Question #1: Last week we took a brief, broad-brush, look at the Apple case, and you were asked to identify the key issues and

Question #1: Last week we took a brief, broad-brush, look at the Apple case, and you were asked to identify the key issues and industry key success factors. Now it’s time to expand our examination. Describe why Apple’s industry has been so profitable, describe how the competition impacts Apple and the industry’s profits, and how you think Apple can sustain its profits in the wake of a changing world and marketplace.

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Question #2: Based on your experience, education (including the videos and materials assigned this week), and knowledge, how would you best incorporate the following concepts into your view of how to get the best performance out of an organization: Intellectual Property Rights, Value chain, Transaction Cost Economics, Vertical Integration, Environmental Determinism, Business-level Strategies, and Generic Strategies. 

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Question #3: Summarize and expand on Chapter #4 of the textbook (Managing Firm Resources), and describe what YOU think about the internal analysis of an organization. Do you feel RBV (Resource-Based View) is a better way to evaluate a firm’s strategic positioning and potential – or a means by which to better manage a firm (navigate the ever changing and turbulent waters of an increasingly competitive marketplace)? Explain why and use personal examples/experience if you can. 

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Question #4: Summarize and expand on Chapter #5 of the textbook (Business-Level Strategy), and explain the different generic strategies. Most importantly, explain which of the generic strategies you feel is the best (most profit potential – or choose another metric). There is often student confusion over the different levels of strategy: (1) functional level, (2) business level, and (3) corporate level. Functional refers to functional areas such as R&D, Production, Finance, Accounting, etc.  Business level strategy refers to the single firm, and this is what is discussed in Chapter 5. Corporate level strategy refers to the strategy of an organization that owns MULTIPLE businesses. It is critical to align your strategies across all levels. You might choose to discuss why this is important.

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Question #5: This week there were videos (and readings) covering somewhat disparate topics in business and strategic management. Which of these videos most resonated with you in regards to understanding business and strategic management (and why)?

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Question #6: In the book, “Playing to Win,” the authors claim that the most important decisions in the strategy process include (1) what is our winning aspiration, (2) where to play, (3) how to win where you are playing, (4) what capabilities must be in place to win, and (5) what management systems are required to win and be sustainable? Do you agree with the authors that these five questions capture the essence of strategy? Do you feel Apple has answered and implemented these five questions appropriately? Explain why or why not.







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