Business Strategy and Policy (MHRM 612-1)
1. An organization’s mission is its purpose, or the reason for its existence. A mission statement reveals who the company is and what it does. A mission may be defined narrowly or broadly. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of a broadly defined mission? What are the advantages and the disadvantages of a narrowly defined mission? Explain your answers by giving example for both narrow and broad missions.
2. Some strategic decisions are made in a flash by one person who has a brilliant insight and is quickly able to convince others to adopt his or her idea. Other strategic decisions seem to develop out of a series of small incremental choices that over time push an organization more in one direction than another. According to Henry Mintzberg, the three most typical approaches, or modes, of strategic decision making are entrepreneurial, adaptive, and planning. A fourth mode, logical incrementalism, was added later by Quinn. When is the planning mode of strategic decision making superior to the entrepreneurial and adaptive modes? When is the logical incrementalism mode of decision making more appropriate? Discuss your answers with example.
3. A corporation is governed by the board of directors overseeing the works of top management. The board of directors has an obligation to approve all decisions that might affect the long-run performance of the corporation. However, shareholders and interest groups question the role of the board of directors on their knowledge to guide the top management and on their involvement and enthusiasm. Do corporations really need a board of directors? Why or Why not?
4. Does a company have to act selflessly to be considered socially responsible? For example, when building a new plant, a corporation voluntarily invested in additional equipment that enabled it to reduce its pollution emissions beyond any current laws. Knowing that it would be very expensive for its competitors to do the same, the firm lobbied the government to make pollution regulations more restrictive on the entire industry. Is this company socially responsible? Were its managers acting ethically?
5. How can a decision maker identify strategic factors in a corporation’s external environment? In what ways can a corporation’s structure and culture be internal strengths or weaknesses? How can value-chain analysis help identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses?
6. Choose an industry that you have better exposure to and scan the environment on socio-cultural, economic, political-legal, technological, demographic, physical, etc. forces that may influence it. Support each fact with evidence from a reliable source. Also provide a brief overview of the industry have chosen.