Case 18: Robin Hood
1. What problems does Robin Hood have? What issues need to be addressed?
2. Do Robin Hood and the Merrymen need a new mission?
new objectives? a new strategy?
3. What strategic options does Robin Hood have? Is continuing with the present strategy an option or is the
present strategy obsolete?
4. Why not try to end the campaign by killing the Sheriff?
5. What are the pros and cons of accepting
the offer of the barons to assist in securing King Richard’s release from prison?
6. What action plan would
you recommend to Robin?
7. How should Robin implement the recommended plan? What action steps will need to be taken to make the recommended
strategy work successfully?
Case 14: Silver Ships: Its Strategy in the Military and Workboat Industry
1. What are the key elements of Silver Ships’ strategy? Which of the five
generic strategies is the company pursuing?
2. Explain the competitive pressures facing the aluminum military and workboat industry. What can a five
forces analysis tell us about the nature and strength of the competitive pressures facing Silver Ships? Which of the five
forces is the strongest?
3. What are the key success factors for competing in the aluminum boatbuilding industry?
4. What does a SWOT analysis reveal about Silver
Ships’ attractiveness? How attractive is the company’s situation and position?
5. What is your assessment
of Silver Ship’s financial performance and condition? Is the company in good financial shape? Why or why not. Use financial
ratios to help support your assessment.
6. Based on your analysis of the aluminum boatbuilding industry and Silver
Ships’ financial condition, what problems and issues should McCarty consider? Which of these merit “front-burner”
What specific actions would you recommend to McCarty to improve Silver Ships’ competitive and financial positions?
Sara Lee in 2010: Has Its Retrenchment Strategy Benefited Shareholders?
1. What is Sara Lee’s corporate strategy?
How has its retrenchment strategy changed the nature of its business lineup?
2. What is your assessment of the long-term
attractiveness of the industries represented in Sara Lee Corp.’s business portfolio?
3. What is your assessment
of the competitive strength of Sara Lee Corp.’s different business units?
4. What does a 9-cell industry attractiveness/business
strength matrix displaying Sara Lee’s business units look like?
5. Does Sara Lee’s portfolio exhibit
good strategic fit? What value-chain match-ups do you see? What opportunities for skills transfer, cost sharing, or brand
sharing do you see?
6. What is your assessment of Sara Lee’s financial and operating performance in fiscal years 2008-2010,
the period following the divestitures that were the core of Sara Lee’s retrenchment strategy?
7. What is your overall evaluation of Sara
Lee’s retrenchment plan? What evidence and/or reasons support a conclusion that Sara Lee’s shareholders have or
have not benefitted from the company’s retrenchment strategy?
8. What actions do you recommend that Sara Lee management take to improve
the company’s performance and boost shareholder value? Your recommended actions must be supported with convincing, analysis-based
17: Smuckers in 2010: Expanding the Business Lineup
1. What is J. M. Smucker Company’s corporate strategy? What
common strategy elements are shared across its brands? Did it make sense for Smucker to expand its business lineup beyond
jams, jellies, and preserves? Why or why not?
2. What is your evaluation of Smucker’s business lineup and its acquisitions
since 2002? How attractive is the processed foods industry? How strongly positioned are the company’s brands in each
segment of the industry? What does a 9-cell industry attractiveness/business strength matrix displaying J. M. Smucker’s
business units look like?
3. Does J. M. Smucker’s lineup of businesses and brands exhibit good strategic fit? What value-chain
matchups do you see? What opportunities for skills transfer, cost sharing, or brand sharing do you see?
4. Does Smucker’s lineup of businesses
and brands exhibit good financial resource fit? Does it appear that J. M.Smucker Company’s businesses are cash hogs
or cash cows? What do the company’s cash flow characteristics disclose about its ability to make new acquisitions or
major investments in the current business lineup?
5. What strategic actions should the Smucker family undertake to further improve
the company’s financial and market performance? What resource allocation priorities are needed to best allow for organic
growth? What strategic actions are necessary to better prepare the company for further consolidation in the retail grocery
industry and processed foods industry? Should J. M. Smucker undertake restructuring to eliminate certain businesses? Should
the company make additional acquisitions to expand its line of packaged foods? What types of food categories would offer attractive
fi ts with its current business lineup?
1: Mystic Monk Coffee
1. Has Father Daniel Mary established a future direction for the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming? What is his
vision for the monastery? What is his vision for Mystic Monk Coffee? What is the mission of the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming?
2. Does it appear that Father Daniel Mary has set definite objectives and performance targets for achieving his vision?
3. What is Father Prior’s
strategy for achieving his vision? What competitive advantage might Mystic Monk Coffee’s strategy produce?
4. Is Mystic Monk Coffee’s
strategy a money-maker? What is MMC’s business model? What is your assessment of Mystic Monk Coffee’s customer
value proposition? its profit formula?
5. Does the strategy qualify as a winning strategy? Why or why not?
6. What recommendations would you make to Father
Daniel Mary in terms of crafting and executing strategy for the monastery’s coffee operations? Are changed needed in
its long-term direction? its objectives? Its strategy? its approach to strategy execution? Explain.
Case 24 Norton Lilly: Implementing Transformational Change
in the Shipping Industry
1. What impresses you about Norton Lilly International? What has accounted for Norton Lilly’s success
over the past 150+ years? What aspects of Norton Lilly do you find unimpressive?
2. What happened in 2006 to handicap the company?
3. What is Norton Lilly
International’s strategy? Which of the five generic competitive strategies most closely fit with the competitive approach
that Norton Lilly International is taking?
4. Is Norton Lilly’s competitive strategy working well? What does the
information in case Exhibits 1 and 2 reveal about the company’s strategic and financial performance during 2006 to 2009?
What does the information contained in case Exhibit 3 indicate regarding the company’s projected performance in 2010?
Please use the financial ratios presented in the Table 4.1 of the text (pages 94-96) to guide your calculations and reach
conclusions about the caliber of Norton Lilly International’s financial performance?
5. What policies, practices,
support systems and management approaches underlie Norton Lilly International’s efforts to execute a turnaround strategy
for the company? Has Norton Lilly International built an organization capable of good strategy execution?
6. How has Norton Lilly
International’s use of the Balanced Scorecard and other performance measures aided in the company’s efforts to
implement a companywide performance management system?
7. What is your assessment of the internal leadership of Norton
Lilly International? Does the company have the leadership in place to take the company to the next level of performance?
8. What is your assessment of Jim Burton’s turnaround initiative? Has he been successful in turning around the
company? Are additional efforts or initiatives needed? Why or why not?
9. What issues do Burton and the management
team need to address?
10. What recommendations would you make to Jim Burton?
Case 4: Competition in the Warehouse Club Industry
1. What is competition like in the North
American wholesale club industry? Which of the five competitive forces is strongest and why? Use the information in Figures
3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8 (and the related chapter discussions on pp. 57-70) to do a complete five-forces analysis of competition
in the North American wholesale club industry.
2. Do all three warehouse club rivals—Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s Wholesale—have highly
similar strategies? What differences in their strategies are apparent? Does one rival have a better strategy than the others?
Does one rival have a somewhat weaker strategy than the other two?
3. Which of the three warehouse club rivals has been the strongest
financial performer in recent years? Support your answer with calculations based on the data in case Exhibits 2, 6, and 7.
Use the financial ratios presented in Table 4.1 of Chapter 4 to help you with the needed number crunching.
4. Does the data in case Exhibit 5 indicate
that Costco’s expansion outside North America (the U.S. and Canada) is financially successful? Why or why not?
5. Five years from now, is Costco’s
standing as the industry leader likely to be stronger or weaker? Are the other two rivals likely to gain or lose ground on
Costco? Why or why not?
6. What recommendations would you make to Jim Sinegal regarding the actions that Costco management needs
to take to sustain the company’s growth and improve its financial performance?
7. What actions do you think management at Sam’s Club should
take to boost revenue growth and overall financial performance?
8. What actions do you think management at BJ’s Wholesale should take
to boost revenue growth and overall financial performance?
Case 21: Namaste Solar
1. What is the mission of Namaste Solar? How does the mission reflect the company’s values? Explain.
2. Does it seem that Namaste
Solar has made a commitment to operating in socially responsible manner? Is the company’s strategy ethical and does
it address the needs of all of its stakeholders? Explain.
3. Is the company’s approach to strategy execution shaped
sufficiently by its mission and values? How does the company’s approach to staffing the organization and building organizational
capabilities support its strategy? Does its approach to decision making support good strategy execution? Why or why not?
4. How does Namasté
Solar link rewards and incentives to strategically-important employee behaviors and the company’s targeted outcomes?
5. What are the key features of Namaste Solar’s organizational culture? Does the company’s culture support
good strategy execution? Explain.
6. What are the three strategic options concerning the company’s future?
What impact will a choice among the three options have on the company’s values and culture and employees and other stakeholders?
7. List the pros and cons of Paths A-C. What recommendation would you make to Blake Jones concerning the choice of a
path for Nemaste Solar’s future?
Case 15: Skype's Spin Off from eBay: Is it Ready for an IPO?
1. What are the dominant
economic characteristics of the VoIP Industry?
2. What does the five forces analysis reveal about the chances for profitability
in the VoIP industry?
3. What are the Driving Forces of this industry?
4. What are the Key Success Factors for this industry?
5. What is Skype’s
current strategy and what type of corporate strategy are they employing?
6. What main issues do you think Skype must
focus on short term and long term?
Case 27: Rhino Capture in South Africa
1. What is SANParks / Kruger National Park’s objective and vision?
Is selling rhino consistent with their objective and vision? If not, then what should it be?
2. Who are the suppliers of rhino and what
was the average selling price of a rhino?
3. What is different about selling to a safari company and a hunting company?
4. How does a sale to a hunting and safari
company affect the economy?
5. What are the driving forces behind poaching?
6. How would you reduce poaching?
7. How would you reduce poaching if a rhino’s horn could
be cut and re-grown in six years?
8. Construct a five forces model for the rhino sales industry. What competitive threats are associated with
the rival sellers, suppliers, buyers, substitutes, and new entrants?
Case 22: Herman Miller
1. Describe Herman Miller’s strategy.
Is there evidence it has produced a competitive advantage and good financial performance? Explain.
2. How have the company’s
values shaped its strategy and approach to strategy execution? Provide illustrations of how these values are reflected in
3. What is your evaluation of HMI’s financial performance? How does its performance compare to prior
years? the competition?
4. Until 2003, HMI offered lifelong employment. How did this practice affect the company’s ability to staff the
organization with managers and employees capable of executing the strategy? How did this practice build the organizational
capabilities required for successful strategy execution?
5. Do non-monetary incentives facilitate strategy execution at
6. Describe the culture at HMI. Would you characterize HMI’s culture as healthy and largely supportive
of good strategy execution? Explain.
7. What recommendations would you make to Herman Miller’s CEO Brian
Walker to improve the company’s current financial performance? Does the company need to radically alter its strategy
because of poor economic conditions? Should it improve its approach to implementing the strategy to reduce costs and improve
26: W.L. Gore and Associates
1. What impresses you about this company? Is it well-managed—why
or why not? Does the management style at Gore match what we in the business school have taught you about “how to manage?”
2. How would you characterize W. L. Gore’s competitive strategy? What are the key elements of the strategies employed
by its electronics, fabrics, industrial, and medical divisions?
3. What are the key approaches W. L. Gore has taken
to promote successful implementation and execution of the strategy? How has it gone about building a capable organization?
How have rewards and incentives been linked to key strategic targets?
4. Describe the culture at Gore. What are the
underlying values that shape its culture? Would you characterize Gore’s culture as healthy and largely supportive of
good strategy execution? Explain.
5. How does Gore instill and perpetuate its culture? Explain the role of monetary
and non-monetary incentives in building the culture and facilitating strategy execution. Do these practices affect Gore’s
ability to staff the organization with managers and employees capable of executing the strategy?
6. Discuss Gore’s
view of leadership and how that view affects the decision-making process at Gore. How does Gore’s structure and culture
reflect their view of leadership?
7. How does Gore achieve cross-business fi t across its diverse product divisions?
What role does culture play in controlling its decentralized operations?
8. As markets become more global, what challenges will Gore face?
Will Gore need to change its team processes? Its culture? Explain.
Case 28: Countywide Financial and the Subprime Mortgage Debacle
1. Was the U.S. federal government’s 1932 intervention in the market for home ownership desirable?
How did the creation of Fannie Mae in 1938, Ginnie Mae in 1968, and Freddie Mac in 1970 expand homeownership and shape lending
practices at banks and other mortgage lending firms?
2. Why did the U.S. Congress enact the Community Reinvestment
Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Depository Institution Deregulation and Monetary Control Act, and the Housing and
Community Development Act? Was this legislation effective in expanding homeownership? Did the government’s promotion
of subprime mortgages and high loan-to-value (LTV) subprime mortgages create additional risks for lenders and the holders
of mortgage backed securities (MBSs) or collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)?
3. Did subprime mortgage loans contribute to
the housing bubble? Why did the bubble burst? What were the consequences of the housing bust to borrowers, loan originators,
and MBS and CDO holders? Did subprime mortgages contribute to the U.S. financial crisis of 2008?
4. How did Federal legislation
concerning mortgage loans affect Countrywide Financial Corporation’s (CFC) business strategy? Did the government’s
encouragement of subprime mortgages have an impact on the company’s number of loan originations between 1990 and 2007?
5. What effect did the housing boom and the growth in origination of subprime mortgages have on CFC’s financial
performance? Evaluate the financial ratios presented in case Exhibit 8 and calculate compounded annual growth rates for items
in CFC’s Statements of Operations? Did the company’s growth rate vary significantly between 2003 and 2007? Did
CFC retain most of the loans originated for investment? What is your overall assessment of CFC’s financial performance
between 2003 and 2007?
6. Was CFC pursuing an ethical strategy? Were all of CFC’s business practices ethical? Were CFC’s
compensation practices ethical and in the best interest of shareholders? Did its lending practices harm borrowers? Is there
anything unethical about its VIP loan program? To what extent, if any, were unethical strategies or business behavior a problem
at CFC? To what extent, if any, was CFC’s CEO involved in unethical behavior?
7. What recommendations would you make to Bank
of America executives to ensure that lending practices at its subsidiaries will promote homeownership in a manner that is
in the best interest of borrowers, investors in the secondary mortgage market, and the company’s own long-term financial
Case 5: Competition in
Energy Drinks, Sports, and Vitamin-Enhanced Beverages
1. What are the strategically relevant components
of the global and U.S. beverage industry macro-environment? How do the economic characteristics of the alternative beverage
segment of the industry differ from that of other beverage categories? Explain.
2. What is competition like in the alternative
beverage industry? Which of the five competitive forces is strongest? Which is weakest? What competitive forces seem to have
the greatest effect on industry attractiveness and the potential profitability of new entrants?
3. How is the market for
energy drinks, sports drinks and vitamin-enhanced beverages changing? What are the underlying drivers of change and how might
those forces individually or collectively make the industry more or less attractive?
4. What does your strategic group map of the
energy drink, sports drink, and vitamin-enhanced beverage industry look like? Which strategic groups do you think are in the
best positions? The worst positions?
5. What key factors determine the success of alternative beverage producers?
6. What recommendations would you make to Coca-Cola to improve its competitiveness in the global alternative beverage
industry? to PepsiCo? to Red Bull GmbH?