Midterm Review and Study Guide
The exam will cover all lecture material, assigned readings and cases since the beginning of the term. Be sure you have familiarized yourself with each of the articles and cases we have read.
Since this is a capstone course which has some required textbook reading, be forewarned that there may be a few areas in these chapters that we have not gone over in class in depth that will be on the test. In terms of studying, though, focus on those topics we have addressed in our class discussions. In terms of reviewing, be sure to look at the Angel slides as a way to test your memory and prioritize your efforts.
The exam will be 100 points in total, broken into three sections:
Ten (10) multiple choice questions (each worth two (2) points each for 20 points total)
Two (2) short answers worth 15 points each for a total of 30 points in this section.
Two (2) long answer questions worth 25 points each for a total of 50 points in this section.
Be prepared to answer questions on topics including the following:
What is strategy?
Strategy is an integrated and coordinated set of commitments and actions designed to exploit core competencies and gain a competitive advantage so that the firm achieves customer satisfaction
According to Porter, strategy is creation of a unique and valuable position involving a different set of activities
The goal is sustainable superior profitability (SSP)
Strategy rests on unique activities – you have to perform different activities or the same activities differently, there needs to be a unique mix of value
What is internal fit? What are the three types of internal fit?
First Order Fit- is simple consistency between each activity and the overall strategy
Second Order Fit- occurs when activities are reinforcing
Third Order Fit- is optimization of effort
What are the two strategy orientations to pursuit of opportunity? (Hint…external fit and strategic intent).
External Fit- Focus on matching existing resources and capabilities to the existing environment
Strategic Intent- Internal focus on building new resources and capabilities to create and exploit future opportunities
What is the difference between operational effectiveness and strategy?
Operational effectiveness is not strategy – necessary but not sufficient
Operational effectiveness is performing similar activities better than rivals.
•Creation of a unique and valuable position involving a different set of activities. Tradeoffs in competing
•Goal: Sustainable profitability operational effectiveness is often shortlived
Operational effectiveness (OE) means performing similar activities better than rivals perform them. Operational effectiveness includes but is not limited to efficiency. It refers to any number of practices that allow a company to better utilize its inputs by, for example, reducing defects in products or developing better products faster. In contrast, strategic positioning means performing different activities from rivals’ or performing similar activities in different ways.
What determines having a “competitive advantage”?
Competitive Advantage is determined by and having an above average industry profitability is based on distinctive competencies
Distinctive competencies are firm specific strengths that allow a company to differentiate or lower costs and are valuable, rare, inimitable and exploitable
How do managers use each of the key strategic tools we have discussed so far, including Environmental Scanning, Strategic Group Analysis, Resource View of the Firm/VRIO, Five Forces Model?
The PESTEL Tool Helps Monitor How Changes in the Macro Environment Can Affect Industries, Firms and Their Long-term Decisions and Plans
The external environment is looked at from many perspectives
Asses based on political, ecological, economic, Sociocultural, legal,