University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Business Administration 389
Strategic Management / Business Policy
Dr. Olivier Furrer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Strategic Management
Office: 339 Commerce West, Phone: 333-2194; email: email@example.com
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1.30-3pm, and by appointment.
I. Course Objectives
Strategic management deals with those decisions that determine future directions of the organization and
effective implementation of the directions chosen. Strategic management addresses the organizational
structure, resources & capabilities, and strategic positioning of the firm to create, capture, and sustain
competitive advantage. In this course, you will develop your skills at:
• understanding how firms gain and sustain competitive advantage
• analyzing strategic business situations and formulating strategy
• implementing strategy and organizing the firm for success.
To accomplish these objectives, this course introduces and employs various analytical frameworks that help
us to identify the sources of competitive advantage from both an industry and firm perspective. By focusing
on what makes some competitive strategies strong and viable, while others remain weak and vulnerable, we
shall develop the ability to consider the impact of change and other important environmental forces on the
opportunities for establishing and sustaining competitive advantage.
The emphasis of this strategic management course is on pragmatic and action-oriented general management
skills. However, a considerable body of theory has evolved within the disciplines of strategy, economics,
finance, marketing, organization theory, and international business that has salient implications for general
management. Therefore, the course will emphasize both cases and lecture/discussion sessions.
Strategic management, as much as any course, deals with the world of experience. The world of experience
is not a world of certainty. Therefore, within the classroom, reasonable people (with different experiences)
will view management differently. This is a healthy tension. Management, whether discussed in the
classroom or discussed within a firm involves "making sense together." The very idea of making sense
involves a creative process and is personal (subjective). Conjectures and (subjective) knowledge based on
your personal experiences are highly valued within the conversation of this class. Creativity will be
rewarded in your participation grade, your individual papers, and your group projects. This course also
rewards the hard worker who has the ability to listen and think critically. The course will provide a great
deal of material and will require that you process the material. The mid-term will test your ability to
understand the material in the textbooks, readings and class notes.
II. The Relationship of Business Policy to Other Business Administration Courses
Up until this time, most of your business education has emphasized a specialized, functional perspective of
business situations. In accounting, you have concentrated on how to identify and produce the information
necessary to effectively manage and guide organizations. In finance, you have been concerned with
understanding how capital markets work and, in turn, affect the financing of a company’s on-going
operations. In marketing, the focus has been on how to analyze, shape, and address the needs of consumers
as well as how to manage a company’s marketing efforts. In operations management, you have learned
about how to organize the production activities of a firm so it is able to produce quality goods and services at
an attractive price. Finally, courses on the management of human resources have been concerned with the
effective development and management of a company’s human assets. All of these functional disciplines
play a critical role in the success of any company, but how do they fit together?
In this course, we integrate these perspectives together by taking a different perspective, that of the general
manager. General managers are responsible for setting the goals, objectives, and strategies of the
organizations they lead as well as the implementation and execution of such plans. To do this, the general
manager must be capable of understanding and utilizing the knowledge from each of the organization’s
functional areas to develop a cohesive and effective competitive strategy. In addition, the general manager
must be able to analyze competitive situations within industries in order to understand the sources of the
firm's competitive advantage. In today’s business environment, whether you are a new hire or the CEO of
the company, you must be capable of thinking like a general manager.
III. Techniques for Learning Strategic Management
To accomplish these objectives, we will use a variety of learning techniques: lectures, outside assignments,
readings, written reports, presentations, and, most importantly, class discussion of case studies. Two of these
are distinctive of the field of strategic management: case analysis and group work.
Strategic thinking and analysis is best learned through practice. The cases we will study are about real world
business situations; they are an opportunity to both apply the concepts we discuss in class as well as further
develop our ability to think about business strategy.
For some of you, this course is your first exposure to managerial problems presented as cases. Cases are
unlike most writing. They are not research articles, news articles, or nonfiction books. They do not make an
argument or reach a conclusion. THAT'S YOUR JOB!
The case provides facts and figures--in essence, a stage--on which YOU can practice management. YOU
must sift through prose and interviews to decide what is the major issue facing management. YOU must
identify alternative ways to address the issue. YOU must choose a course of action and defend it publicly in
Skimming the case while coming to school is useless. Read the case at least twice--once for facts and once
for analysis. Use the questions to help you identify the issue, and the facts to help you decide what to do.
The exhibits in the case often contain the most relevant information. Don't ignore them! See if some data
can be mustered to support your ideas.
The professor's job is to encourage discussion and to present and develop key concepts. The professor does
not, in general, directly criticize recommendations. THAT'S YOUR JOB! Students must argue for their
ideas, and sometimes that means arguing against other people's. Learning to do this seriously but politely is
a valuable skill.
At its best, a good case discussion keeps students involved while adding to their real-life experiences
Discussing cases and preparing analyses in small groups outside of class helps to deepen your knowledge about
strategy. Thus, group work will be essential for weekly case preparation as well as the major group project.
Developing effective group skills is a critical part of the learning process. It is a good idea to have students
with different areas of expertise in the group, to facilitate the exchange of a variety of managerial viewpoints
and help guard against "groupthink". To help bring about this internal balance within each group, I will divide
the class into eight groups (with approximately 5 people in each group). Each group will have a coordinator,
who will meet with the instructor periodically to assist with dialogue and work flow. The coordinator will
receive a small amount of extra credit points as compensation for these meetings.
Insuring team participation on projects and papers is primarily your responsibility as a group. This is an
important part of the art of management! To facilitate this, at the end of the term, I will ask each group member
to divide up 100 points among the group members. Your score on group projects will be the number of points
the group scores times the number of points your group gives you (divided by 100). Therefore, in a five person
group, if each person did equal work, each person will give the others 20 points, and the total for each person
will be 100. In that case, each person’s grade will equal points received by the group on that assignment
multiplied by 1.00.
Here are some basic tips for successful project management with a group.
• Set milestones and "inch-pebbles." Milestones indicate when major deliverables are due. Break them into
inch-pebbles--shorter time periods attached to well-defined interim results--so trouble can be spotted early
• Schedule resources evenly. Groups need to plan week-to-week assignments.
• Communicate. When a particular analysis affects different parts of the paper, make sure everyone can
retrieve and update the complete paper accordingly. Use e-mail and meeting minutes to communicate
deadlines, to track changes, and to enforce accountability.
IV. Course Requirements and Grading
General comment: Judgment versus Analysis. As an integrative course, Strategic Management draws on the
various frameworks, concepts, and techniques discussed in your entire business program, and adds several of
its own. Remember, however, that these are analytical tools and help in forming judgments about central
problems and associated recommendations; they are not ends in themselves. For example, if you think the
key issue in the case is human resource management, and then you do an industry analysis there would be a
disconnect between theory and application. In any assignment, emphasize your judgments (usually using
headings or subheadings) and present data/information from the case, along with supporting analysis, in
support of these judgments.
Your class assignments are shown in the syllabus attached, and while subject to change, this syllabus should
guide your work planning for the course. There will be no announcements in class concerning assignments,
except those infrequent ones that may alter those in the syllabus.
Your course grade is a function of the following requirements:
A. Participation 180 points
B. Individual Case Analyses 120 points
C. Mid-term Examination 250 points
D. Written Group Analysis of Case 150 points
E. Group Case – Strategy Practicum 300 points
A. Participation – 180 points
As stated above, group interaction is critical to learning how to think strategically, and the most important
group interaction occurs during our discussions in class. In this course, we all learn from each other. Thus,
we are each responsible for making contributions to the class’s effort to analyze a case and gain a critical
perspective on the issues confronting the company in question. How well you contribute to this group
process forms the basis for your grade.
Participation grading contains two components. An A+ student will earn 180 points or more.
Class participation. Class participation is graded for case discussion during the first part of the course.
Daily grades are recorded on the following scale: 10, said something; 20, said something interesting; 30, said
something that really turned the discussion. I give at most one or two “30’s” per case. Note that attending
without talking scores no points. If you have questions about your participation, please come by during
office hours--do not ask immediately after class. (6 cases * 25 points = 150 points total.) In the practicum,
your questions of the consulting team will earn 5 or 10 points based upon their quality. (4 cases*5 points =20
points). Up to ten points are awarded at the end of the term at the instructor’s discretion for lecture
participation (10 points).
Attendance. You are expected to attend all classes. Please schedule interviews, plant visits, and callbacks
for days on which we don’t have class. Attendance is taken at the beginning of class; if you miss the roll
call, you have missed the class. You are expected to stay for the entire class. You will lose ten points for
each class missed after the first two.
B. Individual Case Analyses - 120 points (4 @ 20 points each plus one at 40 points)
Over the term, you will be responsible for preparing five one page analyses of the cases we will be
discussing in class. Your analyses should focus on identifying a central strategic issue in the case and
undertaking an analysis of that issue, including recommendations that follow from that analysis. Often, it is
a good idea to imagine yourself as a manager of the company discussed in the case, and ask yourself, “What
would I do if I were in this situation?” You should take the role of a consultant being paid to analyze the
strategic problem of the company. The audience for the writeup is the top manager named in the case. Write
for his reading. DO NOT WASTE HIS TIME!
The five biggest mistakes in case writeups:
• Solving five problems poorly instead of one well. Typically our cases will contain several managerial
issues. Sometimes they are related; sometimes not. Pick one and focus. Explain how that solution may
help or hurt other issues if possible. If you cannot do this, take confidence in solving only one problem.
• Restating the facts of the case. For example, Bill Gates knows that the company received a big break by
earning the contract with IBM for the operating system for the IBM PC. In a case analysis for Microsoft,
you need not state this again. What should Microsoft do now?
• Offering a process recommendation. You are a consultant, and consultants never recommend hiring
other consultants. Saying “IBM needs to do a market study” is a waste of time. After all, that is what
you, the consultant, are being paid to do. The case offers all available information available--make a
• Using buzzwords to substitute for thinking. For example, saying “the firm needs to provide high quality”
is true but vacuous. In this industry, to these customers, what does “quality” mean? Reliability?
Conformance to certain specifications? Craftsmanship? Aesthetic design? Other buzzwords that often
prevent analysis include goodwill with employees, customer service, focus on the customer, value added.
Note that these are powerful terms when defined in context and when linked to specific firm activities to
deliver those characteristics.
• Failing to proofread. Please be certain your paper contains no spelling or grammatical errors. In
particular, do not confuse: it’s with its; loose with lose; affect with effect; too with to.
The first two writeups are specific; the last three are more general. The writeup is one page long, single spaced,
using 12 point or larger font. I do not read second pages nor cover pages. The basic format should be three
sections: problem statement, analysis, recommendations.
Problem statement: Critical strategic issue identified in first paragraph. There should be a short paragraph
that states the question in the form of a question. Explain briefly in this paragraph why this question is
Analysis: Analysis remains focused on addressing question raised. Analytical tools are used to guide
conclusions, not for their own sake.
Recommendations: You should make specific recommendations of courses of action to take. It helps if you
explain why the recommendations follow logically from the analysis. As a reality check, the specific
recommendations should answer the question raised in the first paragraph.
All should undertake a writeup of the first and second cases. Details of the assignment are on the class
schedule section of the syllabus. Assignment of the other cases is done in the Practicum section. Case
analyses are due at the start of class on the day that case is discussed; late written analyses will not be
accepted. Submissions under my door or in my mailbox will not be accepted.
Grammar, Style, and Organization 5 points
Concise Problem Identification 5 points
Logic and Coherence of Analysis 5 points
Recommendations That Follow From Analysis 5 points
The last writeup is doubled in point value to allow for learning over the term.
C. Midterm Exam—250 points
After all of the formal course material has been presented, a midterm exam will be given. The exam will
focus on the application of the conceptual and theoretical material covered in the readings and lectures.
Factual material from cases are not part of the exam. It is cumulative.
D. Written Group Analysis of the Midterm Competition Case – 150 points
Each group will be responsible for preparing a written case analysis of a midterm case.
This group assignment asks you to apply an investment perspective for determining
commitment and flexibility strategies based on cashflow projections.
E. Final Group Presentation & Written Analysis - Strategy Practicum – 300 points
Consultants’ Presentation - 100 points
Consultants’ Written Group Analysis - 150 points
Top Management Team Simulation – 50 points
The final four weeks of class are devoted to applying what we have learned via a series of eight group
presentations/class discussions of different cases. For each case, one group will play the role of a consulting
team hired to advise the firm; a second team will play the role of the firm’s top management. The remainder of
the class will play the role of “stakeholders” in the company.
In these sessions, the management team will begin by making a 30 minute presentation giving an overview of
their analysis and recommendations. After the presentation, the rest of the class (the stakeholders) will then
have an opportunity to comment and ask questions on the presentation. Our purpose is to generate a deeper
discussion of the issues involved. In addition to their presentation, each consulting team is responsible for a
written analysis of their case. Six copies of the presentation slides are due on the day of the presentation,
and a final version of the written analysis is due on or before the last day of finals for all groups. Please
see the guidelines on written analysis and presentations for further details.
For one case in the practicum, you will serve as the top management team, asking probing questions of the
consultants. You should focus on insuring the quality of their analysis and on how to implement the strategy
suggested. (30 points.)
Case Assignments in Groups -- Numbers refer to the cases in section VI.
Group Writeups Top Management Team Main Case Presentation
#1 3, 7, 10 12 14
#2 4, 8, 11 10 13
#3 6, 9, 14 8 12
#4 4, 7, 13 14 10
#5 6, 9, 11 13 8
V. Final Grading Scale
Course Points Final Grade
970 - 1000 points A+ 4.00
930 - 969 A 4.00
900 - 929 A- 3.67
870 - 899 B+ 3.33
830 - 869 B 3.00
800 - 829 B- 2.67
770 - 799 C+ 2.33
730 - 769 C 2.00
700 - 729 C- 1.67
650 - 699 D 1.00
less than 650 F 0.00
VI. Bibliography of Text and Cases - Text available at IUB, TIS, and Follett’s; Cases at TIS.
Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization (3rd edition), Michael A.
Hitt, R. Duane Ireland, and Robert E. Hoskisson (hereafter HIH). I reserve the right
to hand out additional material or to place additional material in the library.
Cases for BA 389, to be contained in BA 389 Case Packet:
1.Wal-mart Stores, Inc. 9-794-024 Retailing Industry
2. Cola Wars Continue 9-794-055 Soft Drink Industry
3. Saturn 9-795-010 Auto Industry
4. Product Development at Dell 9-699-010 Computer Hardware
5. Saturn Module II Decision 9-795-011 Auto Industry
6. Appex 9-491-082 Cellular Telephone Industry
7. Novo Industri 9-389-148 Biotech Industry
8. Whirlpool 9-391-037 Appliance Industry
9. Time Inc. 9-293-117 Media Industry
10. Viacom 9-398-086 Media Industry
11. Case Corporation 9-598-046 Ag Machinery Industry
12. Nucor 9-793-039 Steel Industry
13. Bombardier 9-796-002 Railcar Industry
14. Barnes&Noble v. Amazon.com 9-793-063 Book Retailing Industry
Plus Porter, Michael (1996). “What is Strategy?” Harvard Business Review (Nov.-Dec.) : 61-78.
GUIDELINES FOR WRITTEN CASE REPORTS
Business Administration 389 – Strategic Management
The written case assignments will provide you with the opportunity to use your conceptual, analytic, &
technical skills in applications to real-world business situations. You should adopt the role of a management
consulting firm which has been asked to examine the corporation in the case and provide: (a) judgments
regarding the key issues an problems facing the company with supporting evidence and sound logic; (b)
alternative courses of action open to the corporation and assessments of these; (c) specific
recommendations with a supporting plan of action.
Central Issues Identified and Communicated 10 points
Logical And Coherent Analysis 25 points
Effective Use of Facts and Figures To Support Argument 10 points
Graphics & Table Clear, Concise, and Effective 10 points
Recommendations Follow From Analysis 15 points
In evaluating your papers, the most important criteria I use concerns the strength and logic of your
argument. That is, does your analysis make sense? Do you marshal facts from the case to support your
analysis? Do your recommendations follow from your analysis? Are you able to rule out certain options as
being illogical and counter productive? Fundamentally, you want to lead your reader through a chain of
reasoning that drives them toward the same conclusions presented in your recommendations. Your paper
will succeed if it accomplishes this task.
You are encouraged to use the various frameworks, concepts, and techniques discussed in the course or
otherwise known to you. Remember, however, that these are analytical tools to help you in forming
judgments about problems; they are not ends in themselves. Emphasize your judgements (usually using
headings and sub-headings) and present data and information from the case, along with supporting analysis,
in support of these judgements. However, most importantly, AVOID MERELY REHASHING THE
Finally, the effective use of graphics and quantitative analysis can often help you to communicate the point
you are trying to get across to the reader. The key issue here is that graphics should help clarify the
information you are trying to communicate. Also, you should use the quantitative analysis as a vehicle for
supporting a point, not as an end in itself.
There is a limit of ten double-spaced pages for the main body of the paper. The purpose of this is to encourage you
to prioritize the material you wish to include in the final document. Along with each report, you should provide a
brief (1 page) executive summary of the key issues and associated recommendations discussed in further detail in the
report. You can include as many tables, charts, and graphics as you wish. Though grading will focus primarily on
the strength of analysis and strategic recommendations, writing form, grammar, punctuation and professional
presentation will be evaluated. Please include page numbers in your report.
GUIDELINES FOR GROUP PRESENTATIONS/ TOP MANAGEMENT SIMULATION
Business Administration 389 - Strategic Management
The objective of these assignments is to enhance your ability to:
• develop a clear and direct presentation
• utilize visual aids to support the presentation
• think on your feet
• evaluate the adequacy of an argument, position or plan
• listen critically and pose worthwhile questions that facilitate constructive group problem-solving,
• give and receive criticism in a socially acceptable manner.
In preparing this assignment, the presenting group should adopt the role of a consulting firm hired by top
management to perform a strategic analysis of the case corporation. The oral presentation should be
approximately 30 minutes in length. The use of visual aids (overheads, charts, graphs) is recommended to
enhance the clarity of your presentation. All members of a group are expected to participate in the
presentation. Students should avoid merely reading out presentation material. In addition, the group will be
evaluated on the cohesiveness and logic of the arguments presented. Presentations are professional; dress is
Overview of Firm and Key Issue 15 points
Identification and Analysis of Options 20 points
Choice and Reasoning 15 points
Use of Appropriate Tools, Sensitivity Analysis 20 points
Ability to answer questions, think on feet 15 points
Clarity of Presentation 15 points
Top Management Simulation
The second half of the class session will consist of questions and other interaction between the presenting
groups and the class (20 minutes for top management, 15 minutes for the class, and 10 minutes for the
instructor). Top management's task is to critique, comment on, and support and/or question the analysis &
recommendations presented by the consultants (which requires you to be TOTALLY familiar with the case
company's situation!). In reviewing the presentation, it is useful to think about what would be the
consequence to the organization if the suggested recommendations were adopted. Note that all members of
the organization benefit by good decision making and are hurt when the company incurs losses because of
poor analysis. Keep in mind that as a member of the management team, your contribution to constructive
problem solving will be evaluated by your superiors (and the instructor!).
Evaluation will be based on both content and style of questions.
CLASS SESSIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS
1. SESSION # Wed. Jan. 19
“No amount of sophistication is going to allay the fact that all your knowledge is about the past and all
your decisions are about the future.” Ian E. Wilson, chair, General Electric
Discussion questions: What is strategy and its role in achieving the objectives of the firm? What is the
role of the general manager?
SESSION # Mon. Jan. 24
Read: HIH, Chapters 1 and 2 (skim)
Discussion questions: What are the elements in “defining the business?” What are the key definitions of
strategy? What are the hierarchical definitions of strategy? What are the 5 P’s of strategy? How can one
use SWOT analysis for planning? What is “strategic coherence?” Why is it important?
SESSION # Wed. Jan. 26
Read: Porter, What is Strategy?
Discussion questions: What are the conceptual approaches to defining performance? What are the
measures of performance? What are some sources of above-average performance?
SESSION # Mon. Jan. 31
Read: Case #1 Wal-mart Stores Inc.
Write: First one-page writeup.
Discussion questions: What is Wal-Mart's "Strategy?" How do the different "functional" strategies
(operational, marketing, financial, human resource) "fit" together in a unique manner? Historically, what
have been the sources of Wal-mart's competitive advantage in discount retailing? Given recent changes
in the competitive environment, what can or should Wal-mart do to maintain its competitive advantage?
In other words, how sustainable is Wal-mart’s competitive advantage? Are Supercenters the answer to
the threats that Wal-mart faces?
SESSION # Wed. Feb. 2
Read: HIH, Chapter 2 again.
Discussion questions: What is the Structure-Conduct-Performance Model? How does industry (5-
Forces) analysis help you to identify profitability of an industry? How does one test the S-C-P model?
SESSION # Mon. Feb. 7
Read: Case #2 Cola Wars Continue
Write: Provide an Industry Analysis 5-Forces Analysis. Analyze in a paragraph each force and
Discussion questions: What are the barriers to entry in this industry? How much power do suppliers
and customers have? How do substitute products impact the industry? How do the structural factors
above affect rivalry?
SESSION # Wed. Feb. 9
Read: HIH, Chapter 3, The Internal Environment.
Discussion questions: What are the drivers of sustainable competitive advantage? How do firms create
capabilities? How are resources and capabilities analyzed to identify the value potential of a business?
How is value-chain analysis related to “core competencies?”
SESSION # Mon. Feb. 14
Read: Case #3 Saturn
Discussion questions: What are the most important factors influencing consumers’ choices in the
purchase of small cars? What is Saturn’s strategy for delivering value to consumers and to dealers? Has
Saturn’s strategy been successful? Are Saturn’s advantages sustainable?
SESSION # Wed. Feb. 16
Read: HIH, chapter 4, Business Level Strategy.
Discussion questions: What are the strategic benefits and risks of a low cost strategy? What are the
drivers of a low cost strategy? What are the strategic benefits and risks of a differentiation strategy?
What are the drivers of a differentiation strategy?
Handout: Learning Curves
SESSION # Mon. Feb. 21
Read: Case #4 Product Development at Dell
SESSION # Wed. Feb. 23
Read: HIH, Chapter 5, Competitive Dynamics.
Discussion questions: How can you analyze your competitor’s likely actions? How does strategic
group analysis help you to identify the profitability of groups of firms within an industry?
SESSION # Mon. Feb. 28
Further discussion of Chapter 5. Presentation of game theory concepts.
Discussion questions: What is the value of strategic flexibility? Under what conditions are strategic
commitments more likely to lead to sustainable competitive advantage? How can game theory tools and
cashflow analyses be used together? When are first-mover advantage and second-mover advantage
If time permits, discussion of strategy under uncertainty.
SESSION # Wed. Mar. 1
Read: Case #5 Saturn Module II Decision
Write: Investment and Cashflow Group Assignment
Discussion questions: Which option for expansion should Saturn advocate? Which option should GM
accept? Should Saturn delay expansion? What is the appropriate strategic intent?
SESSION # Mon. Mar. 6
“Put all your eggs in one basket and — WATCH THAT BASKET.” Mark Twain
Read: HIH, Chapter 6, Corporate level Strategy, and Chapter 7, Acquisition and Restructuring
Discussion questions: What are the sources of value creation by diversification? What are the limits to
diversification? What are potential agency problems? How should organizational structure fit
SESSION # Wed. Mar. 8
Read: HIH, Chapter 8, International Strategy
Discussion questions: Explain traditional and emerging motives for firms to pursue international
expansion. What are the factors that lead to a basis for international business level strategies?
SESSION # Mon. Mar. 20
Read: HIH, Chapter 8, International Strategy, and Chapter 9, Cooperative Strategy.
Discussion questions: What are the environmental trends affecting international strategy? Describe
alternatives for international market entry. What are the appropriate applications of cooperative strategies
for pursuing international strategies?
SESSION # Wed. Mar. 22
“ ... good management rests on a reconciliation of centralization and decentralization.”
Alfred P. Sloan
Read: HIH, chapter 10, Corporate Governance, and Chapter 11, Organizational Structure and
Discussion questions: Define corporate governance and its use. Explain the importance of integrating
strategy formulation and strategy implementation. Explain different types of controls.
SESSION # Mon. Mar. 27
Read: Case #6 Appex
Discussion questions: What problems did Ghosh face when he joined Appex? Evaluate the importance
of each structural change. What problems did each new structure address? Were each necessary? How
would you address the challenges facing Appex at the end of the case?
SESSION # Wed. Mar. 29
“Leadership and Vision.” No reading assignment.
Discussion questions: What makes a leader? Can leadership be taught?
SESSION # Mon. Apr. 3
SESSION # Wed. Apr. 5
“ ... a manager’s authority comes from the employees. Distance yourself from your people and you dis-
tance yourself from your base of authority.” Ken Iverson in Plain Talk (1998).
Read: Case #7 Novo Industri
Discussion questions: What forces operate on the insulin industry to make it profitable or unprofitable?
Have these changed in recent years? Can this industry be characterized as multidomestic or global?
What forces make it so? Are they changing? What are the key elements of Novo's strategy to date? How
do they compete? Is it a good strategy? How does it compare to the strategy of other firms in the
industry? What should Novo do now?
SESSION # Mon. Apr. 10
Read: Case #8 Whirlpool
Discussion questions: Was this a good time for Whirlpool to undertake a major global expansion? If
Whirlpool were to go ahead with expansion, how should it proceed? What should they pay to acquire
Phillips’ white goods business?
SESSION # Wed. Apr. 12
Read: Case #9 Time
Discussion questions: How attractive is the merger of Time with Warner? What prompted Paramount’s
interest in Time? What would you do as Mr. Munro? How would you explain to shareholders a decision
to reject Paramount’s offer (if that is your recommendation)? How should the deal be priced?
SESSION # Mon. Apr. 17
Read: Case #10 Viacom
Discussion questions: What factors lie behind Viacom’s domestic success? What is the nature of the
international opportunity? How should the company be managed as it competes internationally? Which
offer should it accept?
SESSION # Wed. Apr. 19
Read: Case #11 Case Corporation
Discussion questions: What factors lie behind Case’s North American success? Should it expand
overseas? Should it emphasize new technology or “stick to its knitting”?
SESSION # Mon. Apr. 24
Read: Case #12 Nucor
Discussion questions: What potential first-mover advantages and disadvantages will Nucor confront if
they decide to adopt the CSP technology? Should Nucor adopt the "Thin-Strip" casting technology? Are
there any potential benefits in waiting?
SESSION # Wed. Apr. 26
Read: Case #13 Bombardier
Discussion questions: In the short run, should Bombardier respond with a price cut? In the long run, how
real is the threat from MK? Have they discovered a new business model?
SESSION # Mon. May 3
Read: Case #14 Barnes and Noble v. Amazon.com
Discussion questions: What is the difference in terms of customer-willingness-to-pay for books supplied
on line versus through stores? What is the cost advantage (if any) for on-line? Will Amazon remain the
on line leader? If so, why?