Internal Code: IAH186
Answer all questions.
1. Consider an organization whose leader organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of pre-determined objectives. Applying the principles of effective leadership as essayed by Jim Collins, discuss the attributes that the leader should acquire so that he may be called as a ‘level 5’ leader and transform the organization into a ‘great organization.
2. According to Jim Collins, the essential strategic difference between just good and great companies rests in two fundamental distinctions – the three key dimensions and the Hedgehog concept. For the organization of your choice, apply the understanding of these three key dimensions and analyze how they translate these dimensions into a crystal-clear Hedgehog concept. Suggest some measures to ensure better implementation of the Hedgehog concept in that organization, if it is found wanting on that front.
3. In your opinion, how different is culture from freedom in an organization? Discuss the importance of culture to an organization that uses the Hedgehog concept.
4. Good-to-Great companies use technology as an accelerator of momentum and not a creator of momentum. Select any organization in the manufacturing sector and discuss its (possibilities of) acceleration of momentum using technology.
5. Sustainable transformations follow a predictable pattern of buildup and breakthrough. From your work experience, select any transformations in your organization that reflected either the ‘fly wheel effect’ or ‘the doom loop effect’. Discuss its impact on your organization and suggest any improvements, if required.
01. McDonald’s in the United Kingdom
a. When McDonald’s entered the UK market in 1974, it initially failed to attract British customers and reported losses. However, as of 2009, the UK was one of the most promising markets for McDonald’s. Many factors were responsible for this change in situation. First, identify the subset of factors that could be attributed to the organization’s strategies. Next, tabulate that subset of factors along with the associated strategies for each factor. Finally, classify these strategies into originally intended and subsequently emergent strategies.
b. As of 2009, McDonald’s faced many challenges in the UK. In your opinion, what strategies should McDonald’s adopt at the corporate, business, and functional levels to continue its growth trend in the UK? Give reasons for your answer.
02. Emerging Markets Strategy: Nokia Life Tools for Rural Markets
a. Business strategy is often compared with war strategy, resulting in win-lose situations. Nokia’s emerging markets strategy is apparently creating a win-win situation, with benefits accruing to the company, its rural customers, as well as its business partners who provide telecommunication services or the content on agriculture, education, and
entertainment.’ Do you agree with this statement? Explain.
b. Critically analyze the marketing mix adopted by Nokia in emerging markets like India. Discuss the issues and challenges faced by Nokia in targeting the rural markets in India.
03. Starbucks: Back to Basics?
a. What were the reasons for Starbucks’ falling popularity in 2008? Discuss.
b. Discuss the transformational initiatives that Starbucks implemented. Do you expect these initiatives to help the company in stopping the slide in footfalls and earnings?
05. Problems at China Airlines
a. Analyze the external and internal environment factors that hampered CAL’s operations over the years.
b. Analyze the revival efforts undertaken by the airline to restore its image and regain consumer confidence. Do you think improvements in cross-strait relations between Taiwan and mainland China could enhance CAL’s business prospects in the Taiwanese aviation industry? What else needs to be done?
06. Bajaj Auto Limited’s Business Strategy –From Market Leader to Follower
a. Critically analyze and comment on the transformation initiative started by Bajaj Auto in 2001. Do you think the initiative was successful in achieving its strategic objective? Take a stand and justify your answer.
b. Comment on the reasons why Bajaj Auto lost its leadership status in the Indian two wheeler industry. What was (were) the most important reason(s): wrong choice of strategy (or) faulty execution (or) external factors beyond the company’s control (or) any other reason (to be stated explicitly in your answer)? Going forward, what measures must Bajaj Auto take to increase its market share in the Indian two wheeler industry?
07. Chery Auto’s Success Story
a. Comment on Chery’s growth strategy. Do you think the company’s growth would be sustainable in the long term? Why or why not?
b. Chery used reverse engineering to develop its products. Comment on the advantages and disadvantages of this R&D strategy.
10. Trader Joe’s: A Unique Customer Experience
a. Trader Joe’s was different from other supermarkets in many aspects. In your opinion, did this difference help Trader Joe’s overcome competition? Why or why not? Justify your answer.
b. Discuss the HR strategy and the supply chain strategy at Trader Joe’s. How did they contribute to the competitiveness of the retailer?
11. Voltas Ltd.: From Turnaround to the ‘Big Bang’
a. Discuss the external and internal environmental factors and strategic decisions (if any) that caused the downturn of Voltas in the late 1990s.
b. In your judgment, was Voltas wise to invest to grow in the retail AC market, rather than in the institutional market? Give reasons in defense of your judgment.
12. Cisco’s Strategy in Recessionary Times
a. In the context of the economic crisis in the US in 2008-09, do a SWOT analysis for Cisco.
b. In spite of the global economic crisis, Cisco continued with its aggressive acquisition plans. Comment on the pros and cons of this inorganic growth strategy. Also, comment on Cisco’s strategic choice to invest in the video technology and home entertainment business.
15. JC Penney’s People Strategy: Setting the Right Climate for Human Resource Development
a. Comment on Mike Ullman’s decision to change the century-old culture at JCP just after a successful turnaround. Will the culture change initiatives instituted at JCP help it achieve the goals of (i) reducing turnover of existing employees, (ii) attracting new talent from outside, and (iii) increasing the effectiveness of the company’s coaching program? Give reasons for your answers.
b. From a strategic management perspective, what are the lessons to be learned from the JCP culture change initiatives? How can JCP keep the momentum of change rolling in its favor in the future?
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