical to
align your strategies across all levels. You might choose to discuss why this is important.

Question #5: This week there were videos and readings covering somewhat disparate
topics in business and strategic management. Which of these videos most resonated with
you in regards to understanding business and strategic management (and why)?
Question #6: In the book, “Playing to Win,” the authors claim that the most important
decisions in the strategy process include (1) what is our winning aspiration, (2) where to
play, (3) how to win where you are playing, (4) what capabilities must be in place to win,
and (5) what management systems are required to win and be sustainable? Do you agree
with the authors that these five questions capture the essence of strategy? Do you feel
Apple has answered and implemented these five questions appropriately? Explain why or
why not.

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