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Harvard Business Case Individual Briefs

Read the Harvard case study and answer the following questions 
1) What are the most important general environment factors to be considered for the industry and the company and what is their effect (positive-negative-neutral)? What is your evidence for the importance of these factors?

2) What are the most important of the five industry forces affecting the industry and the company and what is their effect (high-moderate-low)? What is your evidence for the importance of these forces? Is the industry attractive for new entrants AND for incumbents? Why?

3) List two major strategic group competitor(s) and briefly predict the significant future action(s) of each competitor. What is your evidence for their importance?

4) What are the most important of the eight value chain areas for the company? What is your evidence for their importance? Are they superior, inferior or neutral vs. each of the two major competitors and why (be specific but concise)?

5) Discuss the most significant financial factor(s) (be specific, calculating and presenting the most important ratios in the profitability, leverage and/or activity areas compared to competitors and /or the industry) and non-financial (leadership, culture, ethics/social responsibility) factor(s) for the company? What is your evidence for their importance?

6) INTEGRATE the SWOT analysis to discuss how major strengths pursue opportunities and limit threats and how major weaknesses limit opportunities and enhance threats.

7) Using your analysis above, briefly state what you believe to be the company’s major core competencies (if any) and assess their ability to create a sustainable competitive advantage by explaining each of the VRIO criteria for each competency. Be sure to state the results of the VRIO analysis (i.e. competitive disadvantage, competitive parity, temporary competitive advantage or sustainable competitive advantage).

8) In light of your analysis above, what are the company’s current strategy types (i.e. type of business level, corporate level, alliance and international strategy the company is pursuing)? What is your evidence for your assessment? Do they fit with your analysis above? Why or why not?

9) Briefly, based on your above analysis, what are the firm’s main problems and what is your suggested solution(s)? Which 7S implementation factors are most important? Why?

10) Finally, based on your analysis, create two questions for our class discussion.

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