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SM Exam Questions - Key Points and References (Oct 2013 - GDS)

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  • 1. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) Strategic Management (BUSM 3200) – Oct 2013 Exam Questions Review – Key Points and References (Part A) (Prepared by Geoffrey da Silva) Note: this set of notes is provided as guidelines as to how you should go about to prepare YOUR OWN set of study notes for exam revision. Remember these are just GUIDELINES or short bullet points advising you what could be the approach to answering the questions and the sources you can extract the information from – BOTH the text and the lecture notes (GDS version only). You have ALREADY been advised by the course coordinator that these questions are just samples and are NOT to be construed as spotted questions for the coming examination. These are just good “practice questions” that you should use for purposes of revising your topics. Please make sure that you study widely around the chapter topics and DO NOT assume that the questions below will be set directly as they are in the coming examination. Remember this – study the topic but never study the question. The questions below could be set differently but topics could be similar. Blank spaces are provided under each of the drafts so that you can add in your own research and examples. Good luck in your preparations. Note: these are brief points; use this word document to work with your team/groups to insert your own points and examples. I provide the template only! 1. Describe the four ways of strategic thinking (or lenses). Give examples to illustrate how the design and experience lenses on strategy development help understand the strategic development processes in organizations. Approach: a. Reference is pages 28-42 of the text b. Lecture slides (GDS version only) – Lecture 1; slides 1-42 to 1-50 c. You need to briefly explain the four ways – design, experience, variety and discourse d. But focus on design and experience as main areas of discussion e. Clearly explain the differences between the two f. Can you show some examples/cases of how a strategy could be made using the two different approaches (lenses) g. Then you must link it to strategy development. Briefly take a look at Lecture 9(B) and Chapter 12 – Strategy Development. Mention briefly how the different approaches of how strategy emerges – the intended strategy and the emergent strategy h. Is there a connection between design and experience lenses and intended and emergent strategies?
  • 2. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 2. Describe the concept of strategic group. What are the advantages of undertaking a strategic group analysis? What criteria can be used for grouping firms within an industry? Give example to support this. Approach: a) Strategic groups is a method of clustering competitors within a market or industry b) Read the text pages 69-71 c) Lecture slides : Lecture 2 Slides 2.55 to 2.65 d) When answering such a question, make sure you cover all issues asked in the question. You should convert each sub-section as your “headings” Example: i. Definition of the concept of strategic group ii. Advantages/benefits of conducing strategic group analysis iii. Criteria for grouping (this means you show a sample diagram and indicate the two axes – which are in fact the criteria. See the text and lecture notes for examples)
  • 3. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 3. Achieving and continually improving cost efficiency has been regarded as a threshold strategic capability in any organisation in today’s competitive environment. Why? In your opinion, how organisations can improve their cost efficiency? Approach: a) This question appears to look like a question on cost leadership but it’s not directly speaking b) Its asking about cost efficiency c) And it is talking about “threshold strategic capability” d) Go and find out what threshold capability means – Text page 87 to 89 e) So firms would need to manage costs – irrespective if they do follow cost leadership, differentiation or focus strategies f) Does not mean just because a firm pursues differentiation strategy it does not pursue cost efficiency! g) Show which are the areas in which a firm can achieve cost efficiencies. Can use the material from Business Strategy and Cost Leadership to discuss some of the cost drivers a. Lecture Five slides 5.22 to 5.5.29. b. Also be able to draw a VC showing CL strategy and show where the firm achieves cost efficiencies – slide 5.63 to 5.64 c. Text – pages 200 to 203
  • 4. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 4. Stakeholder mapping is a useful technique for stakeholder management. Describe the process of stakeholder mapping and explain how its outcomes can help in understanding the political priorities in managing its relationships with stakeholders. Approach: a) Not a straight forward question b) First you need to explain stakeholder mapping c) Then show how outcomes link to the political process in management d) Stakeholders – see text pages 139 -141 (this is in Chapter 4) e) Then explain Stakeholder Mapping 141 to 143 f) You then need to cross over to Chapter 12 – pages 406 and 408: strategy as a political process g) Overall you need to demonstrate that because of the interplay of forces of many different stakeholder groups who wield different levels of power, and then strategy development becomes highly politicized activity. The “acceptability” of the strategy depends on different stakeholders approval or otherwise. h) You can also read a bit from Chapter 11 on acceptability criteria – especially pages 381 and 383.
  • 5. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 5. Describe the concept of corporate social responsibility and four possible corporate stances on social responsibility. Explain the rationale under each stance and the leadership and stakeholder relationship required for each of these four stances. Approach: a) Material is from Chapter Four ; Text pages 134 to 138 b) You must be clear about the four stances – specifically Table 4.2 (see text or lecture notes slide 4.33) c) You need to explain the three rows in the table – the rationale row, the leadership row and the stakeholder relationship row
  • 6. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 6. Describe the concepts of organisational culture and strategic management. Explain how organisational culture can influence its strategic management. Give example to support your argument. Approach a) Refer to chapter 5 of text; pages 171-182. b) Lecture slides Lecture 4: slides #64-92 c) Define organisational culture d) Describe the elements of ORG Culture e) The four layers of ORG culture – see Figure 5.5 : values, beliefs, behaviours and paradigms f) Most important is to demonstrate the LINK between ORG culture AND strategic management g) In other words show, with examples, how corporate culture can impact on the firm’s competitive advantage h) Culture is in fact a resource / competency. You can even bring in VRIN to show how internal culture can be something of value or rare or cannot be imitated. i) Can also discuss the Cultural Web – see Figure 5.7
  • 7. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 7. What is diversification? What are the main types of diversification? Why is it important for managers to understand the concept of diversification? Discuss how the selection of different diversification strategies will have an impact on the way a business is managed. Give example(s) to support your argument. Approach: a) Define the concept of diversification b) Distinguish between the various types – related and unrelated diversification. Also define vertical integration c) Why managers need to understand this – means what benefits does this strategy bring. Study the ‘drivers’ on pages 237 to 239 d) The different methods of diversification will affect the way in which the business is managed here refers to the role of the parent. In fact this is related to question 8 below. You can read up from pages 243 to 249.
  • 8. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 8. Describe the corporate rationales of synergy manager and parental developer, and compare and contrast them in terms of their logic, strategic requirements, and organisational requirements. What are the major potential problems in using these two rationales? Provide example to support your arguments. Approach: a) Topic is from Corporate Strategy and Diversification – Chapter 7/ Lecture 6 b) Specifically relating to Value Creation and the Corporate Parent – see pages 243- 249 of the text c) To discuss only 2 (of the three) shown in Figure 7.5 – that is synergy and parental
  • 9. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 9. Strategic alliance and acquisitions are two different methods of strategic development. Compare and contrast the motives of these two development methods. Discuss factors that can influence the success of acquisition. Approach a) Taken from Chapter 10 / Lecture 8 b) Main objective is for students to define clearly the DIFFERENCES between the two approaches. Both of these methods are under the strategy of diversification. c) Factors – see page 348 – 349 d) But on the whole try to read the whole of chapter 10 especially the motives for acquisitions – strategic, financial and managerial
  • 10. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 10. Strategic control, financial control, and strategic planning are three ways of dividing responsibilities between corporate centre and its business units. Discuss these three ways of control and their links with three corporate rationales (portfolio manager, synergy manager, and parental developer). Give examples to support your argument. Read specifically pages 450- 452 of the text
  • 11. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 11. Describe and compare the characteristics of two major approaches of strategy development: intended strategy and emergent strategy. Discuss the challenges that managers may face in managing strategy development processes? Given examples(s) to support your argument. Approach: a) Taken from Chapter 12 b) Specifically pages 419 - 422 c) The idea of emergent strategy comes from the concept of logical incrementalism (see pages 405-406)
  • 12. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) 12. It is argued that middle managers should be involved in strategic management. What are main benefits for involving them in strategy-making? What roles do middle managers play in relation to the management of strategy? How can middle managers increase their influence on strategy? Give examples(s) to support your argument. Approach: a)
  • 13. BUSM3200 Strategic Management (Answer Points to Exam Questions) – Oct 2013 (GDS) Cross-referencing to the Model Answer Set (Given Previously – See SlideShare) Note from the eleven question listed above you could in fact find some similar “model answers set”that I gave you previously; check them out: Exam Review Question (above) A similar question from the Model Answers Set I have previously to you (may not be exactly the same) Question 1 Model Answer Question 1 (match) Question 3 Model Answer Question 2 (not the same but relevant concepts) Question 5 Model Answer Question 9 (match) Question 6 Model Answer Question 3 (not the same but relevant concepts) Question 7 Model Answer Question 13 (not the same but relevant concepts) Question 8 Model Answer Question Question 9 Model Answer Question 7 (match) Question 10 Model Answer Question 8 (match) Question 11 Model Answer Question 6 (not the same but relevant concepts)

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