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This exam covers the entire course; materials directly addressed in class as well as material deemed student responsibility (text and other assigned reading & viewing). Answers must be written (and typed) in a clear, concise manner. Properly reference any source used (but keep in mind that I am more concerned about your thinking, than that of someone you reference). Each response should be 1 or 2 pages in length. Be sure to answer all parts of each question.
1. Take a look at Figure 4.1 (page 117) in the text and identify which one of the Five Business Level Strategies (Cost Leadership, Differentiation, Focused Cost Leadership, Focused Differentiation, or Integrated Cost Leadership/Differentiation) the company you analyzed for your term project tends to pursue. Defend your position. What core competencies has the firm developed in order to pursue its strategy? (25 points)
2. Using the concepts derived in Chapter 6 of the text, describe the diversification and growth strategies of the company you analyzed for your term project. Note: the material from Chapters 7 and/or 8 might also be helpful here. Concepts to consider: vertical/horizontal, multi-domestic/global, related/unrelated, etc. (25 Points)
3. Review the Mini-Case (Walt Disney Company Corporate Strategy) in Chapter 6 (pp. 201-2) and answer the four Case Discussion Questions. (25 Points)
4. Barracuda Inc. is a lamp-fixture manufacturer that is considering an entry strategy into the U.S. home-furnishings manufacturing industry. The existing landscape consists of many players but none with a controlling share. There are currently 2,500 home furnishings firms, and only 600 of those have more than 15 employees. Average net profit after tax is between 4 and 5 percent. While the industry still primarily comprises single-business, family-run firms that manufacture furniture domestically, imports are increasing at a fairly rapid rate. Some of the European imports are leaders in contemporary design. Relatively large established firms are also diversifying into the home- furnishings industry via acquisition. Supplier firms to the home-furnishings industry are in relatively concentrated industries (such as lumber, steel, and textiles). Retailers, the intermediate customer of the home-furnishings industry, have been traditionally very fragmented. Customers have many products to choose from, at many different price points, and few home-furnishing products have strong brands. Also, customers can switch easily among high- and low-priced furniture and other discretionary expenditures (spanning big-screen TVs to the choice of postponing any furniture purchase entirely).
A. Using the five-forces framework, summarize the opportunities and threats facing Barracuda as it considers entry into the home-furnishings manufacturing industry. Which threats are greatest to current incumbents?
B. Is the furniture industry described above attractive? Why? Or Why not? (25 points)
Extra Credit (10 Points)
Describe something noteworthy about the conclusions and strategic recommendations one of your classmates made during their presentation.
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