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MGS 101 Information Technology And Management

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  1. Briefly identify the four conditions used to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by companies.
  1. Differentiate between competitive inertia and strategic dissonance.
  1. How do companies use situational analyses and what are the basic components of a situational analysis?
  1. Explain how the concept of strategic group (and its two sub-types) is used in a situational analysis as part of an environmental scanning activity to identify specific opportunities and threats that can either improve or harm the company's ability to sustain its competitive advantage.
  1. Briefly describe the BCG (Boston Consulting Group) Matrix and how it is used. Include in your description the types of recommendations that result from use of the BCG Matrix.
  1. Explain what is meant by a grand strategy and list and define the three types of grand strategies.
  1. List the five industry forcesthat determine overall levels of competition in an industry. Identify what happens to competition as these forces increase in strength.
  1. Identify and differentiate between the positioning strategiesand the adaptive strategies used at the industry level.
  1. List the four different adaptive strategies. One of them tends to have poorer performance than  the others. Explain why.
  1. When videocassette recorders first became popular in the mid-1980s, a new form of mom-and-pop (i.e., small) business sprang up across the country: the video rental store. At the time, new videotapes of popular movies cost anywhere from $80-$200, and as the popularity of videocassette recorders grew, these small, independent video rental stores grew rapidly to meet the demand of consumers for inexpensive rentals of movies. There was considerable competition among them to be the first to have expensive, new movies available for rental. However, some stores disappointed customers by not having enough copies of new films when they were most in demand, i.e., upon their initial release on video. Within about 5 to 8 years of competition, most of these mom-and-pop video rental stores were ultimately put out of business by the large regional and national chains such as Blockbuster. Using the concept of sustainable competitive advantage along with the four conditions required to produce it, explain how such a transition from hundreds of independent mom-and-pop video stores to a few national chains could have taken place so quickly.
  1. Explain how the concepts of competitive inertiaand strategic dissonance are related to the strategy making process. Explain the importance of gathering input regarding strategic plans from multiple levels of management.

  2. Explain the basics of portfolio strategy. Identify the best approach to diversification using this strategy. Be sure to explain your rationale for arguing that the specified approach to diversification is the best.
  1. Identify Porter's five industry forces and their role in industry-level strategy. Identify which one among these five forces could be considered the central one, with its value impacted by the relative values of the four other forces.
  1. Explain what is meant by direct competition. Identify the factors that determine it, and specify the basic strategic moves involved in such competition. If you were heading a company engaged in direct competition with other firms, explain the circumstances under which you would prefer to engage in direct competition in order to develop a sustained competitive advantage?
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