1.In your own words, describe the differences between the industrial organization (I/O) and the resource-based models of above-average returns. As an analyst, how would you determine the significance or validity of these models with respect to a given industry?
2. How do vision and mission statements affect the strategic management process? Select an example of strong vision and mission statements and include them here. Why do you think these are strong statements? How do the statements contribute to a perception of company’s overall competitiveness? Cite any sources used to support your answer.
3. Why does scanning the external environment play such a significant role in strategic analysis? How do unexpected daily events warrant significant analysis, and how would you determine their significance? As a strategic analyst, how would you approach and be prepared for their inevitable occurrence?
4. Describe a historical situation where a failure to assess and correctly interpret the external environment resulted in a business’ failure. What elements of the external environment were missed? How might the company have corrected this oversight? Cite any sources used to support your answer.
5. What is value and how is it determined and measured? In your opinion, does business generally determine and measure value appropriately? In a free market, what happens when value is not properly assessed by a business and its leaders? Give a historical example and your thoughts about how and why a disconnect occurred. Cite any sources used to support your answer.
6. What makes a competitive advantage sustainable, and why is sustainability a critical strategy-making consideration? Is sustainability knowable in the medium and long term? Why or why not? Give an example to support your conclusion. Cite any sources used to support your answer.
7. Describe the relationship between business level strategy and value chain activities. How do disruptive business models alter a value chain? What are the implications for the business and for its competitors?
8. Why do you think competing businesses endeavor to differentiate? How can external factors regulate the nature of competition within an industry?
9. How do firms use horizontal, vertical, and related types of acquisitions to increase their market power? Provide an example of a company that has used multiple types of acquisitions to increase its market power and describe how the firm is now a greater competitor in the market as a result. Cite any sources used to support your answer.
10. Discuss the three types of restructuring strategies and provide real-word examples of instances when each has been used. Cite any sources used to support your answer.
11. Discuss how the three internal governance mechanisms are used to align the interests of managerial agents with those of the firm’s owners. Why is this so critical in today’s business climate where the ethics practiced by firms are constantly being scrutinized?
12. What can strategic leaders do to develop and sustain an effective organizational culture? What actions can a strategic leader take to establish and maintain ethical practices within a firm?
13. How do an organization’s vision, mission, and goals affect its approach to strategic management and measurement? Discuss how top management teams affect a firm’s performance and its ability to innovate, design, bring about effective strategic change.
14. Business metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) are useful in determining the success of change management efforts by providing a measurable value against which the company can then compare its desired business goal or outcome. Research three business metrics and describe how each is used to measure performance and how a business can use the results from each metric to improve its performance.
15. Discuss how the material you have learned in this course can be applied to creating a strategic plan for your life, personal goals, professional career, etc. What would that plan entail? Would you need to conduct a SWOT analysis or perform an environmental scan? Describe how you can apply strategic management principles to your personal plan.
16. Discuss how your personal core competencies help you create value for the business where you work, your life, your school, or your family. What can you do to expand or improve your core competencies?

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