2BS601 Business Strategy
Exam is based on Google’s strategy in 2009
Case available for collection now from U/G
office on Friday (19/08) from WBS registry
before the exam
You can bring this to exam
can bring case study printed material
can NOT bring in PC, PDA, mobile phone
What will be in the exam?
FOUR questions in 2¼ hours (each question
worth 25 marks)
Questions may relate to anything covered in the
module but you will need to draw definite
conclusions / recommendations
Key to success is
careful preparation => concise set of notes
containing your analysis, findings,
conclusions and recommendation etc
NO SUPPLEMENTARY RESEARCH is required
The best answers show
Focus on a few key RELEVANT points and
develop them IN DEPTH
Use theory as basis of precise analysis
But don’t regurgitate it without applying it
Consider trade-offs, risks, limitations etc
JUSTIFY your views / decisions by
referring to the findings of your analysis including
calculation derived from data provided in case
referring to examples in case
Questions may require you to combine the results of
several analytical tools to form conclusions
Spend time fully analysing the case
before the exam
See the Guide for Case Study Analysis
which is in your workbooks
Bring a concise set of notes containing
your analysis, findings, conclusions and
recommendations into the exam with
The case study describes the company’s
strategy and examines the strategic
challenges now facing the company.
You are a management consultant who has
been commissioned by Google’s senior
management to advise them on their future
strategy for the next 3 years.
The key strategic question is
How can Google maintain its dominant
First step - Industry analysis
Identify key driving forces capable of
causing significant change in industry
Assess the attractiveness of the industry
Opportunities and threats
Potential to deliver value
Analyse what a firm needs to:
Survive in an industry
Succeed in an industry
The boundaries of your industry as it
will have an impact on your analysis
Are you including on-line,
supermarkets etc inside or outside
your industry boundary?
Porter’s Five Forces
Combine / rationalise analysis findings
to derive 3 or 4 Driving Forces which
will have a SIGNIFICANT impact on
Impact of Driving Forces on
Future Profitability of Industry
Key outcome of Industry Analysis is to assess
impact on future Profitability of Industry
What is the effect of the driving forces on
Are the driving forces increasing
Will the driving forces lead to higher
Remember to consider assumptions,
limitations, etc of your analysis
State ranges and / or confidence rating of
Survival and success factors
If industry has/is.. Survival factors (e.g.) Success factors (e.g.)
Powerful buyers with Meeting minimum Strong differentiation
low switching costs buyer requirements Negotiation skills
Powerful suppliers Negotiation skills Scale
Relationships of trust
Low barriers to entry [Survival difficult Strong differentiation
Threat of substitution without success] Low costs
Fast-growing Technology Advanced technology
Cash for growth
Mature Minimum economic Scale or other cost
scale, cost position advantage
Step 2 - Competitor / Market
What FUTURE moves are
they likely to make? What Analysis:
will be the impact on Who are the
Google’s revenues? competition?
How are they
Which company is in the positioned?
best position to be
successful in the future?
Competitor Analysis – Key
Strategic Group Maps
Who are the competition?
How are they positioned?
What strategic moves are
competitors likely to make next?
From your Industry and
Competitor analyses you can
Identify opportunities and threats for
Identify KPIs (SSFs + Competitor
Analysis + Benchmarking) which give
you the key skills, capabilities,
competences (i.e. the strengths)
required to be successful in the industry
Step 3 - Internal Analysis
(Strengths and Weaknesses)
Internal Analysis determines if the
company has these skills and resources
i.e. Strengths and Weaknesses in SWOT
Analysis Tools – Value Chain Analysis
and Competitive Strength Analysis
In the case study…
Some of the strengths and weaknesses are
NOT explicitly mentioned
You will need to infer / deduce them from
Understanding what the company’s
strategy & business model are (very
Analysing the data given (particularly the
NOTE: Financial data is also given for
Google’s competitors so you can make
Conclusions from SWOT
What is Google’s overall situation?
Does it have an attractive set of resource
How serious are the weaknesses and competitive
Do the strengths outweigh the weaknesses by an
Are there attractive market opportunities that can
be exploited using its strengths ?
Are the threats alarming? Can it use its strengths
to limit their impact?
How strong is the overall situation?
Conclusions from SWOT
What are the implications for strategic
Which competitive capabilities need to be
What actions should be taken to reduce
the company’s competitive liabilities?
Which market opportunities should be top
priority in future strategic initiatives? Which
opportunities should be ignored?
What should the company be doing to
guard against the threats to its well-being?
Step 5 –Recommendations
Why have you select a particular option(s)?
What are the anticipated benefits?
How are you going to exploit it / them?
What are the risks, limitations associated with
the analysis and implementation of option(s)