Write a memo to your boss outlining why the assumptions posed might be incorrect.
4. You are working for a small company that has developed an operating system for Pcs that is faster and more stable than Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Your boss believes that the company’s future is ensured because it has a 60% share of the market, the lowest cost structure in the industry, and the most reliable and highest-valued product.
Which mobile payment system do you think will become dominant?
Discussion questions Ch.8
1. Plot the position of the following companies on Figure 8.3: Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemicals, Pfizer, and McDonald’s.
What strategies might the company pursue to unseat Windows and establish its own operating system as the dominant technical standard in the industry?
5. You are a manager for a major music record label.
In each case, justify your answer.
2. Are the following global standardization industries, or industries where localization is more important: bulk chemicals, pharmaceuticals, branded food products, moviemaking, television manufacture, personal computers, airline travel, fashion retailing?
3. Discuss how the need for control over foreign operations varies with the strategy and distinctive competencies of a company.
For each industry, identify the following: (a) the number and size distribution of companies, (b) the nature of barriers to entry, (c) the height of barriers to entry, and (d) the extent of product differentiation.
What does the model tell you about the level of competition in this industry?
3. Identify a growth industry, a mature industry, and a declining industry.
What are the implications for the company in terms of opportunities and threats?
4. Assess the impact of macro-environmental factors on the likely level of enrollment at your university over the next decade.
What are the implications of these factors for the job security and salary level of your professors?
Discussion questions Ch.3
1. What are the primary implications of the material discussed in this chapter for strategy formulation?
2. When is a company’s competitive advantage most likely to endure over time?
3. It is possible for a company to be the lowest cost producer in its industry and simultaneously have an output that is the most valued by customers.
Discuss this statement.
4. Why is it important to understand the drivers of profitability, as measured by the return on invested capital?
5. Which is more important in explaining the success and failure of companies: strategizing or luck?
Discussion questions Ch.4
1. How are the four generic building blocks of competitive advantage related to each other?
2. What role can top management play in helping a company achieve superior efficiency, quality, innovation, and responsiveness to customers?
3. Over time, will the adoption of Six Sigma quality improvement processes give a company a competitive advantage, or will it be required only to achieve parity with competitors?
4. From what perspective might innovation be called “the single most important building block” of competitive advantage?
Discussion questions Ch.5
1. What are the main differences between a low-cost strategy and a differentiation strategy?
2. Why is market segmentation such an important step in the process of formulating a business level strategy?
3. How can a business-level strategy of (a) low cost and (b) differentiation offer some protection against competitive forces in a company’s industry?
4. What is required to transform a business-level strategy from an idea into reality?
5. What do we mean by the term value innovation?
Can you identify a company not discussed in the text that has established a strong competitive position through value innovation?
Discussion questions Ch.6
1. Why are industries fragmented?
What are the primary ways in which companies can turn a fragmented industry into a consolidated industry?
2. What are the key problems in maintaining a competitive advantage in embryonic and growth industry environments?
What are the dangers associated with being the leader in an industry?
3. What investment strategies should be made by: (a) differentiators in a strong competitive position, and (b) differentiators in a weak competitive position, while managing a company’s growth through the life cycle?
4. Discuss how companies can use: (a) product differentiation, and (b) capacity control to manage rivalry and increase an industry’s profitability.
5. What kinds of strategies might: (a) a small pizza place operating in a crowded college market, and (b) a detergent manufacturer seeking to unveil new products in an established market use to strengthen their business models?
Discussion questions Ch.7
1. What is different about high-tech industries?