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Bus 4275 – 050
Winter 2013
Business Strategy and Competitive Analysis
Mid-Term Exam Study Guide
Term Exam
Wednesday, Mar 6, 2013

Purpose

Short Answers: To test your conceptual understanding of the material covered in the text so far. The exam will assess your understanding of basic strategic planning tools and concepts we have covered in the class by testing your ability to describe them accurately and support your answer with examples from the cases we have studied. Will include understanding of definitions or terms used in the strategic planning process. Long Answers: This question is designed to test your conceptual understanding of the strategic planning framework so that you can logically derive a conclusion from a diverse set of facts and a variety of situations. Scenarios: A scenario tests your ability to judge what tools and models can be usefully applied given the particular circumstances of the case and your ability to utilize a logical framework to generate specific action recommendations supported by case facts.

General Information

Exam Coverage
Ch. 1 – 6
Cases: Toyota, Drinks Industry, Whole Foods, Buying Clubs, Blue Nile, Smuckers.

Questions
1) Essay Style questions:

a. Short Answers and Definitions: 5-10 Marks each
b. Long Answer and/or Scenarios: 10 - 15 Marks

2) Long Take Home Question

3) No Multiple Choice

Topic Coverage
Major Topics as noted below as well as references to cases we have studied that illustrate or provide examples of the concepts.

Short Answer Topics

CH. 1 – WHAT IS STRATEGY resilient

1) What is the goal of an effective strategic plan? S 14, 15, 16 A company’s strategy consists of the competitive moves and business approaches that managers are employing to compete successfully improve performance and grow the business. Strategy is about competing differently with rival- doing what competitors don’t do or even better doing what they can’t do. Every strategy needs a distinctive element that attracts the customers and produces a competitive edge. In short the goal of an effective strategy is to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. A company achieves sustainable competitive advantage when it can meet customer needs more effectively or efficiently than rivals and when the basis for this is durable, despite the best efforts of competitors to match or surpass this advantage. An effective strategy properly identifies and allocates organization’s resources and capabilities to the opportunities in the environment to find out the organization’s opportunities and achieve a competitive advantage. • the key to gaining competitive advantage is:

1. creating value:

□ This means the perception by the customer of the value of the product or service.

□ Value is creating through the concept of value proposition.

□ Value proposition can be:

□ Excellent quality/higher price

□ Good quality/lower price

□ Adequate quality/lower price

2. Attracting and retaining customers:

← In this instance, we use the 4 Ps to improve the value chain for attracting and retaining customers.

← It allows the company to build trust, loyalty and lasting preference with the customer.

3. By effectively executing the above 2 steps, we are able to create and sustain advantage. Resilient organizations are excellent at following all the 3 steps.

2) What 3 basic questions will an effective strategic plan answer? S 11 The three big questions are:
1. Where are we now?

2. Where do we want to be?

3. How do we get there?

• the first question “What is our present situation?” prompts managers to evaluate industry conditions, the company’s current financial performance and market standing, its resources and capabilities, its competitive strengths and weaknesses and changes taking place in the business environment that might...
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